5-Step Checklist for the Post-Pandemic B2B Buyer
According to McKinsey & Company, 94% of B2B decision-makers say the new omnichannel sales model is as effective or more effective compared to the sales model they used before the pandemic. The percentage holding these views has climbed every time buyers have been asked over the past 18 months.
Given such definitive data, it’s no wonder so many companies are investing in Digital Transformation.
When done well, digital transformation enables a seamless omnichannel experience for your prospects and customers, allowing each person to create their own ideal Buyer’s Journey with the goal of self-service. Self-service is not easy to achieve, especially for B2B companies who have relied on an active sales force to step in early in the process and do the selling.
But when up to 80% of B2B decision-makers say they prefer remote interaction or digital self-service, citing ease of scheduling, savings on travel, and safety, our traditional marketing and sales paradigm must make a giant shift.
With an omnichannel approach in mind, let’s look at our 5-step checklist for reaching B2B buyers in a post-pandemic landscape.
1. It’s About Them – Not You
The B2B buyer wants choices when it comes to their journey. They want the freedom to skip steps, go back, or jump to ‘BUY NOW’ when they feel they’re ready.
Think of it as a digital Candyland™ board that offers a multitude of engagement choices along the journey, and your prospect decides the path they want to take. To effectively offer every step on the board, you need a deep understanding of their perspective.
- Invest in developing REAL Personas that accurately describe your potential customers. This is a significant investment, and it serves as the basis for your content strategy. Personas should include a specific type of prospect, pain points, needs, and motivations, and ultimately, draw a picture of what keeps them up at night.
- Modern Personas should outline the “digital conversation” you will have with prospects through their journey. This conversation builds a bridge from your prospect’s problem to your company’s solution. Personas should include the types of content your prospect needs to see, communication channels they prefer, and detail the calls to action (CTA) you will insert throughout the journey.
Ask us about our Persona Messaging Matrix. This valuable tool provides the detailed messaging your Marketing and Sales teams need to create a successful customer journey.
2. On-Demand Engagement
The data is clear – Millennials want to talk to you and your sales team as little as possible. That doesn’t mean they don’t want to buy from you. It means YOU must change the way you sell to them.
The first step toward changing your ways is to start with an honest look at your current sales process. Evaluate what is working, and what’s not.
Do you abruptly stop the journey and force your prospect to talk to you just to get basic information? Is the Buyer’s Journey unclear, confusing, or unengaging? Look for ways to take down these barriers and challenge your marketing and sales team to offer a digital journey that gets to Purchase (or at least Decision) without having to talk to someone.
- Offer on-demand engagement where they can schedule a demo on their terms (and without talking to anyone to do it). The HubSpot Scheduler is a great option, or you can use Calendly, too.
Let’s connect! Schedule a video meetup via Calendly to connect with Mambo’s CEO, Siouxsie.
3. Develop Your Prospect Profiles
How is your current MA process working?
Modern Marketing Automation (MA) systems will track your prospects and add activity data to their profile as they explore your website, open emails, and download content. This will help you better understand an individual prospect’s needs and their level of engagement.
For example, if a prospect watched your video on “Leveraging Conversational AI for the Banking Industry,” you have better context as to what industry they are in and what their pain points might be. These insights give your marketing team an opportunity to send a specific follow-up in the banking series — AND give your sales team the fodder for when they do have a conversation.
The next level of sophistication would be scoring your prospects to measure the level of engagement and any intent signals, and then alerting your sales team to only the highest scoring individuals for active sales.
- Deepen your engagement with active prospects by offering an industry-specific “engaged campaign” to those that showed interest in the original campaign. Offer more hands-on content like a “How to Get Started,” guide, a free demo, and detailed case studies to help the prospect really understand what it’s like to work with your company and solution.
As a HubSpot Platinum Partner, we help create high-converting campaigns. Let’s talk.
4. Let Go of Old Sales Processes
Today’s marketing and sales relationship is more of a dance (a Mambo, perhaps?) rather than a relay race handoff. The two teams should align on shared goals, and then work together to help educate and entertain prospects.
Marketing offers compelling and relevant content along the entire journey. Then, sales personally checks in to answer questions, or provide a personalized outreach based on the tracked activities and pathway we see in their profile.
- Meet weekly with the Sales team and highlight how the new dance works by illustrating a champion salesperson who is succeeding in the new model. Take this opportunity to show the intelligence your MA system can provide, like top converting pages, best Calls to Action (CTA), top consumed content, and top pathways through the website.
- Create a Leads Dashboard that clearly tracks prospects in the funnel and how they got there. It demonstrates the value of Marketing and helps give context to Sales on what’s working.
Are your teams working together or in parallel paths? Let’s schedule a time to talk about our Sales & Marketing Alignment Workshops where we help define roles and streamline the lead-to-sales process.
5. Build a Truly Self-Serve Website
Ask yourself this: If your prospect wants to buy your product or service at 3 am, what’s stopping them? If the answer is “NOTHING,” then you are good to go! If the answer is that they must call you to get pricing or to learn everything about how your product works, then you have some work to do.
- Conduct a Buyer’s Journey Audit – A legitimate and well-executed audit can be very enlightening and typically uncovers hidden barriers to engagement and sales. Assign one person to each persona and ask them to act as that persona and try to get as close to purchase as possible. Note the obstacles in the way and areas of omission that might cause frustration. Are these barriers necessary in your sales process? What would happen if you pulled those down and provided that vital information?
- Avoid Journey Cliffs – A journey cliff occurs when your prospect suddenly meets a “dead-end” in the buyer’s journey. This can be a lack of cohesion from one stage of the buyer’s journey to the next, or a lack of clarity about what the next steps might be. Your buyer’s journey should make it clear as to which direction your prospect should take at every journey stage.
If you are looking for a more comprehensive audit for your marketing, check out our Marketing Maturity Scorecard – a detailed audit of all your digital channels that provides immediate recommendations to improve and scale.
Meet with Mambo!
Digital Transformation doesn’t happen overnight. That’s why we find success with our clients in developing long-term content strategies that rely on data, expertise, and proven engagement strategies that keep your target market intrigued – and coming back for more!
We’d love to learn about your business and any roadblocks you may be facing with your marketing efforts.
Click the link below to schedule a meeting with our founder and CEO, Siouxsie Jennett, to learn more about partnering with Mambo and our Digital Transformation services.
Schedule a 30-minute meeting with our CEO, Siouxsie Jennett