The COVID-19 global pandemic has unexpectedly changed the world of B2B marketing and sales. Very few businesses have escaped the economic impact of the pandemic. In fact, surveys have found that 50% of B2B buyers are holding off on purchases due to the economic impact of the pandemic. Numerous B2B businesses have had to cut their marketing budgets and lower quotas. While the pandemic has created a series of challenges for B2B marketing, it has also developed opportunities to transform marketing and carry these new opportunities into the future.
Not sure which direction your B2B marketing strategy should be taking in the event of COVID-19 transforming the marketing industry? Use our advice below on ways you can build your business to be a trusted aide for clients, be sensitive to your clients and their customers, and how you can offer support to your clients and their customers in order to build solid relationships.
Taking your prospect’s customer into consideration
Due to the pandemic causing many businesses to close, those left without a job have been left no choice but to save money. How does this affect your B2B business? In short, your prospect’s sales are no longer guaranteed. If your prospect has customers that have remained financially stable, then your prospect will most likely continue to buy from you. If not, their buying behavior can change dramatically, slowing down the sales cycle or even resorting to not buying at all.
Communicate with your prospect and take how their customers are doing into consideration. This way, you’ll better understand their buying behavior and why it might be inconsistent when conducting marketing or sales calls. We believe this new way of marketing should continue post-pandemic. As a B2B business, taking the time to understand your prospect’s customers could completely transform the relationship you have with your client.
Getting comfortable with a longer sales cycle
During a time like this, you need to focus on any sales you can make. In reference to the previously mentioned opportunity, the current buying potential of your client’s customer can help you determine how close you are to closing a deal. If your client’s customer is not in a financial state to buy at the moment, it’s a possibility that your sales cycle will be longer. Consider this when you’re calculating deals and deciding how to spend your time and resources. If you are unsure if the sale will close, don’t be afraid to ask your prospect like, “Has anything changed with your buying process during this time?”.
It’s no secret that marketers should always have the customer in mind, no matter what industry you’re in. The same goes for B2B marketers and their prospects! Determine what your prospect needs in order to complete the deal. Consider offering them a temporary discount or a payment plan to help them out. You could even throw in an additional feature that would normally cost extra! Don’t offer a general incentive to all of your client pitches. Take the time to personalize your pitches based on their needs. Showing empathy to your prospects can build long-term loyalty. You may even hear new objections that could be used to refine your marketing and sales approach.
Monitor feedback and adjust accordingly
Monitoring feedback is an essential part of marketing, especially with the climate of the world right now. It’s critical to monitor the feedback you’re getting from clients to make sure that your business is being sensitive to the state of the world and empathetic to clients and their customers as well. Adjusting your business based on the feedback that you’re receiving will help you to thrive responsibly during this pandemic.
Check your tone of marketing
This is a sensitive time for everyone, including B2B marketers. The tone of your marketing may need to change during this time. It is no longer appropriate to ask to meet face-to-face or be overly-aggressive when trying to complete a sale. Your buyers are just as unfamiliar with this situation as you are. The tone of your marketing needs to be both appropriate and accommodating to your clients during the current pandemic and trained to reflect any vulnerabilities that may prevail in this environment.
COVID-19 has brought to us unprecedented challenges, this is the time marketing needs to step up and act as a trusted advisor for your customers. If you are short on time or need expert help to craft a strategic communication plan to assist with this process, don’t hesitate to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org