Operators in the B2B sector generally have a different business model and sales cycle than merchants in the B2C sector. Often the B2B sales cycle is long, running up to 1 year, and the process can be complex. As a result, B2B operators must use a variety of tools to nurture leads to a successful deal.
B2B operators say they believe that their target audience values the following factors:
- Cost and value of products and services being offered: 25%
- Merchant knowledge of client challenges/pains: 22%
- Merchant technical expertise: 17%
- Merchant knowledge of client business: 12%
These merchants need to communicate specific data points to potential clients in order to build interest and create quality leads. A recent market study published by Televerde reveals that B2B operators note the following marketing activities generate the highest quality leads:
- In-person marketing events: 70%
- Email campaigns: 53%
- Websites/blogs: 45%
- Outbound calling: 54%
- Webinars: 43%
These operators also use traditional and social media but with respect to producing quality leads, these media formats resulted in lower scores.
B2B operators acknowledge that the sales process often involves making contact with and nurturing a number of contact points within a potential client organization. This is a complex process and up to 2/3’s of B2B leaders say they sometimes lose leads because they don’t have a good way to manage multiple data points. In addition, each contact typically requires a different sort of outreach in order to maintain momentum to the desired outcome – closing the deal.
Many surveyed merchants note that they use well-known CRM tools such as SalesForce. However, the Televerde report shows that B2B operators could improve their sales outcomes by investing in a marketing automation tool (MAT). As competition increases and more data becomes available online, look for B2B operators to increase their use of MATs.[Source: B‑to‑B Marketing Research Report. Televerde.com. Aug. 2011. Web. 1 Sep. 2011]