While there is no one-size-fits-all strategy, there are generally things you can do to create a B2B Marketing strategy that works great for salespeople. We’ve collected all the top ways to reach your ideal customers in a way that stands out from your competitors.
What is a B2B marketing strategy?
To start, B2B means that you are a business looking to sell to other businesses. This inherently means a different way of going about your sales and marketing strategies versus selling direct to consumers.
Why is it different? Because you are speaking to companies and what’s important to their business rather than individuals looking to purchase something for themselves or their family.
Oh, you thought I was going to say because a business is not a person? Well, it is.
A company is an entity and can be viewed as a person if you like. It has people that work within it of course, but their concern when it comes to the company they work for is different. Therefore, you’re still speaking to an “individual” in a sense, even if you’re marketing to a business.
This is especially true when you consider what each role within that entity finds important. You’ll be messaging people very differently depending on who you’re looking to sell to. This is why creating a B2B marketing strategy is vital — even for salespeople.
Why should a salesperson use a B2B marketing strategy?
While a salesperson shouldn’t need an extensive B2B marketing strategy, developing a B2B sales strategy is essential. They’ll differ in both small and large ways which you’ll see below, but regardless of what you sell or who you sell to, you need a strategy.
Jumping straight into contacting people without knowing your audience, goals, and methods is a setup for failure. In today’s more personalized environment, you are, in a sense, the product, so it is much easier for people to see flaws in your process.
All this means is that you need to identify some things, starting with:
- Who your audience is (job title, demographics, etc)
- Where they ‘hang out’ (online)
- What is most important to them at their job
- What difficulties do they have most
These will help guide your plan to target much more clearly and easily. Once you understand what exactly they need, why they need it, and where to find them, you’ll be a few steps ahead of your competition.
Why your previous strategy failed
There are many different reasons why, even after creating a strategy and running it perfectly (or not creating one at all), that your B2B strategy didn’t work.
These are the most common ways salespeople fail to sell their product and how to avoid them:
- You talked only about yourself. Sorry to be the one to tell you this, but no one cares about you. Especially if they don’t know you. The good news is, they don’t have to if you speak their language and tell them how you can help them.
- You didn’t segment enough. You likely have multiple types of people/jobs you typically sell to. Sending the same message with one pain point will not speak to anyone specific. They say “speaking to everyone is speaking to no one” for a reason.
- Their solution already satisfies their needs. Let them speak about their needs and frustrations and you’ll find how to help them with your solution. Tell them why your product is better, but never tell them they made a mistake. They will already feel as though what they have works just fine. If you talk about what you have that they currently don’t and why it’s so useful, they will be more open to listening.
- You targeted the wrong people. If you’re not reaching out and actually communicating with a decision-maker, you’ll be spinning your wheels.
Take these into account when creating your B2B sales outreach strategy and you’ll make your life so much easier.
Do the work
There are many ways to communicate to your audience, but there are specific things you can do to make sure your B2B sales outreach is successful.
- Do your research. Talk about their problems, not yours. This means to identify and talk about what’s important to them rather than what you feel is important to them. Ask them, listen, and take stock of how you communicate. Doing the research will allow you to understand what their likes and dislikes are in general. Address one of them in your outreach and you’ll get results.
- Don’t blast the same message to everyone. Each type of person you contact will have their own concerns and ways they prefer to be spoken to. Empathize with your particular audience with each contact. For example: You sell a SaaS product that enables all business users to track their hours. You normally speak with HR managers and business leadership (CEO, CFO, etc). Separate your messaging to HR with points about their payroll management and to the C-suite with how they can get improved reports. This will help greatly when trying to scale because you can customize and still speak to them directly.
- Define your avatar. Now that you’ve done the research, create a brief outline of what your ideal client’s main needs are, common problems, demographics, job title(s), etc. Envision them as an imaginary person with a real life and you’ll be able to identify a lot more of what they would like to do to improve their life.
- Personalize your outreach. You can still scale your efforts if you personalize your outreach using the right tools. Speak to issues in their industry or job title. Write their name in your messages if you have them. People love to feel seen.
8 B2B strategies for salespeople
B2B Marketing strategies are important and useful in many ways. We’ve developed some sales strategies below that are used similarly in the Marketing world to identify ways for salespeople to improve their outreach.
Be educational (inbound)
Some of the highest searched topics are people looking for help. The “how-to” headline — a close cousin to the listicle — is the third most popular headline preference at around 17%. What this means for you as a salesperson is that a lot of people are looking for tips which means any way you’re aiming to help people make a smart decision in your industry will be a benefit to your reputation.
No one can be an expert in everything. We need instructions/guides, statistics, secrets, and the ever-popular “hacks” to tell us what is best. Providing people with that information will give you a boost to the competition — especially if you do it in a personal way (for example, via email or social media).
