There’s a plethora of research that demonstrates how today’s B2B Buyers are more digitally engaged than ever before. They’re not only more informed, they’re leveraging social networks and online sites to find solutions to their problems and vendors who can deliver. This connected B2B buying environment presents an unprecedented opportunity for salespeople who take the steps to meet their buyers “where they are,” connecting and adding value through a variety of distribution and engagement channels.
Remember, there’s as much differentiation in how you sell as there is in what you sell. Here are five ways you can appeal to the digitally savvy buyer:
Most of us are flooded with emails. If you’re connecting with economic buyers, it’s likely that every day they’re maneuvering through an inbox filled with vendors touting the next great feature and function. Separate yourself from those who use traditional selling methods. Use social to share content that demonstrates the value of your solution. Sharing valuable information helps you build connections and business acumen with potential buyers.
We know that B2B buyers engage digitally, but a solid understanding of how your customers specifically use digital will help maximize your time and resources as a salesperson. For many organizations, this intelligence likely lives in the SalesForce contact record. But, for a more broad understanding, check with your marketing department. They likely have garnered their own data about the B2B prospects they’re targeting with their campaigns. Use the information to determine your own digital operating rhythm including which social networks demand the most of your time and what content is relevant for you to share.
If I meet someone at a conference and we exchange business cards. I’ve successfully connected with that person. However, if I simply take the card and put it in my wallet, I haven’t done anything to develop that connection. It’s the same with digital engagement. If I connect with someone on LinkedIn, I have a way to reach that person in the future, but I’m not doing anything to build and engage that relationship. You don’t demonstrate value to the B2B buyer by clogging their digital networks with sales pitches. Rather, share information that points to the business problems you help solve, and the outcomes your solution delivers. When you share value, you build legitimacy and account for the digitally savvy buyer.
It’s important to remember that although the digital buyer presents a great opportunity for salespeople who want to differentiate themselves, it’s not a free for all. Don’t spam your networks posting every piece of content your marketing team provides. Don’t blanket every prospect with a generic “let’s connect” request. Engage purposefully with prospects and customers. Develop an end game. What do you want to lead your prospects to? Develop a roadmap that works backward from that goal.
Digitally informed buyers do their own research, meaning that when they finally engage sales they believe they’ve defined requirements and are ready to talk price. When you have that initial sales conversation, you may have to adjust your sales pitch, back track on requirements, and reset the sales process. Agility will help you keep your sales conversations buyer focused, speeding up the sales cycle and closing opportunities.
Brian Walsh is a Senior Director with Force Management, a GrowthPlay company. Force Management specializes in sales transformations that help B2B sales organizations increase revenue, improve sales margins and gain market share. Walsh has nearly 30 years of experience in sales leadership. Follow him on Twitter @BWalshBrian
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