A Step-by-Step Guide to Scaling Your B2B Sales Post-Covid-19
It is no news that the entire B2B landscape has changed its course in the post-Covid-19 era. Sales and marketing strategies that worked last year may not be as effective today.
B2B businesses have gone through a challenging journey during the pandemic. And, it is evident that things are never going back to what they were even after the effect of the pandemic dwindles.
The competition in the B2B market is huge, now more than ever. Every B2B business owner is trying to pave their own way and scale their business into something stable.
So, how do you plan on scaling your B2B sales in the coming months? If you are not sure about your action plan, this guide will be a helpful starting point.
Let’s go through the steps that you should take to scale your B2B sales in 2021.
1. Research your Target Audience all Over Again
Post pandemic, the entire world has changed. Right from the world economy to human behavior, nothing remains the same as it was before.
So, does it make sense to keep your sales approach the same as it used to be before? Of course, not!
Businesses from many industries have been hit hard. Hence, you cannot expect the same old sales approach and messaging to work now. So, what do you do? You should revisit your entire customer persona. Start all over again.
You can start by researching your market needs on various platforms such as social media or online forums. Understand the new challenges that your prospects are facing.
What are the objections they have? What is stopping them from purchasing your products or services? Research your competitors as well. Learn about how they have pivoted based on the needs of their customers.
You should also research your existing customers to understand their current business situation. Have one-on-one interactions with them or put out a survey. Your business will thrive only when your customers’ business will.
This first step is super-important and will guide you to take the right actions in the coming steps. So, try to invest time here and only then proceed further.
2. Pivot your Messaging and Value Proposition
Once you understand your new post-Covid customer base, it’s time to take a hard look at your messaging.
Before the pandemic, you would have done well with a more straightforward and benefit-rich messaging. But, the same might not work well now.
High amounts of uncertainty prevail in most businesses today. Fear of losing customers and getting into losses impacts most businesses' decisions. Hence, it is time for you to be more empathetic and considerate.
Turn your messaging into something more customer-centric. Something that makes up for the fear and uncertainty. This way, you’ll be able to impact more prospects and lead them to take decisions in your favor.
You should also rethink your value proposition. Because what worked before might not be relevant now. So give your value proposition some thought too.
Remember that you should also actually stay put with your messaging and value proposition. This is not just a sales tactic. Hence, keeping up your word is important for building trust. You should actually change your sales approach if you want to improve your B2B sales.
3. Produce High-Quality, Engaging Content
Free, valuable content is something that people consumed before the pandemic and will continue to do so always. Cutting down on your content marketing budgets is not a wise decision to make now.
Yes, many prospects will just consume your content. Your conversion rates won’t be that high. But the content that you create today is going to secure your business’ future.
When businesses come back to normal, whom do you think they are going to pick? A business that added consistent value to them throughout the tough times? Or some other business that was invisible throughout these uncertain times?
In fact, you can go more rigorous with your content marketing, now more than ever. Create consistent content in the form of blog posts, white papers, case studies, ebooks, etc. Create more video content.
Also, focus on creating more and more visual content. Blank infographic templates go a long way as they give you a considerably bigger canvas to include illustrations and visual elements.
4. Empower your Sales Team
Investing in more sales tools might not seem like the best idea right now. But, the right tools can make the world of difference to your ROI.
With massive advancements in technology, various sales tools have emerged that can optimize sales processes and increase effectiveness by massive amounts.
Here are a few types of sales tools that you must consider:
- CRM tools can help your sales team to gather customer data and use it for segmentation and personalization.
- Customer service tools such as AI chatbots and live chat can be useful to manage all inbound and outbound communications efficiently.
- A marketing automation software can completely transform all your business operations and maximize your ROI.
- Account-based marketing software can help build scalable and hyper-targeted account-based marketing campaigns that can be used by both marketing and sales teams.
- Sales analytics software can help your sales team get useful insights about what might be missing in the current sales approach and help them improve on it.