Interact where they are
Not only do you want to “be” where your ideal clients are, you want to interact with them there. Yes, this generally means you’ll need to be on social media a lot, but you can also do this via in-person networking or becoming an influencer in your industry.
Find a unique way to distribute what you have to say and people will notice it. Once they understand what you do and how you can help, they’ll not only come to you when they need you, but will refer others as well.
Promote your content (outbound)
Getting the information out there is sometimes a solid challenge. Here are a few ways you can start to get your name out there:
- Helpful links. If your company has written an article about a topic that people regularly discuss with you, use it as a tool. Provide them the link to this helpful piece and you’ll be the one they come to for questions — and ultimately to buy.
- LaGrowthMachine. Our tool will help you automate contacting leads at scale to give you an added edge. You can use it to nurture your leads with your content on LinkedIn, by email, or even on Twitter!
- Videos. Create videos that explain a concept or pain point your ideal clients have. Keep it short though – people who don’t know you want you to get to the point quickly.
- Personalize your messaging. Customize messages based on the recipients and see your results soar! We often feel like we’re just a number in the world so having something personalized to our tastes, names, and challenges will provide a good feeling. It will help you to stand out from the competition.
- Social media messaging. Create messaging that helps you get the word out on what you do. Message people directly (preferably also using automation to save you time) on the platform that best fits your audience. LinkedIn messages, Facebook outreach, and even Instagram can be helpful platforms depending on who you’re looking to contact.
- Email with a purpose. Contacting people out of “nowhere” will not help you. Email people for a reason and you’ll be more likely to see results. This goes back to people feeling like just a number. Especially if they’re contacted daily with proposals. Stand out by making it about them and their needs.
Remember picking up actual, physical mail? It doesn’t happen often anymore which makes it a great time for a come-back. Depending on how many people you’re looking to send to, what the return on investment is, and how much budget you have, you’ll need to confirm this is the best choice for you.
Direct mail costs can be anywhere from .50 to $3 so you’ll want to spend wisely regardless of who you’re sending to. Test it first — send to a handful of people with a specific phone number, code, or email for them to respond to and see if it works. This will be important in determining its worth compared to the customers’ lifetime value.
When was the last time you contacted a company only to be met with a “not available” message with no way to contact them? How did it make you feel? For me, it’s disappointing on a high level…
Don’t disappoint your potential customers! Find a way to be available in some way at any time. There are apps that make it easy for people to reach you without any email or form needed like Thread, Intercom or live chats.
You can also provide options when they want to speak with you by using different types of platforms like Zoom, Google Hangouts, Teams, etc. so they can feel comfortable. You want to be where they are in the format they prefer, so test some things out to see which is responded to the best.
Put yourself out there
The fact is, no one is going to contact you if they don’t know who or where you are. For people to contact you, you will have to get out there and do the public relations work as well.
Here are just a few ideas to help you talk about your product or services, yourself, and your company:
- Podcasts – start by being interviewed in one, then others that relate to your business…if that drives the attention of your leads, then create your own!
- Webinars – host them or partner with a related company to do a presentation
- LinkedIn and Facebook lives – on your own page and other related company’s pages
- Speaking opportunities – start doing presentations in person (if possible) on your topic that people want to learn about
- Sponsor events – have your company’s logo present among the people of a conference where they would benefit from your product or service
- Build partnerships – in addition to being on their webinars, you can serve as referral partners too
Regardless of the route you can or want to go, just remember that people want to learn, need helpful tools, and must trust the person or company they work with. These ideas will help you begin that journey for people in all of these ways.
Despite (or thanks to) Covid-19, people have begun networking online a great deal more than 2 years ago. This progression now allows you to go global with your outreach efforts! Digital conferences mean more access to people all over the world.
Events you used to go to in person (or wanted to go to) are now online. Take advantage of the accessibility and attend everything relevant to your industry and target audience. Many of them also offer a way to interact with your fellow attendees as well like speed networking channels or simply using the chat functions.
Which means you must not forget to completely fill out your user profile! In order to connect, people need to feel you’re another human rather than a name on a screen. So go digital and discover the markets elsewhere as well. Give the people what they want — digital connections.
Every strategy discussed and anything you try should be tested in small doses first. Once you find the ones that work for you/your business, you should scale it!
There are a number of tools, some of which are specific to each platform like LinkedIn automation tools.
The best option, however, is usually to do your outreach across multiple platforms and use a tool like LaGrowthMachine to help. Create a workflow that will allow you to reach specific people where they are — whether it’s LinkedIn, Twitter, or email.
Reach for Success
Creating a great B2B Marketing strategy as a salesperson should now be your next priority. The number one thing to remember is that you do not have to do it all. Just do what works best for you and your audience.
Register today if you want to start scaling your outreach efforts.