The Significance of Having a B2B Digital Sales Strategy for 2021 & Beyond
Digital marketing strategies for businesses will be the wave of the future, during and post COVID-19.
- 64% of US employees have shifted to remote working
- 82% business leaders want the flexible working model to continue, a Gartner survey reveals.
So, what will define B2B digital sales strategies in 2021 and beyond? Here, we will touch on different factors ranging from the decline of in-person events, to the importance of organic search, to brand storytelling, and so on.
A Major Decrease in Conferences and In-Person Events
Live events and conferences are out of the picture for the foreseeable future, with barriers to face-to-face interactions. Some of the biggest events, especially in the tech industry, have been postponed, cancelled or moved online, leading to over $1 billion in losses.
Additionally, old fashion B2B sales opportunities have declined 73.9% due to the COVID-19 pandemic and B2B sales teams have been facing the following challenges:
- Difficulty in procuring in-person sales appointments
- Loss of word-of-mouth referrals
- Furloughs and layoffs driving rapidly changing buyer contacts across teams
- No trade shows, large gatherings or conferences for many months
- Rapidly changing customer behaviors and preferences
That being said, customers prefer digital sales interactions 2X more than before COVID-19.
The Focus is on Search Discovery & Website Updates
Over 62% of B2B buyers make purchasing decisions solely based on digital content, while 60% do not want interaction with sales reps. To fill the interaction gap with online content, you need:
- Performance monitoring of search keywords
- Niche, specific landing pages for all stages of discovery
- Data on competitor’s traffic driving keywords
- Problem-solution landing pages
- Optimizing of webpages for common search queries
- Increased relevance of content
With the rise in customer expectations for on-demand information, you also need:
- Installation of chatbots
- Self-service platforms for order tracking
- Online scheduling capabilities
Invest in Marketing Automation
Martech includes three main branches for the B2B segment according to Forrester:
- Ad tech – spending expected to drop
- Data analytics – spending expected to drop
- Marketing automation – spending to grow in 2020 and 2021
Key factors that will drive these decisions include:
- A spike in client queries related to re-platforming
- Digital transformation in industries like healthcare, distribution and manufacturing, and traditional marketing
- Increased reliance on quality data by B2B marketers to drive targeted and personalized engagement campaigns
- More virtual events in the B2B space
Brand Storytelling is Essential
Creative storytelling is the way to build an emotional connection with the customer. In its simplest form, the most engaging stories have:
- The customer as the hero (not the product or service)
- A difficulty that needs to be solved
- The ideal solution after an epic struggle
- Empathy with the customer’s situations and context
The idea is to deepen existing relationships with the target audience who matter greatly to the business.
Networking is Key – Build Connections on LinkedIn
The April 2020 LinkedIn blog post shows how COVID-19 has influenced employer branding.
- 1 in 4 company posts mention something about the pandemic.
These posts ensure greater engagement, especially if they focus on relief efforts by the business. Particular keywords in posts draw maximum engagement, such as:
- Public Health
LinkedIn may be the next best tool for B2B sales teams to network, in the absence of event marketing and other channels.
Engage & Educate Customers on Social Media Channels
Engaging on social media platforms most frequented by your target audience is key because a list of quarantine internet activities shows that:
- 68% of social media activity relates to searching for COVID-19 developments
- 71% of Gen Z and 62% millennials listen to music on social platforms
- Over 42% of users watch videos online
Leverage Video Viewership
- Invest more in ad placements on video-first sites
- Differentiated messaging to maximize ROI of video ad placements
- Create brand and product stories
So, are you ready to embrace the new normal for B2B sales? Are you ready to take on the digital landscape? Contact us today for more assistance on your B2B Digital marketing and sales strategy needs for 2021 and beyond.