5. Go all in on Nurturing your Existing Customers
Did you know that 80% of new leads never translate into sales?! During tough times like these, this percentage would be even higher.
Doubling in on your marketing efforts and trying to capture new leads is definitely going to work. But, you shouldn't forget to nurture your existing customers.
Your current customers already trust you and know your value. Hence, losing them now would be a huge loss for your B2B business.
Here are a few ways to nurture your existing customers, retain them, and increase your sales using them:
- Engage with your existing customers. Understand their concerns and pain points. Add the utmost value to them. If you stay with your customers during the toughest times, you’ll be able to retain them forever.
- Existing customers are your high-probability and high-value opportunities. Hence go all-in on cross-sells, upsells, loyalty programs, and other customer retention strategies.
- Offer special incentives and exclusive discounts for your customers. Tactics like these will make a huge impact on customer satisfaction, leading to reduced customer churn.
- You can also offer usage-bound and time-bound discounts to increase customer retention.
- Offer options to pause subscriptions so that even if your customers are thinking about leaving you, there are chances that they will come back later on.
6. Scale your Outbound Sales
If your B2B business has a major share of inbound leads, then it might be the time to scale your outbound sales strategies as well. Times have changed, and hence a more proactive approach towards sales can be highly beneficial now.
- Leverage LinkedIn, which is, undoubtedly the most effective platform for B2B lead generation. To save time, you can try reliable LinkedIn automation tools to leverage the platform the most.
- Focus on thought leadership in your industry. Produce authoritative content on leading industry topics. Guest post on relevant websites. Be the leader instead of simply following trends.
- Focus on building a strong email-subscriber base. Share exclusive content and weekly newsletters with your email lists.
7. Prioritize Social Selling
Social selling can be a great way to gain visibility and onboard new customers in post-pandemic times. Figure out the platforms where your target customers are hanging out.
LinkedIn is a great channel to start with. Mainly because it is full of users who are the decision-makers in their company. Most of these people are using the platform to build professional relationships. Hence, use this opportunity.
Use your personal LinkedIn profile to share business posts and showcase thought leadership. Reach out to people who engage with your posts. Don’t be too salesy with your approach. Instead, try to help them out, make their life easier in some way.
Build a strong bond with your target prospects. Then, go ahead with your sales pitch. Remember to be empathetic and considerate with your approach.
Use other social media platforms in similar ways. Identify pre-qualified, high-value prospects, and interact with them.
8. Try Account-Based Marketing
Account-based marketing refers to a more personalized and targeted approach to marketing. Instead of trying to catch all the fish in the water, you try to focus only on a handful to maximize the chances of conversions.
Account-based marketing is not just about marketing. It is more of a sales tactic. It requires both the marketing and sales teams to work hand-in-hand so that all the operations are synced and less effort is wasted on low-value leads.
Account-based marketing is something that B2B businesses must give a shot in the post-Covid-19 times. This is because the strategies here are more focused and personalized.
You pick the target companies, hence the leads are pre-qualified. All the content created is ultra-specific to the company’s needs. Hence, the chances of going wrong with account-based marketing are very low.
9. Be More Empathetic and Flexible
Lastly, instead of being robotic and salesy with your sales approach, try to be more human-like. This approach is the most prominent factor that distinguishes successful businesses from the not-so-successful ones today.
Encourage your team to genuinely help your customers and prospects. Incorporate flexibility in your approach and let your customers know about it. Think about the feasibility of a request before saying no. Such small sales tweaks here and there can go a long way.
Start Implementing these Steps to Scale your B2B Business Post Covid
We can summarize this post by saying that it's time to say adieu to your old sales approach. Everything has changed in 2020 and the B2B world is never going back to what it used to be.
So, to survive the wrath of what the future world holds for you, start pivoting your sales strategies today using the steps given above.
Sprinkle some empathy and flexibility in whatever you do. And, you’ll definitely pave your way towards success in the upcoming years.