In Part One of our blog: Engaging the Modern B2B Customer, we took an in-depth look at creating engaging content-driven campaigns and listed the steps and tools you will need in order to develop omni-channel campaigns that resonate. In Part Two, we continue our journey with the steps and tools that are essential to personalizing content at scale and fostering sales enablement.
Engaging B2B Customers Via a Personalized Marketing Approach
A report by Salesforce found that 65 percent of B2B customers will switch brands if a company fails to make efforts to personalize communications to them. Moreover, by 2020, 75 percent of B2B customers expect companies to both anticipate their needs and make relevant suggestions. Justin Shriber, the Vice President of Marketing for LinkedIn Marketing and Sales Solutions, maintains, “B2B buyers want to be approached with relevant offers at the right moments, not when it’s convenient for a sales rep. They have little to no patience for ill-timed, generic pitches.” In summary, your customers not only want, but expect, you to know them, their needs and to guide them toward a solution that’s right for them.
Tools of the Trade: In order to create marketing pieces at scale, you will need the following martech tools:
CRM – This tool is invaluable for tracking the customer journey and addressing their unique experience.
Marketing/Data Dashboard – Making informed business decisions is easier when you can quickly and easily monitor a variety of KPIs critical to customer insights.
Data Management Tool – Every data source in your company should be connected to your data management tool to ensure that your data remains in a perpetual state of readiness.
Joining Forces With Sales to Engage Customers
“If marketing and sales aren’t aligned and if they don’t collaborate, they will be disintermediated by buyers themselves who find other ways to get what they need or by more agile competitors.” ~ Mary Shea, Ph.D., Principal Analyst, Forrester Research
Did you know that companies are 67% better at closing deals when sales and marketing teams are in sync? Nothing is worse for your brand or your sales, than for the marketing team to create pieces that communicate one message and sales teams to send communications with an entirely different message. It appears uncoordinated to potential customers at best and completely amateur at worst. As noted author Kate Zabriskie says, “The customer’s perception is your reality.” Your products and services might be the greatest solutions to hit the market ever, but if you can’t get the teams within your company to speak about them in a unified manner, all your customers will hear is noise.
Fostering Sales Enablement
A few of the ways you can speed the cultivation of sales and marketing team alignment include:
- Take the Lead — Host a series of meetings between the leaders of both departments to hash out how to better help each other unite and conquer. Once a plan is in place, keep momentum going by continuing meetings on a monthly basis. The goal is to build and maintain healthy and supportive relationships.
- Develop Shared Goals — Build camaraderie between the two departments by identifying goals you have a mutual interest in and can help one another reach. Track the progress of all goals in a public space so they stay on people’s minds and priority lists.
- Get on the Same Page — Identify and catalog all communication pieces that are in use on both sides. Create a timeline to retire, update and develop new pieces.
- Coordinate the Look — Any marketing or sales piece that is customer-facing must uphold your brand’s image and feel related to all other pieces through design, colors, fonts, imagery, logos, etc. Remind everyone regularly of the importance of presenting a unified front to customers.
- Make it Easy — Employ the aid of a user-friendly content management tool with a searchable library of omni-channel marketing-approved messages that sales teams can customize and send on-demand.
- Share Results — Encourage and inspire sales teams to keep using marketing-approved messages by using your marketing dashboard to share highlights from individual efforts of sales team members, as well as results from various campaign pieces.
- Provide Incentives — Create contests around using marketing-approved messages. Reward those who are consistent with something tangible and honor them in company-wide meetings to inspire others to follow suit.
Benefits of Focusing on Engagement
Forty-nine percent of companies that prioritize engagement over acquisition report a higher ROI. In addition, B2B customers with high customer engagement scores produce:
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