Ever feel that finding and converting new clients is becoming even more of an uphill battle? You’re not alone. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, growth has dropped significantly across most B2B industries, including manufacturing. Budgets are slashed, jobs have been lost, and people are increasingly becoming more picky over what they buy, and from whom. It’s clear that in order to survive, B2B companies will have to switch their approach to making sales.
So, how do you find and convert new customers in this tricky economic climate? FINALLY is a growth agency who specialises in helping B2B companies, and we’ve one or two ideas about how to attract and sell to new leads, and keep them with you for life.
Focus on content marketing
During the pandemic, buyer’s behaviour changed radically. While there was a slump in the open and click-through rates for direct sales emails, those same metrics for e-newsletters quadrupled, and led to a sales spike for the products these articles featured. Now, more than ever, customers are looking for help with their buying decisions.
It should come as no surprise to hear that very few companies trust sales people. In this digital age, where consumers are faced with hundreds of companies competing for their market share, it’s only natural that customers would much rather look into their options themselves, and this is where content marketing comes in.
Content marketing is exactly what it sounds like: marketing your products or services through your online content. By featuring your products - via links and call-to-actions - at various intervals during a helpful, long-form piece of content, your prospect will make an informed decision to buy, and more importantly, they’ll do this without feeling sold to. Companies need to be able to take a step back and let their buyers set the terms of their purchase. Which brings us to our next point...
Let your buyer set the terms for their purchase
One of the best ways to reach new clients is to let your buyer drive their own sale - and we don’t just mean with transparent pricing and discounts, although that’s important. Anticipate the problems faced by your prospect, and get creative with how you’ll deliver your solution.
Content marketing is one way, but think about how you can engage your prospects through lesser-known routes, such as conversational marketing or video-selling. Match your service with the way your customer wants to buy. Is your product or service high-value, or in need of some explanation? Create a range of guides, white papers or blogs to provide context for what you sell. Your buyer wants to come away feeling they’ve been helped and understood.
Also remember it’s not only how your customer buys, but what they buy too. Make it your priority to find out what they actually need, irrespective of their budget: what’s their problem and how can you help them to solve it? If you don’t do this, you’ll risk your buyer walking away or, if they do convert, being unhappy with their purchase and telling the world about it.
Change how you think about your sales process
When you picture your sales efforts, what do you see? Traditionally, companies would think of a sales funnel where a large number of prospects go into the top of the funnel, a portion of which will turn into leads, with some becoming actual customers. Although this sort of makes sense, it does mean you have to put a whole lot of effort into finding people to feed into the top of your funnel for the process to continue. Furthermore, what comes out of the bottom has very little to do with what goes in the top, which is not how sales work.
According to HubSpot, the number of new customers you’ll make has a direct bearing on how many customers you already have. Your customer’s experience after they convert will make or break their opinion of you. It will also influence how many word-of-mouth referrals you’ll make as a result - after all, in the B2B industry, customer advocacy is everything.
Instead, picture your sales process as a flywheel, where your prospects, your leads, and your customers all influence each other. After all, customer referrals are one of the best ways of making new sales - it only makes sense that they should feed into each other.
Improve your after-sales experience
If your customers have a good experience with you, they’ll be happy and tell all their friends about you. If they have a bad experience, they’ll be unhappy, never buy from you again, and yes, tell all their friends about you.
We’ve loads of ideas about how to provide the very best after-sales experience but if you only do one thing, make sure your customers are happy, both with their purchase and their sale’s experience. Make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible for them by offering them multiple ways to reach you, and plenty of help with making the most of their purchase.
Explore new ways of finding customers
With a little investment of your time and money, as well as a bit of creativity, you can reach a whole new audience of prospective customers who will love what you make. Advertising has come a long way since the Mad Men of the 20th century. Now, more advertising is likely to be done online than off - a monumental shift which is helping marketers to hone their efforts, and become more targeted than ever.
Social media is a great way to reach the customers that provide the most value to your business. Advertising on these platforms allows you to get really granular about the type of person you want to see your ad, and will even suggest a look-a-like audience who share attributes with your ideal customer.
Related: An introduction to paid search advertising
Invest in your online experience
It’s no longer just enough to have a website: you should use this website as the cornerstone of your sales efforts, letting it work to deliver leads, and yes, as the silver bullet of your customer retention strategy.
In the B2B world, 70% of professionals will use your website at some point during their buying journey. A great website, one that’s rich in content that’s relevant to your industry, can help you to deliver a seamless onboarding experience, provide multiple ways to get in touch, and even get you sales. B2B companies in the UK who do not devote enough attention to these online journeys are at risk of being left behind, losing valuable clients to their competitors who do.
...and don’t forget about mobile
Next time you look at your website on a mobile or a tablet, ask yourself: are you having the easiest time doing what you set out to, whether that’s filling in a contact form or completing a transaction? All too often, B2B companies skimp on the mobile experience of its users preferring instead to optimise the experience for desktop users which make up most of their audience. Yes, we’ll admit, most online B2B journeys currently take place on a desktop computer, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to deliver the best possible mobile experience that you can.
Online selling is not just about having a website and a social media presence; it’s about maximising your effectiveness on these platforms – which is something that we can help you with. FINALLY has the tools and the expertise to grow your business, allowing you to devise and deliver a marketing strategy that’s honed for your industry and provides real results.
At-a-glance: 7 ways to attract new clients
- Put more effort into content marketing.
- Let your buyer be in the driving seat.
- Change how you visualise your sales process: think flywheel, not funnel.
- Improve your after-sales experience.
- Explore new ways of finding customers: think paid social, PPC and other digital mediums.
- Invest in your online journey.
- Create a seamless experience on mobiles and tablets.
FINALLY can help you to develop a fresh approach to your sales efforts. We help companies to capture leads and develop these relationships using an inbound approach, making your company useful to find, and impossible to leave for its customers. To find out how we can help you, get in touch with our team today.