If your B2B marketing efforts consist entirely of attending trade shows and cold-calling, you’re probably not leveraging enough of the marketing channels available to you to gain more sales opportunities. For enterprise technology companies, having a great marketing program is critical, but not impossible to obtain. Here’s how to start.
1. Build a prospect profile by mining your current customer data
Unlike the retail market, enterprise technology companies don’t have a wide universe of potential buyers. That’s actually an opportunity. It means you can narrow your efforts and your budget to a few types of prospects who really need your services.
Begin by looking at the types of B2B customers you already have. What do they do? How big are they? Where are they located? What kind of customers do they have? What do they buy from you?
Based on those details, you can build a profile of the kinds of B2B customers who are most likely to call for your proposal. After all, if your customers decided that you are their best choice, then it would reasonable that prospects who are similar will also want to work with you!
2. Build a prospect list and search for them
This takes a lot of legwork. It will mean a lot of Google searches, checking company databases like Owler.com and canvassing industry associations.
But eventually you will have a viable list of prospects who are similar enough to your own customers and meet the business size criteria (i.e. at least similar in size to your current customers or larger).
This list should not be large. Start with just a few then as you gain success, you can expand your list.
3. Segment into tiers and prioritise
After that you need to segment them into priority tiers. Tier 1 might be those are most likely to respond. They might be the most lucrative to your company. Or some combination of criteria. Tier 1 prospects will be the ones you want to spend more time and effort on first.
4. Build a contact database on each prospect
Here’s a B2B truism: You don’t sell to companies, you sell to individuals. So you need to build a contact database within each prospective company. Individuals who will likely be your main contact, or form the RFP committee, or who can influence the decision-makers.
Look to the company website to find their names or email addresses, check Linkedin or company databases, or start calling around your own network to find out more about the prospect’s decision-makers. You might not get a complete contact database, but something is better than nothing to get started.
5. Open conversations with B2B content
Not every B2B prospect will be in the market for your services at the time you start your marketing. But you need to start conversations with them to introduce yourself and build awareness of your company before you can interest them in your services.
Start by building personalised B2B content that answers their pain points and show how you can benefit them as a company and help them as individuals. The content can be blog articles on your website, or on social media or physical brochures or short marketing white papers.
Then you need you need to promote your B2B content. These days, hyper-targeted digital ads can target individuals, or just anyone who works in the prospect company. You can send your content via email or deliver it to them at their offices. Do anything to get your name and benefits in front of them.
6. Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up
The more persistent you are, the more likely you will get a response. Create more personalised responses to individuals who open your emails, read your content or explore your website. Prove to them how willing you are to be their partner.
One of the more effective follow-up content to create is the personalised video to introduce your team and what you would like to do for the prospect. It is vitally important for prospects to be able to visualise in their head what a partnership with your company will be like and how they can benefit from it.
Hire an experienced B2B marketer to get on the road to better sales success
Finding an experienced B2B marketing who can walk you through the process, step-by-step and help you execute your plans successfully is not impossible.
My name is Tim Yang and I work with a team of B2B marketers to plan and execute B2B marketing programs like the one described above. We have succeeded in creating sales opportunities and accelerating sales pipeline for every kind of enterprise technology company. Contact me today and let’s start planning your marketing future.