COVID-19 has forever changed sales and marketing. Businesses are doing business differently because their entire dynamic has shifted. They may not be working in offices anymore. With the push for working from home also comes more empowerment to department heads. There’s no longer the need to collaborate over business decisions in many instances.
There’s also more online purchasing going on. Although sales are down as a whole, e-commerce sales increased by 49 percent in the month of April.
What does this mean for B2B sales? What do you need to do in order to position yourself for success moving forward past the pandemic crisis? If you want to effectively compete with the competition, there are a few things you need to understand and work on.
Update Your Target Audience
Depending on what it is that you’re selling to businesses, you may have more than one target audience now. Particularly with the sudden move to e-commerce, businesses that never had a need for an online sales portal or various SaaS programs are suddenly in need of them.
When you’re able to adjust your B2B product or service to include more industries, you can expand your target audience. This can lead to generating more revenue because of having more people who are interested in what you have to offer.
Particularly during this time of uncertainty, you can be working to grow your audience so that you are in a better position now and when the crisis clears.
Life Goes On
Although there are uncertainties as to how long the pandemic will be around, there is one certainty to hold onto: Life goes on. Businesses need to succeed. They will find a way to thrive, and that means that you need to find a way to thrive, too.
Many industries have suffered significant losses. Others are not sure how the pandemic will affect them in the long run. B2B companies are analyzing and planning for the future. Although the economy is in a tailspin, there are businesses that are reinventing themselves. The businesses that are the most successful are ones that are adapting to those changes. Automation and artificial intelligence are helping supply chains. Cloud computing is helping to keep many businesses operational. Further, businesses are moving away from cash, so accepting new forms of payment is critical.
A Strategy for Moving Forward
You need a strategy moving forward to ensure that you and your entire sales and marketing team is on the same page. You don’t want the marketing team pushing one thing and sales pushing another. Instead, take this time to develop a united front and ensure that your marketing efforts are positioned properly to deal with the crisis and what will be left when it’s all over.
The reality is that social media usage is up significantly. During the pandemic, more people are spending time online. Engagement has increased by 61 percent. Messaging on Facebook and Instagram is up. You can use this data to fuel your strategy.
Create Useful Content
The economy isn’t in the best place, so deals are down. Prepare your sales team to stop pushing the sales so hard. Instead, let them join the efforts of the marketing team to create useful content. There may be those in sales who know more about the product or service. Let them write a blog, post a vlog, or even create an explainer video. Or ask your team to work with an experienced blog writing service so you can focus on closing sales.
Content comes in various shapes and sizes and can do amazing things for your search engine optimization. Let people know you’re out there. Establish yourself as a voice of authority within your industry. It can make it easier to increase conversion rates as you gain more traffic to your site, too.
Many stores are still closed. Employees are working from home. They have more time on their hands and this is allowing for a higher level of engagement. Not only is social media usage up but also open rates on emails. If you have been looking for a time to start an email marketing campaign, now is a great time. Use that mailing list to start sending out a branded email about what it is that you’re doing. Let people know that you’re still around and remind them what it is that you can do to help them now and moving forward.
As you engage with people, relationships are formed. It can lead to faster decisions about buying your product or service, even without the need to talk to sales before making the decision.
Optimize Your Website
With more people spending time online, they may be going to your website – especially if they’re engaging with you on social media or through emails. Take the time to focus on your website so that it is capable of educating and converting. Enhance the user experience with better site navigation. Optimize your site speed. Consider updating the content and even adding a few landing pages to help you with search engine optimization.
If you don’t already have one, be sure to have a lead capture on your site. Provide an incentive for people to share their contact information so that you can build (or grow) your email marketing list.
As people sit at home and contemplate purchases, the desire to talk with someone from the company is increasing. You will want to improve communication on your site and throughout social media channels, including Facebook Messenger. Chatbots can be a great tool to ensure you’re meeting the needs of consumers without being online 24/7. If you fail to meet the needs of businesses when they show interest, they will assume you will fail to meet their needs throughout the life of your relationship. As such, it’s critical that you can answer questions while they are in the information-gathering stage. It can also lead to faster buying decisions.
Explore Ad Spending
As many companies cut their budgets, ad spends are down – and more businesses are planning on reducing their ad spends on Google AdWords and Facebook Ads. What this means for you is that there are more opportunities to be seen. With fewer competitors on the various advertising platforms, you have a greater chance of being seen – and without spending as much money. If you have considered spending money on social advertising, now might be the time to do it, especially as everyone is dialed in to social media throughout the pandemic. It can lead to more engagement on your site and expose more people to your brand.
Get the Marketing Help You Need
Many businesses are cutting their marketing budgets back for fear of the unknown. However, you already know that life is going to move forward. Now is not the time to cut your marketing efforts back. If anything, you want to bounce back before your competition does in order to gain a larger share of the industry.
At prediktiv, our blog management service can ensure that you have the means to be ready for what post-pandemic business growth looks like. Even while other businesses are on the fence with what they’re going to do, you can begin building authority and attracting qualified leads. Contact us today to schedule a discovery session and learn more about our methodology.