B2B Marketing: Tips During the Coronavirus Pandemic

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Companies have to get their message out, both during good times and bad. Surprisingly, some companies even pull out of economically difficult times – a.k.a. a recession or downturn – stronger than when they go in, developing corporate resilience. In these uncertain times, constant communication with customers is very important. 

The critical message is to get moving sooner than later.

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must move faster than the lion, or it will not survive. Every morning, a lion wakes up, and it knows it must move faster than the slowest gazelle – or it will starve. It doesn’t matter if you are the lion or the gazelle. When the sun comes up, you’d better be moving.”  

– Kevin Laczkowski, Senior Partner of McKinsey (Chicago)

We need to reassure customers, holding their hands and telling them (as many times as it takes), “we’re going to get through this together.” People now need information and education instead of promotions. They want advice or evidence to be able to trust your company and product before they move forward on their next purchase. They want to know things like, is your product/service safe? Does it meet immediate needs? How long does it take to see ROI? Regarding distribution, is there easy access or delivery?

What you need to do now for your B2B marketing

The situation we’re in today is to dial up your digital marketing efforts and be prepared for tomorrow, the day after the virus fades. Epidemics don’t last forever, and you must keep getting your message in front of your customers and potential customers.

Focus on educating your audiences.

During this time period, businesses need to work hard on generating and nurturing more leads, expanding engagement. Nurture relationships, offer education and consults, share information that gives prospects and customers greater peace of mind. Show the benefits of your solution in terms of current needs. 

Stay agile and attuned to adjusting to your customers’ needs now. 

One SAGE client, KMS Lighthouse, provides knowledge management solutions to call centers. The SAGE Marketing team designed emails, published a relevant blog, and ratcheted up digital marketing to inform customers of its capabilities to instantly supply company knowledge on the cloud, providing secure knowledge access for call center operations to continue remotely or Work From Home.

Intensify your B2B digital marketing efforts. 

Since many people have more time in quarantine or a different work pace, B2B marketing is focusing on opportunities to generate ebooks, webinars, and online activities. Even if you think you’re in a good spot regarding digital marketing, realize that your competitors will all be raising their game in this regard, too. 

Nurture prospects and potential future business customers NOW.

Nurturing prospects secures your business’s future.Matics, a real-time operational intelligence platform for manufacturers, is nurturing new leads through a series of emails, explaining how its software helps manufacturing firms increase their production efficiency and meet the world’s demands, especially in critical industries such as food and packaging.  Educated audiences will become potential buyers eventually, either during or after this pandemic lets up. 

Have your marketing and pitch decks ready. 

You need to crush it in the first 30 seconds. You must have a powerful pitch to win over customers. Decide the top points you want to convey, and consider your hook. What’s the call-to-action? If you’re not ready to pitch, someone else will be. Get ready now by preparing.

In short, we all know that the next few months will be hard for everyone but could also bring different opportunities. Keep giving your B2B customers a reason to choose you over others. Businesses that are proactive in managing their marketing will not only survive this recession but come out stronger and be prepared to weather any storm.

If you have any questions or doubts about how to tailor your marketing during this time, SAGE is offering free B2B marketing consultations. 

Learn how to put together your coronavirus marketing action plan. 

Contact us today!

The critical infrastructure for B2B companies to generate quality leads consistently

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At Last, The Secrets to Quality Lead Generation Are Revealed.

B2B companies in general and SaaS companies in particular need to continuously generate new leads. Most lead generation is thought of in terms of numbers rather than focusing specifically on the lead quality. With the aim of generating new leads, B2B companies participate in trade shows and exhibitions, manage SEO and PPC online, or publish thought leadership, but there is no singular marketing activity that seems to be solely responsible for bringing in those quality leads on a consistent basis. Thus, we need to understand what is the infrastructure required for a lead generation machine to produce quality leads. What is the way to engineer the process of matching your business profile to your ideal potential clients?

In reality, it’s not relevant to gather leads widely, but instead narrowly. Your business needs to be able to answer questions like: Which type of companies will your sales team go after in which vertical? Who is the buyer? Who is the decision-maker in each of your targeted companies? Your business has to make some clear decisions. Then, your team must deeply get to know clients or potential clients and understand their pain points in order to give them relevant information.

It’s difficult to do so. In the words of Tom Hanks, “If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. It’s the hard that makes it great.” So here are few principles to guide you through this maze:

Principle #1: Identify Your Ideal Client Profile

Visualize the client, and be as specific as possible. Think about what type of customers you succeeded with the most in the past. Or consider those who seemed easiest to work with. If your business is a young company i.e. a startup, then you will not have a success record. So instead, consider what type of company you’d like to deal with ideally. Of course, you will verify later if who you set out as ideal customers were the right type. You’re going to list out all the characteristics of an ideal customer for yourself, including geography, company size, and so on.

Principle #2: Lead Generation is About a Dialogue, Not a Campaign

Generating leads is about engaging in a conversation with a human being that’s relevant and sustained. The marketing professional acts as a trusted advisor, coaxing the lead closer to a decision and down the sales funnel. The company must speak the same language as the potential client to really connect. And your marketing advisor must create a dialogue amongst the environment and influencers of your potential clients. Start by mapping out potential influencers such as bloggers or analysts. Begin to create conversations with each of these groups. Then, if all goes according to plan, those influencers will eventually impact on the potential clients, directing people of a similar ilk to your business.

Principle #3: Marketing Content That Wins Customers

This principle encompasses basics on what to cover. First of all, the marketing content needs to answer the questions and problems that the potential client has – to every degree and specificity of his/her problems. Your content must speak directly to the customer to build trust, authority, and rapport. It must solve a problem for a potential or existing customer, something the organization may be struggling with and be able to summarize this in no more than one page. And you’ll need a fail-safe Value Proposition along with evidence as to why the solution is the best. This can come in the form of a case study, testimonial, analyst quotes, or other sources.

ROI Analysis

Specifically, in regards to marketing content, it’s also important to create an economic explanation to the customer that your solution clearly has better advantages than any other product or service, making the decision very easy for the potential client. In executing the marketing material, it’s generally preferable to have a professional marketing advisor, who can be entirely objective and who is not inside your company, to write about your business solution. This information can be transmitted into different formats – audio, video, written – and then multiplied across your website, your blog, on another company’s site, and more.

The 3 Main Elements in Your Lead Generation Machine

Build a foundation for your B2B sales funnel that allows you to create a lead flow
Choose the tactics to create leads
Decide what to do with the leads after they come into the company, from lead to deal (in marketing to rest of business)
Quality Leads Over Quantity

From an economic perspective, the same man working fast in the short-term can overcome the long-term, slower approach of someone not generating a significant pipeline or high-enough quality leads. So if you’re at a B2B startup, you can come a long way and catch up fast by working with your marketing professionals to establish a lead flow of quality. If you’re at a more established B2B, then move to the front of the pack with your new lead machine.

Want to get more SAGE advice?

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