The classic representative is losing popularity but is still a well-known phenomenon in the B2B world. Still, salespeople get into their cars with their brochures and the aim of successfully reading them to potential customers. This is simply part of the classic sales pattern. One day this will inevitably disappear. Through the use of inbound marketing the way of B2B selling is changing. Through the knowledge about the (potential) customer sales becomes a focused, more effective process.
Because buyers orientate themselves more and more online B2B companies are able to attract them and encourage contact with the help of online tools and smart online marketing. We have already written a B2B update about the current behaviour of the professional buyer and how a B2B company can respond to this today.
What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy where you make sure that potential customers find you online when they need your product or look for an answer to a question or problem your company has an answer to. So it is creating targeted traffic on your website or other online channels. However, attracting potential customers must of course lead to other forms of contact that result from that first acquaintance such as a chat conversation, a second website visit, following your social media channels, subscribing to your newsletter, e-mail and telephone.
The role of inbound marketing in B2B
The goal of inbound marketing is of course to create leads. In other words, get targeted requests for offers from buyers who are looking for a solution that you can answer. Nothing more and nothing less. Here lies the power where classic outbound marketing and inbound marketing can reinforce each other. In a B2B webshop the request directly becomes a transaction. The buyer becomes a customer and then gets his or her specific follow-up. Today inbound marketing has also penetrated the B2B world. Especially with capital goods we see more and more that the principles behind inbound marketing are given a high priority within marketing. This is often at the expense of regular advertising budgets or participation in national fairs. Is inbound marketing also the new basis in B2B to focus on more leads.
Inbound marketing the basis for leads
Relevant content is and remains the basis for proper inbound marketing. Creating such relevant content is not easy. It should be information that directly connects to the issues of your potential buyer. Thinking about this alone as an organization often gives new insights. Tip: ask your office staff which questions are asked most often? Or view the transcripts of your chat box. This is often the low hanging fruit for the first selection of topics. If you have a list, many B2B companies start writing blog posts, white papers, knowledge base articles etcetera enthusiastically. Don’t forget to optimize this SEO. This is an often missed opportunity!
Inbound marketing pitfall: Quantity versus quality
Let’s make it clear that we believe in this approach to inbound marketing. Only volume is not an end in itself. You want the right leads and here volume matters. However, processing worthless leads is a costly business for your organization. The production of the right content, for the right target group and then the qualification process of the inbound leads is an important step to not turn it into an expensive hobby.
Inbound marketing pitfall: Consumers versus professionals
Some products or brands are difficult to position for the online viewer. If the brand name or variations are common, if a B2B product is also a much sought-after product for consumers and you as a manufacturer are high in the chain, then it is more difficult to realize the right inbound traffic. Example: Your company produces cranes for the wholesaler who sells to the retailer who sells to the consumer. You certainly do not want to be found under “Bathroom faucet”. Then you get a lot of traffic from consumers, who can then do little with you as a producer to realise a purchase. User manuals and technical specifications can have a valuable function for this target group but this mainly has a service approach and has nothing to do with direct sales.
Inbound marketing pitfall: not following leads or not following them properly
You have it for each other, interesting traffic, which you convert to contact. Great. But everyone is too busy to follow up on the leads, nobody feels responsible, or it is not followed up properly. This is a big cut for the potential customer. And this happens more often than you think. Therefore, involve the right colleagues such as the office staff and the field staff in this process. Making good agreements about response time and follow-up is crucial.
The goal of all our customers is to realise more sales online. We ensure that they succeed in this mission. If you are a B2B company, then we are happy to provide insight into your online opportunities and give advice on where you stand in comparison to your competition. Click here to request this scan.