Business to Business (B2B) marketing has a longer sales cycle, more decision-makers, and additional complexity that make it difficult for even seasoned marketers to pinpoint exactly what worked in converting leads to customers. If you’re looking for B2B marketing ideas, look no further; here are the common tactics most B2B marketers use.
Webinars are one of the higher converting tactics I’ve seen in B2B. They typically take quite a bit of planning and because of that most companies only do one or two a month. I’ve seen a good attendance rate of around 30 to 40% with an attendee to the opportunity conversion rate of 1 to 3% but can be much higher depending on the industry. Rather than build your own audience for each webinar, you can use webinar platforms with audiences already. One platform I used was BrightTALK. Find an existing channel with a large audience and partner with them to do co-branded webinars. I got about 300 to 400 signups for each webinar with an attendance rate of 30-40%.
Quizzes are one of my favorite tools to use because there’s so much more interactive than a blog post that lists a bunch of questions for people to ask themselves. The conversion rates tend to be much higher than other tools getting anywhere between 35-50%. Beyond just generating leads, they allow for easy filtering so the quality of leads can be higher too.
Another one of my favorites of interactive marketing is calculators. With higher prices and bigger deals that come with the B2B, calculators have become a great tool for giving prospects estimated value or cost savings before buying. They could also be used as a quick quote tool when you have simpler pricing models. I’ve used Calconic in the past to do saving calculators. The conversion rates for calculators can be around 40-50%.
If you have a relatively simple product or service, affiliate programs can be a good channel. Typically only the top 1-10% of affiliates bring in the majority of leads. It can get time-consuming managing the affiliates.
If you have a more complex product and service like many B2B companies partner programs are more equipped to handle the complexity of the sale. Partner programs are typically broken down into service and integration partners.
Service partners are outside consultants that have complimentary packages to your offerings while integration providers connect to your software to provide greater benefit when using both products.
In my experience, these programs require a dedicated role to maintain and work well only when the partners have strong support and clear benefits to sell your offerings. Co-marketing can generate more leads for you and your partner if you align well.
A very common tactic to quickly focus on leads is to buy a list from a list vendor. Cold audiences have a much lower response and conversion rates of 0.1-1%. Pretty low. When doing this, it is typically better to stick to cold calling with email as a follow-up rather than just try to focus on email communications. To increase conversion rates, you need to focus on clear and concise personalized outreach. Period.
A good tactic I’ve seen is to have each sales reps build their own templates and compare bi-weekly or monthly results. The winning templates get cloned and iterated on, and the reps generate new templates to try.
Many review sites build basic profiles on your company and leave it to you to find and update them. Having a filled-out business profile can lead to more warm leads. Pick one you think will do the best and get your customers to review you so you can rise in rankings. There’s Capterra, G2, SoftwareReview, and TrustRadius to name a few. Because of the ranking systems on these sites, unless you’re in the top 10, you’ll only get a few leads a month, but a few is better than none.
Chatbot tools can be incredibly powerful for managing inbound leads and customer support queries. However, it takes a lot of time to build out and tweak conversational flow trees. If you’re working with AI, then the crux of the problem will be how clean and structured your database is of micro-content. Design them like you would design the role of an associate in a department store.
Demos are the most common tactics to convince a lead to become an opportunity. 59% of buyers use demos when evaluating a product. There are many ways of doing this including pre-recorded demos to fully personalize demos that require the prospect to list exactly what they want to see demonstrated in your product. There are great ways of collecting initial reactions to your product or service as well as quickly addressing the pressing concerns that would block someone from a sale.
The use of free trials has jumped 15% to become the second most common resource buyers use to evaluate technology products. Free trials are a great tool when you have great interface and onboarding walkthroughs. For products that have less-intuitive interfaces or a higher learning curve, it can work against you to allow access without training or demoing first.
I’ve seen this get great success. Building mini-courses for people to become certified users of your product or service is a great incentive if you’re well known in the marketplace. And it also works well as an educational tool to help onboard new customers. A company I worked for posted a free course on Udemy and within a month got 100 students signed up to learn about our industry and tool.
This is a very classic way to demonstrate to other companies exactly the impact your product or service has by outlining the functionality and gains in detail. This is great if you have a more technical and complex product or service. White papers focus on the technical aspects of a product or solution outlining the benefits and considerations.
Case studies are another classic way of convincing leads to becoming customers by giving them similar scenarios with the outcomes that others have achieved like them. Illustrating how customers were able to achieve success is a fantastic tool.
While every business talks about emailing nurturing clients, most don’t have nurturing sequences. To be clear, nurturing prospects requires knowledge of where they are now and what they’re trying to do. For example, having a sequence to help someone learn about your free trial or educate them on the steps in installing a product. A weekly newsletter isn’t nurturing because it’s not a sequential process. Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost.
Another great source of traffic that’s often hidden under people’s noses is your knowledge base or documentation site. One company I found had about one-third of lead traffic coming from their customer support site. The more technical or complex or product, The more informed your customers can be the easier the buying cycle will become. If you haven’t already made your documentation site ungated and searchable, this is a great source of leads.
Moving into the more formal ways of moving an opportunity to a customer is completing Requests For Proposals (RFPs) or Requests For Information (RFIs). Typically companies will fill anywhere from 100 to 200 requirements questions for each RFP/RFI. They can be very time-consuming and require careful evaluation before agreeing to fill one out. One strategy to make them much more manageable is to use RFP systems that have a library of pre-written questions based on the answers you’ve given in other RFPs/RFIs.
When you’re dealing with more customizable solutions providing a proof-of-concept is a great way of persuading prospects on the fence to commit to something much less costly than the full price of your product or service. It means more work upfront for your company but tends to have higher conversion rates as long as the proof-of-concept goes well. The most difficult part of a proof of concept is ensuring that the goals are measured accurately throughout the project.
This is a common tactic used in conferences but in many other industries as well. By providing business case templates and calculators, you can assist prospects in convincing their company it’s worthwhile to invest in your product or service. Especially useful undo a primary researcher is not the decision-maker and has larger decision-making teams involved with the purchase.
One of the most convincing ways to persuade someone is to have another person vouch for you. Opportunities often will ask to speak with customers like them to verify what your sales reps are saying. When offering connections to current clients, be cautious about not overusing them so that they’re bothered with every new opportunity. You need a good pulse on your references’ current satisfaction with your company since they’ll have no problems voicing their complaints to prospects if dissatisfied.