Five Trends driving B2B Marketing and Sales

Here are some strategies used by leading marketers to deliver superior value to their customers based on current and future trends:


Custom value creation: Most marketers today have experienced disappointing results from cold calling. They are looking for new ways to engage acquire new business and engage prospects.Many are now embracing new technology tools such as social media to get their messages out and inform potential clients. Here are five B2B marketing trends to watch.


Keith Pigues, co-author of “Winning With Customers: A Playbook for B2B” talks about the importance of fact based marketing. Present data that supports your business case. Why should customers do business with you. How will it change their revenue and profitability? Customers today are looking for real financial measures. The old tools such as NPS only provide half the picture. What is needed is a tool to translate customer satisfaction and engagement into higher sales.


To accomplish this, companies are looking at firms like Arcus to provide empirical models that translate customer behaviour into business and revenue growth scenarios. The strategy helps clients customize their messages to meet specific sales requirements and provides a more focused and meaningful value proposition to each prospect. The strategy is to offer a solution that truly impacts customers bottom line.


Arcus created a new metric that takes NPS to the next level. The new metric, called the Business Motivator score or “BMS” combines the external (customer motivator score or “CMS”) and internal (employee motivators score or “EMS”) to deliver greater visibility into how motivated both, customers and employees, are to move the business forward. The BMS was developed to deliver value from a sales perspective and provide management with a 360 degree dashboard of real time impact of sales activities on the business.


1. Analyse online behaviour of prospects


Some of the most successful marketers have invested heavily in understanding how their existing customers navigate online for information. This enables them to create models that would help them understand how similar prospects may be seeking information. Identifying these sources enables these companies to target the right information in the right place at the right time. Online activity of companies differs greatly from online activity of individuals who are in key positions at these companies. Tracking online behaviour and posts on sites like LinkedIn can deliver significant visibility into the key issues that customers and prospects face today and how these issues impact their businesses. Understanding the digital behaviour of prospects through their activity on social properties such as Facebook, on Twitter, on LinkedIn can provide a rich data set to explore and analyse.


2. Target specific stages of the purchase cycle


Linking buying behaviour based on the stage of the purchase cycle is a powerful strategy to engage prospects with the right message at the right time. For example, a high level value proposition instead of a detailed product story for a prospect who is in the exploratory stage of the purchasing cycle may be more effective. The stage of “closing the sale” will require a focused fact-based message with product features and ROI impacts.


3. Target “experts” in the sector


One of the most effective strategies adopted is to get the experts to endorse your product or brand. Targeting the top 1000 “expert” bloggers and content creators in your product segment could provide some insight into what triggers interest in the brand. Increasing coverage of the brand in these online assets can have a significant impact on the visibility and credibility that is generated from a positive endorsement.


4. Leverage the message life cycle


The life cycle of messages has been compressed significantly over the past decade. Sectors are more competitive, have shorter attention spans and require more focused bites of information. To deal with this trend, marketing messages need to take a “drip” approach instead of a “waterfall” to ensure messages are registered over a period of time. More frequent communication is smaller sound bites tend to generate better results. The strategy also allows for personal engagement and a one-on-one 2-way conversation with prospects.


5. Personalized messages


Personalized messages from senior management can have a significant impact on prospects. They notice that the C-level executive of the company is making an effort to connect with them and hence they are more likely to listen and be heard. These companies don’t just relegate the task of communication to their marketing and IT departments. They take a leadership role in the communication process and emphasize a personal interest in their clients businesses.


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