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Four B2B Trends to Improve your Marketing and Sales Online

On a project that I recently carried out, directed to 30 B2B companies from different specializations in hi-tech services, I found two common elements in the 80% of the companies that called my attention. I interview all the companies to make a cut to end in a group of 15 companies, that will be supported directly by my consulting services. The first common element was that despite their high levels of specialization in their hi-tech services, they don’t have organized or documented a marketing or sales practices plan.  And the other, their Word of mouth referrals was their main marketing tactic in use to get more businesses.

In order to update these companies to help them adopt new practices that will transform the way how they will keep and increase their sales, I made a selection not only of the main trends in the online marketing tactics but on the most practical ones to put on work. Here they are and their reasons why:

Trend #1: Use Testimonials to expedite buying decisions, as an option when the Word of Mouth is not available

A company can self-generate references when is looking for expanding into sales territories out of his comfort zone.   Clients testimonials strategically placed on their websites, as well as contents with case studies, will add elements to create trust in the buyer to boost his decision.  The following chart, which is part of the report State of Inbound 2018, HubSpot Research, 2018, shows the high influence of the Word of Mouth on buying decisions, followed by Customer References, that supports the prior recommendation.

Also, this chart shows that the last influencer on buying decisions is the salesperson.  This is because many of today’s buying processes are conducted by browsing on the web and by reading available contents before contacting someone at the vendor.  It also indicates that you must pay attention to how to describe your attributes of differentiation and the contents of your products and services.

Trend # 2: LinkedIn leads the B2B social media channels

The Demand Wave report, mentioned before, shows that LinkedIn is in the top preference of the social media channels as part of a digital marketing mix with (89%), followed by Tweeter (86%), Facebook (82%), YouTube (67%) and Instagram (30%).

It is also on top of Social Media Channels for lead generation with (62%), while Facebook (37%), Tweeter (34%) and YouTube (17%).

And, as is shown in this chart, LinkedIn is also on top leading revenue generation.  This means that it is a must for a company to have an active presence and on executing campaigns to contact new clients on this network because his role has evolved into a sales channel.  About Instagram, although 30% of the respondents to the survey use it, it just participates with 5% on lead generation, and with 4% in revenue generation.

Trend # 3: Switch to a CRM system. Sooner, the better.

Cell phones are an example of a technology leap to establish a mean of communication at isolated rural areas usually located “in the middle of nowhere” because there is no longer in need of expensive infrastructure investments to bring the old fashion wired old phones lines to those remotes areas.  And that was just the beginning as they started adding capacities to the phones as apps for banking transactions, and since then we all know the opportunities and benefits that smartphones offer now worldwide.

In the same way, adopting a SaaS CRM at your business will allow you to enjoy a technology leap, much more ahead than from the processes that you can see now.  By switching the use of excel spreadsheets to a CRM to manage your clients’ contact information, is just the beginning.  You can track the results of all the emails sent out, register and keep updated the information of the process stage of all your new leads, in a centralized platform shared by several users simultaneously. These practices will improve your sales results because you will visualize your information in a structured way to stay focus on the critical one.

Read in our Blog: How we increase sales by 20% by the adoption of a CRM and SEO practices at our company.

To learn more, I recommend: When does a company need a CRM system?

Trend #4: Email and Organic Search on the top for driving leads and revenue:

Email is still keeping the first place in 2017 and 2018 for leads and revenue generator.  SEO is gaining terrain so, you should consider it to0.

The State of B2B Digital Marketing Report, Demand Wave, 2017, is a survey that shows that the main channels which are part of a digital marketing mix are Social Media (95%), Email (93%), Organic Search (91%), Paid search (71%) and Display Advertising (55%).

Then the Report shows that those places changed with the answers to the question: Which of the following channels drives leads to you? showing that is Email in the first place (73%), followed by Organic Search, (70%).  Social Media drops into a third place (55%), just to mention the top three.

And the trend that shows the answers to for the question, Which channels drive revenue for you?, is a tie in the first place between Email and Organic Search (63%) followed by Paid Search (44%)

As is shown in the following chart:

The following quote from the mentioned Report summarizes this trend:

``Despite email retaining its throne as a top channel for revenue gains (63%), more marketers are waking up to the financial benefits of SEO. This shift is reflected in organic search pulling even with email for the first time as the biggest revenue driver, signaling a 28% increase from last year.``

Another available source reporting about similar topics, the State of Inbound 2018, HubSpot Research, 2018, it reassures that Email still is a global preference for business communications.  The key is on how to craft them to produce leads and revenue and keep excelling on it.

To learn more, go to State of Inbound 2018   http://www.stateofinbound.com/

Demand Wave was recently acquired by Wpromote, so the Report is no longer available.  But you can contact me to get a copy at alejandro@viceversasales.com