Businesses operating in 2019 face a very different environment than those which began operating several years ago. Technology has drastically changed the way businesses make purchases. Naturally, B2B firms have had to change the way they market and sell their products and services. This article focuses on how you need to tweak your sales strategy to incorporate technology and adapt to modern buyer behavior.
Offer Personalized Sales Service
This doesn’t simply mean referring to frequent buyers by name. In 2019, it means using a robust customer relationship management program to understand the businesses you serve. You need to be able to give them exactly what they need. You should use the data collected by your CRM to create a perfect user experience. Examine buyers’ purchase histories, learn their needs and discover their pain points. This enables you to anticipate the products or services they need and contact them when you have something to offer them.
A CRM system can also help every member of the sales team to offer the same level of service to a buyer. Regular buyers usually develop a relationship with one sales representative. If that person who knows them well isn’t available, they may not get the same experience. When you have a record of the buyer’s preferences, past purchases and their last interaction with a rep, it makes it easier for anyone to serve them well.
You should also seriously consider offering the tools and services which buyers are asking for, especially when you stand to gain. More and more buyers, especially large ones, want their suppliers to be Punchout-enabled. If you’re getting repeated requests for this, maybe it’s time to invest in Punchout Catalogs.
Embrace Real-Time Messaging
There was a time when sales teams did all their work during regular office hours. Buyers wouldn’t expect to get a response if they called your business at 6 p.m. unless you were in a specialized field. Today, buyers and potential buyers send emails or social media messages at all hours of the day and night. And, given the increasingly globalized world in which we live, it may actually be an acceptable time to do business where they are.
Your sales strategy needs to take into account the fact that buyers want to communicate on their terms. This doesn’t mean you need to have someone fielding calls 24/7. Research shows that as much as 30 percent of website visitors expect a live chat feature and that when it is deployed, sales increase. Employ the use of a chatbot to acknowledge queries and provide links to general information or frequently asked questions at a minimum. This way you don’t lose a sale because there was no one available when a potential buyer saw something they wanted.
Use Online Feedback to Guide Your Strategy
What are buyers saying about you online? Most businesses which serve customers know online reviews can make or break their business. The same applies to B2B businesses. The difference is that B2B buyers are more likely to use LinkedIn than other forms of social media to look for reviews and recommendations. If there are frequent complaints about your after sales service or your level of responsiveness, this may turn off potential buyers. Not only do you need to pay attention to what is being said, but you need to tweak your operations accordingly where possible. Word of mouth and third-party endorsements still carry more weight than advertising.
Don’t Ignore Search Engine Optimization
As noted above, B2B buyers do online research. In fact, as much as 89 percent of B2B researchers use the Internet and 73 percent of traffic to B2B sites comes from search engines. If you can’t be found online easily, you’re losing a large percentage of leads. Most people don’t even go past the first page of the search engine results so if you’re on page two for leading keywords, they won’t find you. This means you need to put a lot of effort into creating high-quality, user-friendly content which adds value to your target market. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and incorporate video to help you rise up the results pages. Learn more about Search Engine Optimization here.
Use Permission-based Marketing
This is another technology-related tip. In the age of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), even if you don’t do business with European companies, buyers have become increasingly sensitive to how their information is being used. You need to proactive transparent about how data will be used and ensure you ask for permission when collecting data. You need to assure them that their private information will not be leaked or used for nefarious purposes.
If you operate within the European Union or European Economic Area, you also need to be aware that you can be punished if you don’t adhere to the regulations. Countries around the world are likely to pass similar laws in the not too distant future so you should make sure your company is keeping an eye on the developments.
A successful, modern B2B sales strategy means offering a personalized customer experience which embraces the technology buyers use. You will be left behind if you don’t do this. Use the tips above to help you craft a strategy in line with your company’s goals.
This article has been written for Times of Startups by Melissa Stanley. Melissa is a veteran tech writer and editor who has worked in several eCommerce companies so far. She has been covering technology online for over five years. She is Client Service Manager of PCGT – PunchOut Catalogs.
The Importance of Branding for your Business
In order to understand what branding is, try to answer the following two questions.
When you are out there trying to figure out the best Laptop for you, what brand name comes to your mind?
Along with the brand name, are you also able to visualize the logo associated with the brand?
If yes, you are probably brand aware and the company or companies that come to your mind first are those who have successfully created brand awareness.
In simple terms, branding is what makes people search for particular products. It allows companies to reach inside the minds of their prospective customers.
Why is branding important for your business?
- Branding helps you prepare for long term business
Branding helps people understand the core philosophy of your business and therefore, in the long run, helps people identify with your products or services better. When you invest in branding, you invest in the future of your company. When all your hard work that you put in your business starts paying off, your brand gets even stronger and futureproof.
