How to Build a Strong Relationship with your B2B BuyerMar 15, 2022
Today's B2B customer is sophisticated.
As a result, they demand a higher level of connectedness throughout the customer journey.
For marketers, this means being more intuitive to the needs of their target audience, mainly because the B2B customer journey must go through several key decision-makers and often lasts several months.
The customer journey takes longer as B2B buyers are more technical. They do not buy based on emotion; instead, on logic and an assessment of their needs and the product or service features. It also involves more direct contact between the customer and the marketer.
Delivering a personalized experience at all stages of the B2B customer journey demands that marketers pay close attention to their data to determine the type of marketing communication that works with different roles in a B2B buying journey.
But for most marketers, getting the right data is often a struggle with most of their time spent cleaning data and fixing errors in their reports. This takes away the marketers could have spent on developing personalized marketing strategies to increase the effectiveness of their campaigns.
Types of B2B Buyers
B2B buyers vary across the board. However, they can be categorized into various groups as follows:
- B2B producers
- Government Buyers
- Institutional Buyers
1. B2B producers
B2B producers are manufacturers who design and produce the products we use from materials and services supplied by B2B sellers and suppliers. They include automotive, computer hardware, food, and beverage manufacturers, refined petroleum producers, etc.
Each B2B producer has unique circumstances and markets within which they deal. For example, if the B2B producer deals with the production of locally consumed products, it is much easier to reach them through trade shows, cold calls, and emails or by sending a sales team to the company's website.
Resellers include wholesalers, retailers, and brokers who sell manufactured goods from B2B producers without changing these products. They are known to buy products in bulk to sell them to consumers. Resellers are more likely to be found online.
3. Government Buyers
Centralized governments are the largest purchasers of goods and services in many countries. They buy numerous goods from military equipment to pens and paper, research, and training services. As a result, governments are often a lucrative target for B2B marketers, but they require aggressive marketing to win contracts or tenders to these governments.
They have procurement policies in place, depending on the governmental institution. Therefore, marketers have to be familiar with the process and the requirements at each stage before pitching their products or services to governments.
4. Institutional Buyers
The institutional market consists of non-profit organizations such as schools, nursing homes, prisons, and hospitals. These buyers are more likely to buy in bulk, and they require products from paper clips to food supplies and computer equipment.
The B2B buyer's personality is driven by their interests.
In each of the types of B2B buyers, you will find different personalities, including:
A visionary or an early adopter is looking for a "game-changer" that gives them a competitive advantage. They are not so much focused on the costs as they are on the perceived gain of the product or service.
They do not have the risk appetite of early adopters. They understand the necessity for change, but they also want to adopt products or services that positively impact the ROI.
They are more averse to change unless they do not have another option. Therefore, the cost is an important consideration for them.
Needs of B2B Buyers
Selling to B2B consumers can be complicated when you think about these varying groups and personalities you are likely to encounter in the B2B space.
But you have to figure out the needs of each type of B2B buyer, buyer personalities, and the people involved in the B2B buying process.
There's an average of 6-7 people involved in the B2B decision-making process. Some of the people involved in the B2B decision-making process include:
Initiators: They identify problems/opportunities that require new solutions.
Users: They work with the product or service
Influencers: They provide information to help in evaluating products or suppliers
Gatekeepers: They control the flow of information
Buyers: They are responsible for placing an order with the selling organization
Deciders: They give the final approval to purchase a product or service
Controllers: They decide the budget
All these people involved in the buying process have different emotional, strategic, and personal motivations and influences in their decision-making.
Delivering a Personalized Experience for B2B Buyers
The key to delivering a personalized experience for B2B buyers lies in understanding each buyer, their influence in the buying decision, and the evaluation criteria or motivations.
Once you relate to your buyers, you can target them with the content and marketing campaigns that work well for them.
To personalize the buyer’s experience:
- Define the different segments of B2B buyers, their roles, market segment, and behavior
- Engage with the buyer, first as a human. Understand their motivations, preferences, needs, and other insights about the buyer.
- Map your content to reflect the type of personalization you are targeting. This means that your content has the proper tags, is of the right knowledge level, and format based on the buyer personas.
- Set up data collection systems to collect data
- Assess your content requirements based on your data
- Enhance collaboration between the sales and marketing team to ensure a coordinated and uniform buyer experience
Setting Yourself Apart from the Competition with a Personalized B2B Customer Experience
Creating a personalized experience for your B2B buyers allows you to deliver the best message to consumers at all times. You can curate the right message through personalization by using insights from your CRM data.
Personalization also allows you to target customers with the right message at the right time, using the optimal channels.
Your data can reveal the optimal engagement time to reach out to a customer based on their previous behavior. You could even automate the process.
In addition to the right timing, choosing the right channels is more likely to generate positive results. Whether this is one channel or multiple channels, you will reach the consumer through their preferred and most used social or communication channels, online or offline.
Tracking a B2B Buyer’s Journey
For your personalization efforts to work long-term, you need to map the B2B customer's journey from start to finish and even after a purchase.
The first step in tracking a B2B buyer's journey is to create a customer journey map. This typically includes the following:
1. Awareness of your product
The customer becomes aware of your product through web search (organic), a referral, or in response to an ad on social media. If you set up the right attributes on Salesforce, your CRM will automatically capture the lead source. If there's a missing lead source, Kudoz will notify you immediately and create a task to input the lead source.
Once the customer becomes aware of your brand, they may engage by reading your content or subscribing to your email list, for instance, in response to a lead magnet. Engagement happens throughout the customer journey as the prospect learns more about your product. Therefore, it is vital to have the correct contact information for the client at this stage. You can also use Kudoz to detect missing contact information in your CRM data.
At this stage, the prospect is ready to use your product.
Once a customer signs up for your product or service, the next step is to help them set up and begin to use it.
The customer implements the solution across the organization. In addition, your team participates in providing support services during and after the implementation process.
If the prospect likes your product or service, they will renew their subscription at the end of the subscription period. Renewal could also occur after the end of a trial period.
6. Retention and referral
If your product continues to deliver results for your customer, they will keep using your product or service. They are also more likely to refer your product or service to their peers.
By tracking each of these stages of the customer journey, you understand how:
- Prospects discover your brand, the platforms they use, and the content they engage with
- Prospects flow through the buying cycle, including how they interact with each touchpoint and marketing channel
- Tracking the customer journey makes it more predictable for the sales and marketing teams. They can understand their customer's buying intent.
- You can create a customer-focused strategy that resonates with customers' needs, motivations, etc.
Follow-Up After a Purchase
B2B sales processes take months to complete, from when a prospect discovers your product to the actual purchase. Therefore, it makes sense for your business to retain existing clients, even as you acquire new customers.
By following up with customers after a purchase, you create an opportunity to build a relationship with your customers.
This relationship could result in more sales and referrals for your business and improved customer satisfaction – it's a win-win for everyone.
You also build trust with your new customers. Follow-ups also reduce preventable issues such as returns due to the customer's inability to use your product. Your team should become a helpful resource for your customers to help them derive value and satisfaction from your products.
Ready to start personalizing, add Kudoz to your Salesforce CRM, so you never have a missing lead source or contact in your data again.
Kudoz simplifies your data-related activities when using Salesforce CRM by identifying missing contacts and missing lead sources so that you can start your analysis with clean data.
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