B2B marketing is the process of one business marketing its products/services to another business. Business-to-business marketing is needed when one company’s output is required for another company to maintain or improve its operations.
B2B marketing is no longer what it used to be. The traditional B2B marketing is becoming outdated. Formerly, marketers engage prospective buyers from start and nurture them before passing them on to the salespeople(marketers fill the pipeline). The sales team works on convincing the buyers to patronize the service or product. This is the B2B marketing serial manner. This method is no longer as effective as it used to be.
Buyers are more interested in reading the information about the product or service online before making a purchasing decision. The human-to-human connection with the salesperson is no longer considered relevant.
In fact, statistics show that a buyer only spends 17% of the overall buying experience time with the salesman. Buyers spend more time online absorbing knowledge about the product or service instead of listening to a salesman trying to convince them to buy.
The evolution of B2B buying
Nowadays, B2B has evolved into a dominant digital buying behavior. The bulk of the work rests on the marketers; they are the ones creating the content around the product or service.
The digital content should provide information on the product. It is necessary to create content that can resonate with the buyer. Content such as reviews and testimonials play a very important role in helping the buyer decide.
Social media channels are also another way to provide content about the offerings of the product or service. If a buyer gathers enough information about the product online, then his interaction with the salesman will be very little.
B2B marketing is changing
Previously, you can sell to buyers without them seeing a review of your product. But now, a buyer will search a product on Google for review before making a purchasing decision.
The customer today is empowered, they don’t have to speak to a salesperson before deciding to buy or not. There are a lot of channels now, and people spend plenty of time on the internet. Their attention span is now short and they cannot listen to the pitch of salesmen for long. People are leveraging technology to sell value now.
Are salesmen still necessary?
In the past, salesmen were very essential because a buyer needs more information on the product or service. The salesman served as an intermediary between the buyer and seller. Their job is to persuade the buyer to see the value of the product they are about to buy.
Of course, the older generation would probably prefer interacting with salesmen, but the new generation spends more time on the internet and would prefer to interact digitally with any product or service they want to buy. There is a lot of online selling, especially with the advent of eCommerce stores.
On the other hand, some commercial leaders argue that there are some complex products and services that still require the help of salesmen. Getting information about the product online might not be enough to actually sell the product, there might be a need for human-to-human interaction or practical demonstration.
A new system that works
Shifting behavior means organisations will also have to change their structure. There is a need to come up with a new system that works for both sales and marketing.
Probably, the functions of salesmen will change. The traditional salesman needs to have new roles and also needs to be trained in the modern B2B sales process.
Unlike in the past, modern-day B2B selling requires sales process automation tools for better prospecting.
Would you like to empower your salespeople to deliver more results? Speak with one of our sales consultants.