- Branding helps communicate better
A good brand always communicates a story better and if your branding strategy is in place, you can communicate the core philosophy of your business with your customers in the way you desire. Branding strategists need to understand that the purpose of branding & marketing is to not just make people aware of the brand but also teach them what a particular brand stands for.
- Branding helps your prospective customers recognise your business better
A good brand is one that evokes emotions in the hearts of those who see that brand’s logo or text. One of the major components of a brand is a logo because, as the “face” of a business, it’s what people instantly see and recognize. According to Tyler, the founder of Green Cardinal Design, logo for a particular brand should be simple enough to be memorable, but powerful enough to give the desired impression of your company.
- Branding helps bring referral business.
Branding promotes Word of Mouth marketing and in turn brings your genuine customers. People wear brands, eat brands, listen to brands, and they’re constantly telling others about the brands they love. On the flip side, you can’t tell someone about a brand you can’t remember.
- Branding helps advertising process easier.
If your brand is well defined, your advertising and marketing process gets easier. Once you know what kind of company you are or are not going to be, have that story in place and targeted what emotions your customers should feel when working with you, it’s only natural, then, that your marketing and advertising efforts will tighten up dramatically.
- Branding helps build trust
People are more likely to purchase from a business that appears polished and legitimate and appear committed towards providing the goods and services as promised.
In your overall branding strategy, you naturally focus on making your brand appear trustworthy which helps immensely in the long run. You might have heard people buying only a particular brand of electric cable or only a particular brand of mobile phone. This is simply because these companies have successfully created an element of trust in the minds of its customers.
- Branding helps hire good talent
Once your brand is well established, hiring good talent is going to be a major concern. However, if you have invested in the branding process, good talent will automatically be attracted towards your company.
Branding process starts at the very first moment you start working for your company. Apart from the actual product or service, it is one of the most important factors that will determine how successful your business will be. It is therefore really important to focus on the branding process of your company from the beginning itself.
Mobile vehicle LED billboard is growing to be a popular OOH media
In recent years, there are many successful mobile LED billboard cases in many cities. The vehicle mounted LED display market has shown unprecedented vitality. Especially in the outdoor advertising display and vehicle LED display, the market develops fast than expected.
Why mobile LED screen so popular?
Advertising as a way to provide information that related to product or services. While the traditional OOOH media advertising market gradually weakens, there is an urgent need for a new way of advertising to recover the market.
Vehicle mobile advertising has strong liquidity and large advertising audience advantage. Gradually more and more enterprises has adopted this new digital Out-of-home media(DOOH). Bus and taxi are not only the typical public transportation, but also large digital advertising carrier in the city at every day. A large number of passengers will be transported through the streets.
For a large and medium-sized city, the number of buses and taxis is usually more than 10000 sets. With its wide coverage, long running time, and crowded places, this kind of mobile digital advertising market is still very considerable. Now it is easy to understand why the vehicle mounted LED screen is booming rapidly.
Types of vehicle mounted LED screen
In the family of mobile LED screen, the vehicle LED display can be divided into Bus LED screen, taxi LED advertising screen, truck mounted LED screen, trailer LED display and so on.
- Bus LED screen.
As one of the oldest mobile LED screen, bus LED displays are mainly used to display road signs on buses, mostly in single and double colors. Now many factories have invented small full color LED screen at rear side of buses to play advertising while driving on street routines.
- Taxi LED screen.
Like bus LED screen, the taxi LED advertising screen is mostly installed on the top or rear window of the taxi. The mounted screen is used to scroll the text advertising information. Now there is also new technology to install projector at rear side of taxi window and control the advertising program by cellphone or 4G remote control.
- Truck LED screen.
The truck LED large screen is refitted into led full-color display with the truck body, which can display the advertising information in high definition and enrich the video content. At present, LED screen truck manufacturer has launched a series of on-board screens on the market, including P8 / P6 /P5/P4, etc.
Mobile LED billboard truck mainly composed of truck body frame, LED display screen, generator and other supporting media equipment. It has high-definition, bright, full-color and waterproof LED screen. The advertising effect is greatly enhanced. It has obvious advantages in some specific promoting places and has achieved good OOH advertising market reaction.
- Trailer LED screen.
Mobile LED screen trailer is a little different from other vehicle LED screens. It has no engine to make the trailer mounted LED screen to move. You have to use a pickup or SUV to drag this trailer screen to the place you want. Though trailer LED screen is not as convenient as other vehicle LED displays, mobile LED billboard trailer has large applications in many industries.
Applications of mobile vehicle LED display
At the beginning of the birth of mobile LED screen, it was mainly used for the display of bus and taxi service information and advertising content. Nowadays mobile vehicle LED display can be widely used to display commercial advertisements, broadcast news, weather report, film and television information, stock market, sports information, site introduction, service introduction and so on.
