05 Jan Think you know today’s B2B tech buyer? Perhaps you don’t know them as well as you think.
Ready to reshape your marketing strategy? Part three: Knowing today’s B2B buyer
The B2B buying world has changed, and we’re not just talking about the pandemic. Over the course of two previous blogs, we have expressed how tech B2B marketing strategies have changed along with it, with a deep dive into marketing budgets, a potential IT vendor crisis and what the most effective strategies are for today’s world.
In this third and final instalment, Helen Fox, Client Success Director at Incognate wraps up by discussing the ways in which buyer relations have changed irrevocably, and why the B2B tech world isn’t nearly as simple as it once was.
How has B2B buyer behaviour changed in recent times (not just over the course of the pandemic)?
In years gone by, buying journeys would follow a dead-set pattern – identify the problem, explore solutions, build requirements, and select the supplier, always in that order.
In today’s fast-paced world, these tasks now can be reassessed and often are amended at any point in time. In turn, buying tasks no longer follow a set order, and will almost always be revisited at least once during the overall buying process.
For the sales rep, this means a shake-up of their job description. No longer are they the main tool for recognising issues and finding solutions for their clients. Pre-pandemic, the B2B salesforce spent 80% of their time face-to-face. More recently, the B2B salesforce has had to move online, which has had an impact on sales. They also don’t tend to get involved in the buying cycle until much later.
In order to not miss out on opportunities organisations need to make themselves a part of the conversations happening in their industries, and continually adapt to the world around them. An integrated approach to marketing is critical to raise profile, engage in conversations and nurture leads through a more complex and lengthy buying cycle. And people will always remain a crucial element to your marketing mix; to engage, educate, and encourage the right conversations. They provide a personal touch that technology cannot replicate or replace.
The pipeline is no longer clear cut. This shift in the buying cycle means that prospects may drop off your pipeline late, with some returning after discovering that your solution was right for them all along.
We have a blog on this very topic. Read ‘Why your pipeline could be lying to you’ to understand more about today’s looped buying behaviour.
What is Incognate’s edge in this world of altered buyer behaviour?
At Incognate, we engage in one to one selling at a very senior level. We take the qualification of clients’ prospects seriously. Our approach is intelligence drive, proactive and outbound – we find people that need and are interested in our clients’ solutions.
We are in the business of winning new business. We don’t fit into a telemarketing mould. Calling is just 50% of the job. The rest is intelligence gathering. It’s knowing our clients. It’s building the fullest possible picture of not only their prospects but their wider marketplace – competitors, risks, opportunities.
Reach Higher isn’t merely a strapline. There are many ways in which we live our slogan. We help our clients to reach more senior c-level decision-makers in large enterprises. We help heads of sales and marketing to reach higher targets. We also help them to extend their reach in existing accounts or new markets.
Never before has there been such a need for one to one selling, nurturing accounts and consistency of approach that involves people selling to people. The longer the campaign the better the results. Yet, whatever the length of the campaign at the end where there are prospects on the cusp of converting, we also continue to pursue, regardless of the official date our contract ends to convert the sales leads. Ultimately, if our clients grow, we grow.
What piece of advice would you leave our readers with to succeed in re-shaping their marketing strategy?
Don’t overlook the importance of reviewing your value proposition frequently, market needs change, competition changes and nor should you underestimate the value and power of a one to one conversation.
We continually find that it is these one-to-one conversations that can accelerate sales opportunities and fill the sales funnel with qualified high value opportunities. A conversation can pre-empt needs or refine position, and a call always, always ensures that you don’t arrive at a situation where a prospect has previously engaged with multiple pieces of content, and decided for themselves that you weren’t suitable (even though you most definitely were). And a final thought, if you are not talking regularly to your clients and prospects you can be sure that somebody else is!