Business news about B2B services has changed significantly in recent years. With the pandemic, an already existing trend in digitizing the purchasing process has become more acute.
Today, B2B companies have experienced a change in their buying habits. Therefore, it is essential to be present on digital channels to be found by customers, providing them with quality information and standing out from the competition.
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A study by Gartner states that salespeople are playing an increasingly less relevant role in the buying process due to the availability of quality information through digital channels. B2B buyers spend only 5% to 6% of their time meeting with a sales representative during the supplier comparison process. Therefore, it is critical to have a B2B digital strategy in place for effective invoice forecasting, as 94% of the process is not vendor-dependent.
However, we should not wait for the customer to contact us to solve their last doubts before making the purchase. It is necessary to complement omnichannel attraction marketing strategies with others that approach the potential B2B buyer individually, with empathy and cordiality.
To achieve this, it is essential to master the different platforms and digital tools and develop digital communication skills to differentiate oneself in a market saturated with information. A McKinsey report highlights how "hybrid" sales reps, who interact with customers across multiple channels, are becoming the most effective sales role, generating up to 50% more revenue.
"It is critical to have a B2B digital strategy in place for effective invoice forecasting"Iñaki Alcaraz
In addition, a change has been observed in the attitude of buyers towards the figure of the seller, which I call the "Amazon buyer", because their behavior when buying for their company resembles the behavior they would have when buying something for themselves on this platform. It can be said that nowadays, the salesperson is no longer the one in charge of selling, but the customer is the one who makes the purchase.
B2B businesses that do not have a solid digital presence may find it challenging to earn recurring revenue in markets where their brand name, products or services, or sales reps are unknown.
To become known, it is essential to implement omnichannel strategies that involve sales reps interacting with customers through social media, posting videos about the benefits of their services, making phone calls to customers, and engaging with them frequently to build trust before sending a personalized offer.
In my experience, the approach to company decision-makers starts with the "Digital Personal Brand" (DPM) of sales reps. This MPD is built through the social networks used, and LinkedIn stands out as the most important due to its large size and high usage worldwide, with approximately 900 million users. Currently, about 9 million company profiles on LinkedIn. Can you imagine the wide range of B2B marketing actions you can carry out?
In the current context, the entrepreneur's reputation transmitted through digital media is essential for developing your company. The best way to communicate this reputation is by example.
Although many business leaders still have the opposite belief, more is needed to be a good professional, to send internal communications or use the intranet to communicate with employees or to believe that the business will automatically flourish due to good work and customer recommendations.
It is now necessary to demonstrate influencing skills in the lives of employees and customers, also through digital media such as LinkedIn. This is important for all managers and business leaders, not just large companies. This is what is known as "digital exemplarity."
But often, lack of knowledge or time prevents entrepreneurs and managers of B2B companies from implementing a digital strategy that generates new opportunities regularly.
Entrepreneurs should prioritize LinkedIn-related tasks in their daily agenda, as this professional networking platform offers them several key benefits to improve their digital presence and grow their business.
Some of these benefits why entrepreneurs should prioritize LinkedIn would be:
However, it is essential to remember that this tactic requires a strategic approach and careful planning. If the goal is to reach a specific audience and generate a significant impact, selecting the content to share, the discussion groups to join, and the people to connect with is essential.
The keys to implementing a good strategy for engaging on LinkedIn can be summarized in three recommendations:
In conclusion, the digitization of the B2B buying process has become more acute with the pandemic, and B2B companies need to be present on digital channels to be found by customers, providing them with quality information and standing out from the competition. The B2B digital strategy is crucial to effective turnover forecasting, as 94% of the process is independent of the salesperson.
Master the different platforms and digital tools and develop digital communication skills to differentiate yourself in an information-saturated market and achieve greater sales effectiveness.
Implementing omnichannel strategies and building a "Digital Personal Brand" to build trust and make personalized offers is essential. In summary, having a B2B digital strategy is critical to a predicted turnover in 2023.
About the author: Iñaki Alcaraz is a Founding Partner of AGLV, an international speaker, and an expert in business strategy and new technologies. With more than 20 years of experience in marketing and business strategies, both in start-ups and multinationals in many different sectors. After intensively managing Linkedin profiles of B2B business owners and entrepreneurs for more than five years and maintaining more than 50,000 conversations with potential clients, Iñaki has become one of Spain's main referents regarding B2B sales and brand building via LinkedIn.
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