As a new kind of advertising media, vehicle LED screen can store a lot of text, picture and video information. You can control the digital LED display through the built-in microprocessor, and realize the timing display function. It gets rid of the shackles of the traditional display screen “cable”, and has the characteristics of mobile digital advertising LED display. It is highly praised by the advertising industry and will continue growing in next following years.
Amazon vs Clickbank: Which is Better for Marketers?
When it comes to marketing your products or becoming an affiliate marketer, getting the right platform is something that is absolutely essential. Fortunately, there are a number of different platforms which you can use to promote your – or someone else’s – products, and two of the most popular platforms include Amazon and Clickbank. Both of these platforms offer benefits and drawbacks, and understanding these will allow you to choose the platform that offers the best service for your needs.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
Regardless of the platform that you choose for your affiliate marketing, the general concept of doing so will be the same. For product sellers looking to sell their products, affiliate marketing works by generating leads which in turn will hopefully result in more sales of the product. For affiliate marketers, promoting these products will result in a small commission being paid to the affiliate marketer when a customer makes a purchase as a result of their promotion of the product, generating an income passively – for affiliate marketers who get their strategy for marketing right, this can give some impressive profits for sure!
Amazon: The Pros and Cons
The most obvious affiliate marketing platform that you might want to consider getting involved with is the Amazon platform. What with Amazon being one of the biggest, if not the biggest, selling sites online, and with over 150 million members using the website on a monthly basis – far outstripping even Walmart’s online site, which sees only a ‘meagre’ 75 million users per month or so – it is easy to assume that Amazon is the best place to get involved with affiliate marketing, but is this the case? Is Amazon Affiliate a good choice of affiliate marketing platform for you to choose?
Amazon Affiliates has over 1 million members in the database and, after Adwords, it can be said that Amazon Affiliates is the second most popular online advertising platform for website owners – showing just how many people put their faith in this website when it comes to their affiliate marketing.
Benefits of Amazon Affiliate
Amazon Affiliate is, as the name would suggest, hosted by Amazon, and this makes it a great choice of affiliate marketing site to get involved with for trust and reliability purposes; furthermore, this also helps to improve the conversion rate of the platform when compared to other affiliate platforms. Furthermore, there are a huge number of products available for affiliate marketers to consider and this can potentially allow for an unlimited income stream! Signing up with Amazon Affiliates is also free.
Drawbacks of Amazon Affiliate
Amazon Affiliate is a hugely popular affiliate marketing platform and for already registered users, it can be a great choice of platform – however, new users will need to refer customers to 3 sales before their account will get fully approved and reviewed, which can be a drawback if you’ve never used the platform before. Furthermore, for new users, the commission rate can be lower than for some other affiliate platforms at just 4% ; as you progress through your career as an affiliate marketer, though, this is likely to increase as you get more referrals under your belt and prove your worth as an affiliate marketer to the team and platform.
Clickbank: The Pros and Cons
Clickbank is an alternative to Amazon Affiliates which you may wish to consider when looking at the best affiliate marketing sites. Though it might not be quite as big as Amazon – by a long shot, actually – Clickbank is still a hugely popular choice of affiliate marketing site, if it’s 6 million worldwide clients and 30,000 daily transactions are anything to go by, and it is even in the list of the top 100 internet retailers for North America. Clickbank sells both physical and digital products on its site and its reputation could make it a good choice for someone looking to get involved with Affiliate marketing.
Benefits of Clickbank
There are a number of different benefits that could make Clickbank the choice of Affiliate Marketing platform that is right for you. The site is free to sign up with and you can begin using it immediately, in comparison to Amazon Affiliates where you will need to get 3 approved sales leads before being able to fully engage with the site. Moreover, they also offer a good selection of products for affiliate marketers – although not nearly as many as Amazon Affiliate will offer – which can make the potential income through the site look good. However, the most notable benefit of choosing Clickbank is for its ridiculously generous commission rates; some products can see commissions of 50% or more on their value, making this a potentially great source of income if you can target the right products!
Drawbacks of Clickbank
There are a number of drawbacks with the Clickbank platform which might make it a less positive choice than it originally sounds. Indeed, though there are some incredible commission rates to be found on the site, you’ll need to do your research to make sure you also avoid the low-quality offers that are hosted on the platform too in order to make proper cash! Furthermore, the refund rates can be higher than for normal networks – which can mean a lot of your income may end up having to be paid back if the product is refunded – and the site only provides its users with very basic reports, too, which may make it harder for you to optimize your earning.
Both Amazon Affiliate and Clickbank offer notable pros and cons, and as an affiliate marketer, you need to know how to sort through these benefits and drawbacks to choose the platform that is right for you. Therefore, it is imperative that you do your research before deciding whether Clickbank or Amazon Affiliate marketing is the right choice for you to follow – but, it should be noted, if you get this right, there could be great profits available as a result of commission fees for your effort.
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