As government race to control the spread of the Covid-19 virus and safely open the economy, consumer confidence remains low. This inevitably has a negative impact on many B2B companies. Businesses are eager to boost demand but are having difficulty finding new business opportunities in the current economic climate. We look into a few ways your company can improve your business prospects in 2020 and beyond.
Adjust Your Value Proposition and Modify Buyer Personas
Business owners and decision makers have just experienced an upheaval in the way they are doing business. This will certainly reshape their perceptions, alter their beliefs and influence their behaviours in the years to come. Making sense of these changes is essential in recognizing the new needs of your ideal customer.
Ask yourself if the previous types of clients you have identified pre-Covid would still be keen on buying your product or service. Maybe their industry has been more deeply affected in this crisis that they are not likely to spend at this time. Maybe the pain points they have struggled with in the past are overtaken by more pressing issues that threaten the survival of the company. Maybe their goals have changed and they themselves had to pivot to adapt to the “new normal.” You need to go back to the drawing board and place yourself in their shoes.
As you dig deeper into the psyche of key decision makers, you will be able to formulate a more appropriate unique selling proposition that addresses their needs. The value you thought you provided pre-Covid may no longer be relevant today so you must adjust your pitch accordingly.
The best place to gather information is through your sales team. What are they hearing on the ground? What objections are they encountering? Your customer service people are also a great resource. Are they receiving recurring complaints? Are there product features or new offerings that clients are requesting? Back this data up with industry trends and you will be better equipped to make sound business decisions.
Increase Inbound Leads Through Content Marketing
Content marketing is often employed to accomplish two main goals generate more traffic to your website and generate leads that translate to actual sales. Traffic can be generated through several platforms including publishing blog posts or creating videos that appear on search engines through SEO, social media posts that link back to your website, or podcasts that can be streamed from your website. These are often available to anyone for free without asking your prospect to sign up.
But in order to build a sales pipeline you need a lead magnet. A lead magnet is gated content that you can offer your prospect in exchange for their contact details. They should offer value so that people will be willing to share their email address or phone number that allows you to follow-up and nurture the relationship. With so much free information on the internet, people do not easily share their contact details so you must give them a good incentive to do so. Leads magnets that you can develop include ebooks, well researched industry reports, whitepapers or webinars.
Your resource material should focus on providing solutions for actual problems that your prospect is experiencing, it should be easy to digest, and is specific rather than general in addressing relevant issues.
Get More Referrals from Linkedin
Business opportunities abound on Linkedin and sales professionals recognize that referrals are one of the best ways to shorten the sales cycle. Referrals are a strong driver for new business but actually getting them is easier said than done.According to a study by Influitive/Heinz Marketing, 87% front-line sales rep and 82% of sales leaders consider referrals as their biggest source of quality leads. On the other hand, a report by IDC revealed that 76% of buyers prefer to work with vendors that were referred by a trusted source.
Buyers often tap their professional networks when looking to solve difficult problems that require complex solutions since this often involve a lot of risk. Trust is a very important ingredient in these high-stake deals. They engage their trusted contacts to build confidence in their decision-making.
As sales processes become more digital, Linkedin became an indispensable platform to keep in touch with professional contacts and build a stronger and wider network, and find new business opportunities. And since you can identify how people are connected to each other such as through common friends/associates, educational background, company affiliations, and business association or groups, it provides a sense of community of trustworthy linkages.
Linkedin referrals can be powerful especially if the referrer and potential buyer’s relationship are strong and well-established. However, not many people ask their contacts to refer them to potentials clients on a regular basis leaving money on the table. Getting someone to vouch for you helps your credibility. Develop this skill by practicing often.
Soften Your CTA
A call-to-action is important in any marketing campaign or sales pitch. It makes it clear what you expect the prospect to do next to move them further into the sales funnel. But what is normally part of a marketing copy can put off your potential customer if you are not careful.
Because people are anxious and fearful of the future, sounding too upbeat or too aggressive may rub readers or your audience the wrong way. It’s understandable that you are eager to find more business opportunities, but you may be perceived as insensitive and taking advantage of a bleak situation for your own gain. So instead to pushing customers to buy a immediately by a hugely discounted product or service that is available for a limited time only, open a conversation to better understand their needs and provide customizable solutions. At a time when the immediate future seems bleak, aim to be flexible, inspire hope and offer to help them navigate these challenging times.
Deal with Dissatisfied Customers
Customers who had a negative experience with your brand and company can easily broadcast their dissatisfaction through various channels may it be through word-of-mouth, leaving a scathing review or bringing their gripes to social media. How you handle unhappy customers will define your future relationship with this client and the public’s perception of your company.
You must have a system in place when dealing with complaints. It must not be ignored and should be investigated so you can identify areas where improvements must be undertaken to prevent such occurrences moving forward.
Research shows that when customer grievances are appropriately handled and quickly resolved, you gain loyal followers. Learn more about negative feedback from customer service representatives and empower them to solve problems. Check comments on social media and other review sites. Apologize for mistakes and oversights and work on resolving the issue. Happy customers are your best brand ambassadors who help you find business opportunities win new clients.
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