Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Find Strategic B2B Buyers


Strategic Buyers Disrupt The Status Quo

Successful B2B marketers enhance their position in challenging accounts by conveying valuable insights to strategic buyers who covet growth, competitive advantage, image and productivity.  If you can propel strategic buyers to these goals, you will become part of their sphere of influence.

Invest time learning about the specific objectives a strategic buyer wants to attain. This will give you the confidence needed for making a provocative statement related to what you've learned about them.  And, you will have earned the right to position your targeted price relative to this value.

The last thing that motivates a strategic buyer is the budget.  They will always find discretionary dollars for strategic decisions. Once they have created the strategy umbrella under which actions are implemented, they delegate parameters for tactical buyers to implement.

When Confident That The Die Has Been Cast

Once your value proposition has been adopted by a strategic buyer, help tactical buyers save face. Treat them like strategic buyers and prove your capabilities, demonstrate your expertise, and establish a strong relationship.

This sort of strategic selling, if done consistently throughout your company, will raise the barrier to entry for all competitors in search of your targeted accounts, while helping you to penetrate theirs without them even knowing it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Marketing Automation Will Help You Get To The Next Level

Marketing Automation Enables Consistent Best Practices

You know what you'd like to do but manual efforts are totally inefficient, so you've chosen not to leverage marketing principles for business advantage.  It's time for you to figure a way to change that inertia so you can make your company the best that it can be.  Otherwise, your company will need to follow a more challenging path in order to reach the next level.  Don't overlook the basics.

Wouldn't it be great if you could automate the mundane processes for customer and partner retention?  How about recruiting new ones?  If you could survey at different steps in the cycle, wouldn't you better understand how you're doing?  How many opportunities slip away due to weak processes for lead generation and nurturing?

MA enables you to deliver the right content to the right audience at the right time with a singular purpose in mind. This trumps broad brush email blasts and social network posts that are of no interest to 80% of their recipients, most of whom will unsubscribe after receiving a few of these uninteresting messages.

MA enables content marketing to be the theme for campaigns or surgically injected as 1to1 next logical steps such as surveys, or efforts to create, nurture or convert leads.  Use your CRM database to segment a persona defined target audience or filter your CRM system for the right demographics, psychographics, behavioral traits and firmographics.  Email and social networks can work together as your messaging media.

You don't need to be a large company to afford the benefits of marketing automation.  There are CRM and MA tools that fit within the budget of any size company.  If you first take the time to create the processes that are right for your business, you can then search for the right tools to make them happen.

Monday, March 3, 2014

All Companies Provide Services

People Purchase Services Differently From Products

Inseparability of the provider from the service itself challenges clients to make objective buying decisions because experience can only be judged during and after service delivery.

Services buyers are influenced by past experiences and referrals.  They lessen risk by observing early adopters, opinion leaders and trusted mavens.  They listen when raving fans tell stories that help them to visualize how the benefits would apply to them.

Services Marketing: Not The Same As Product Marketing

Attract prospects with high quality content when they discover you through your self-service channels.  Provide photos of radiant facilities, hygienic equipment and well-groomed personnel along with other physical proof such as location, reputation for consistent quality and performance, certifications and efficient, courteous service.

Frequent internal marketing must motivate employees and partners to develop customer-centricity and to have the attitude and skills that ensure sustained customer loyalty.  Standardization and training will create advantages through consistent, high satisfaction touch points and rituals.

Services buyers expect empathy and assurance, so allow them to participate in buying decisions. Then, watch and listen for personalization needs so that you can tailor some aspect of your service for them.

Services can't be inventoried like products, so when capacity isn't used, you'll incur idle time due to demand that fluctuates according to day of week, time of day or season. Adjust pricing and bundle or unbundle features to optimize capacity when demand is low.  Use idle time for training.

All Businesses Operate Within A Services Economy

Even companies that consider themselves only as purveyors of tangible products can differentiate themselves through pre-sale consultative services and post-sale support.

By John Bernardi