he business to business (B2B) marketing environment has never been as competitive as it is right now. This is, in part, because starting and growing a business has never been easier. Tools and technologies once only available to large corporations with bottomless marketing budgets are now accessible to anyone and everyone - sometimes open-source and completely free!
To fight through the noise, clutter, and confusion in a crowded market, you must be savvy about the B2B marketing tactics you use. Traditional tactics, like the legacy approach, are outdated and no longer effective. Your ideal consumers are inundated with offers and opportunities to work with your competitors on a daily basis. To separate yourself from the rest of the pack, you need to be smarter, more strategic, and more creative with the B2B marketing tactics you use.
Let's dig a little deeper.
Building Smarter Funnels
Some marketers go straight for the sale right out of the gate. However, this approach will likely not result in many conversions. A marketer must first build trust with their potential consumers. This will take time and effort - on average, it takes six to eight touches to generate a viable lead.
The term "marketing funnel" has become a bit of a buzzword in the world of B2B marketing over the last few years. But that doesn't mean marketing funnels aren't effective – as long as they are used correctly.
Smarter funnels are more robust, more complex, and involve more "touches" with individual micro sales along the way. They lead your ideal B2B prospects towards becoming a client with expert storytelling, innovative, interconnected multi-channel marketing approaches, and well thought out campaigns.
To build smarter funnels, you must understand who your ideal prospect is, and then target them exclusively. You must also decide which prospects you don't want to target and actively avoid them. This technique will help you grow your business, though it may cause controversy, especially if you are just as aggressively designing funnels to repel prospects that aren't a good fit for your business as you are building funnels to attract your ideal consumer.
Building a smarter marketing funnel involves some advanced B2B marketing techniques, but with some hard work, this tactic can change your business for the better.
Master the Onboarding Process
A lot of otherwise successful B2B marketers end up dropping the ball and destroying the rapport and influence they've created with new clients almost straight away. This happens because they neglect to implement a systematic onboarding process to move their prospects through.
When a new client decides to sign on the dotted line, they could be in a highly emotionally charged state. They are excited, sure, but they are also at least a little bit sceptical. They may even be slightly worried about whether they've made the right decision, and could experience buyer's remorse.
By creating an onboarding process that reminds your client why they decided to do business with you in the first place, you're able to reduce that buyer's remorse significantly. You can outline expectations and exert much more control and influence over this business relationship than you'd have been able to otherwise.
Remember to Keep Selling Your Clients
Lastly, you must continue to sell your client not only on the products and services you offer them, but also on your business, your brand, and the partnership the two of you have created with this new business relationship. This tactic is a significant contributor to B2B marketing success.
A business relationship is just like any other - it requires long term effort, and both parties must be invested for it to work. To keep the relationship with your clients from becoming stale, remind them why they should continue to engage your services.
This tactic is usually more subtle than traditional customer B2B marketing tactics, but it is essential. If you neglect your relationship just because your client has already signed on the dotted line, you may find yourself unpleasantly surprised when very few of them remain your clients after the initial contract has expired.