Attracting More B2B Buyers by Focusing on Their Interests
What problems are your buyers looking to solve?
Like you, I’m frequently bombarded by online ads and self-promoting emails from companies trying to convince me to buy their products. The drumbeat of self-promotion is incessant. And like you, I ignore the vast majority since they’re not relevant to my current business needs.
In B2B marketing and sales, we frequently look at the seller’s perspective, considering sales stages, the funnel, conversion metrics, and more. Certainly this is critical to a business since the sales funnel efficiency has a significant impact on revenue. Much has been written about getting more inquiries, the B2B sales funnel and the buyer’s funnel. In fact, I recently wrote a post about how to use Marketing to shrink the B2B Sales cycle. There’s much a company can do to optimize and shrink its effective sales cycle.
The B2B Buyer’s Perspective
But let’s look at the sales funnel from a slightly different perspective — from the buyer’s vantage point. In the B2B marketplace, the buyer has increasing control over the sales process. And buyers are using that control to manage the entire engagement on their terms. Given this, more buyers are hesitating to engage with sales until they’re ready or have a need to engage. As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, nearly 93% of B2B buyers would rather buy online than from a salesperson. But we know they will engage if we can help address their needs.
Get a Higher Percentage of Sales Ready Leads through Better Education, Not Better Sales Messaging
It can be harder to come up with good topics that appeal to your buyers. The sales team is a great source, as they frequently hear needs and objections from prospects. Other good sources for ideas can be test marketing with PPC, search analysis, and trade publications. Here are some example questions:
Why are your buyers looking at your products?
What problems are they looking to solve?
What will motivate your buyers to engage with the sales group?
Business buyers are looking for answers to these types of questions before they’re ready to engage in the sales process. By focusing on the buyer’s perspective, you attract, nurture and engage more prospects through educational messaging instead of sales messaging. We continually see this supported with higher email click through rates, better landing page conversions ratios, and most importantly, more sales qualified leads.
An Example – The Buyer’s Perspective Wins
Here’s an example of the change based on our experience. We (FusionMarketingPartners.com) worked with a client that was frequently emailing to their large house list. Led by the VP of Sales, the focus of their emails was self-centered: their solution, why buy from us, why we are so great, etc. As a result, their emails were getting a low percentage of views and almost no click- throughs. In fact, they were performing well below ratios for their industry — an average open rate of 16.8% and average click-through rate of 2%.
By changing to an educational theme narrowly focused on their target market’s pain points, we saw a significant increase in email engagement. In this example, the numbers improved dramatically as people were much more interested in topics they cared about. This is just one example; using this type of messaging strategy, we’ve seen email open rates as high as a 50% and click-through rates as high as 33%.
At the Top of the Sales Funnel, Focus on the Buyer
This focus on the buyer’s needs and perspective is especially critical at the top of the sales funnel. Even if a new inquiry isn’t ready now, informational offers continue to be an effective method of nurturing and reengaging prospects.
Every situation is different, but by switching to a problem solving and educational style of messaging, prospects are more likely to engage with your company. When you focus on their point of view, you’re more likely to move prospects through the top of the funnel and deeply into the sales process.