The days of one-sided, self-serving dialogue to the masses are over for B2B marketers. We must instead consider our audience as individuals for whom we tailor communications and conversations based on their needs. Failure to do that will result in, well, failure. For example, if you met someone new at a networking event and you jump right in there with ‘Hello, let me tell you all about me’, you couldn’t really be surprised if any eventual response was abrupt and unenthusiastic.
With today’s savvy buyers, we have to consider every single individual we are touching and influencing and think about their perspective, their pains. The exact same rules apply for any good B2B telemarketing agency when they engage with your customers and prospects.
7 x 10 touches to close a sale
But there’s more to it than that. It used to be said that it took ‘seven touches to close a sale’ – driven by outbound, push-based interrupt-driven marketing strategies such as telemarketing, web landing pages, events, advertising and press relations. Now, in B2B marketing, it’s more likely to take 10 times that – around 70 touches or ‘moments of truth’ to close that sale.
The importance of first impressions
This makes first contact critical. The modern marketer must capitalize on the opportunity by providing value and education to the prospective buyer. You must address their specific areas of interest, and earn the right to engage more fully – even before they are ready to buy. And don’t forget – customers are people too, so they will continually seek to verify information with their peer groups, analysts and other stakeholders. These influencers are very important to you, too.
The big four of content: information, timing, format, place
So how do you know you are giving your customer or prospect the right information at the right time, in the right format and in the right place? This really isn’t as difficult as you might think. Customers leave tracks and clues about themselves and their priorities all over the place. You just need to look and apply.
For example, if you have a repeat web visitor, make sure you map what they do and why they did it. Maybe they received a telemarketing call which spurred them towards a particular landing page to download a relevant white paper. To keep them engaged in the buying cycle, you can take this information and perhaps suggest another relevant white paper, guide them to a customer video on the same subject – or invite them to a webinar or to sign up for a relevant newsletter.
Ultimately, to achieve great results, you have to recognize your audience as individual people and take a considered, human, two-way approach.
Find out more in our ‘Demand Generation: the no-nonsense guide’ eBook.