One of the challenges that B2B marketing managers face is to make their product or service remarkable, even if the product or service in question is far from being sexy. In addition, they must also deal with a reality that differs from the majority of B2C companies which is to feed their company’s sales representatives with quality business opportunities. Although the reality of a B2B business is distinct from the one of a B2C business, nothing prevents a B2B company to build on what works in the marketing processes of a B2C business. In this post, I will share some strategies that are typically used by companies that cater to consumers that you can use for your B2B business strategies.
B2B companies should look at what B2C companies are doing
Provide as much information as possible to people, including your prices
Take a quick look at websites and brochures of companies that sell their products/services to consumers. You will find that they do not hesitate to put specifications sheets, feature lists, testimonials, etc. about what they are selling. You should do the same with your business.
A common practice among B2B companies is to put only partial information on the website and brochures since they heavily rely on sales representatives to determine the needs of their prospects in order to sell them the most appropriate solution possible. The role of representatives is important and necessary, but not providing access to all the information required to take a decision causes frustration to people and may end up wasting your representatives’ time. Indeed, there is a good chance that they will waste time with non-compatible prospects for budgetary reasons, for example. By displaying all the information available about your products and services on your marketing supports, your sales representatives will receive more calls from qualified prospects and fewer that equal time losses.
Let your qualified prospects try your products or your services
One strategy that is increasingly used in B2C is the free trial. Indeed, companies like Netflix (1 month free) and McDonald (during the free coffee promotion) understand the positive influence of free trials on their sales. What is better than to try a product before you buy it?
If this strategy works for B2C companies, why not use it in your business? Indeed, according to the product or service you sell, there is certainly an opportunity for your company to offer a free trial or a sample of what you produce. For example, if you provide consulting services, offer a free session to prospects that show interest. Once you have demonstrated your expertise, it will be much more difficult for them to refuse to sign an agreement with you later on. However, if you manufacture tangible products, handing out a sample of what you produce to prospects will ensure they can see for themselves that what you sell is top notch.
Make your business more human
If there is one thing that B2C companies succeed remarkably in is betting on the human aspect to establish a relationship with current and potential customers.
Google, Apple and other large companies regularly launch advertising campaigns that generate all kinds of emotions in people. Although it is more difficult to generate excitement among the population in a B2B advertising campaign, it is quite possible to promote the perks of your services and products for the humans that use them in your marketing initiatives.
In addition, being more human is not only done through advertising. It is also done in your company’s newsletter. In fact, you should keep in mind that your newsletter is sent to decision makers and not to the company at large. You should adjust its copy so it is written specifically for these people and in harmony with the branding you want to give to your business.
Take advantage of segmentation and cross-selling
Client segmentation and cross-selling are two techniques that are commonly used in B2C businesses’ marketing strategy. Use them to improve your sales.
Segmenting your clients will allow you to better understand and meet their needs. This will allow you, among other things, to create segments by:
- The transactional behavior of your clients.
- The messages you want to send to your clients. For example, you do not want to send the same message/promotion for an existing client as to a client who has told you about his intention to leave you.
- The migration patterns of your client segments. This will allow you to start marketing programs intended for clients who have a high probability of leaving you.
Cross-selling, in turn, is a great way to increase your revenue from your current clients. To close such sales, you must first build a database in which you will find, among others, the various client segments mentioned earlier as well as any other relevant information about their company, their needs, what they buy from you, etc. Then, you must present personalized offers to each client for which you want to do cross-selling with. In this approach, you must have a very good understanding of the particular situation of each client to make him a relevant offer that suits its needs.
This ends this post on B2C strategies that you can take advantage of in your B2B business. Giving people as much information as possible about your products and services, letting qualified prospects try what you are selling, being more human and using client segmentation and cross-selling will make your business more effective. Do you use strategies typically used in B2C businesses for yours? If you don’t, have you been inspired to do so by reading this post? Tell us in the comments!
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