The Future of B2B Strategy

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1 The Future of B2B Strategy

2 The Future of B2B Strategy Introduction Do you want to know the formula for Market Leadership in your niche? Would you like to be able to pick up the phone to a prospect and get instant brand recognition and an appreciative ear when you introduce yourself? Would you like to be calling back hot leads that have contacted YOU to ask for help with their business? This ebook will help you uncover the mistakes, gaps and weaknesses that are keeping your message buried and introduce you to a business strategy that will transform the way you do business. My name is Leanne Knowles. Some years ago I co-created and delivered a highly successful Up to Sale for $114m in 12 months. I have reinvented and repackaged the strategy here for you so you too can reap the benefits of my experience. This strategy can be applied to virtually any B2B solutions business in any industry sector. Who should read this Whitepaper? Business Owners and Marketers that sell products, services or solutions to other businesses Business Consultants and Coaches IT Consultants and Software Resellers Accountants and Financial Consultants Training, Recruitment & HR Consultants Commercial Architects Designers Lawyers Hospitality and Event Companies Warehousing, Transport and Logistics Promotional Products Back Office Supplies & Stationer, Office Furniture Mining Equipment, Private Aircraft Services Other products and services Ultimately, the objective of any B2B Sales and Marketing Strategy is to deliver your revenue goals for the smallest possible in make a profit and have a good time doing it. Right? ways turn out that way, does it. 2

3 The three biggest challenges I see for B2B Sales & Marketing are: 1. Creating buyer demand 2. Engaging those prospective buyers that are not yet sales ready, and keeping them engaged, and 3. Gleaning new efficiencies between Sales and Marketing activities. A Picture of the Current Model Somewhere, every day, there is a tired old B2B Sales and Marketing campaign rolling out, attempting to cut through the clutter and gain the interest and commitment of their target market. Over and over again, worn out sales and marketing executives are doing effectively the same thing year in and year out, hoping for a different result. From time to time they try something new - media releases, advertorials, trade advertising, industry briefings, workshops. But nothing seems to really make a huge impact. Nothing much changes over time. Even with a hard working and skilled sales team, there is a lot of time, energy and resources spent for an insufficient return. Instinctively, there must be another way. 1. Cold leads stay cold there is no buyer side demand 2. Warm leads leak out when a prospect is not ready to buy, there is no reason to stick around 3

4 So how DO you cut through those challenges and take advantage of the situation? The Case for a Fresh Approach Rocket Fuel Growth Strategy The Strategy is for businesses selling B2B products, services and solutions that are dissatisfied with their current strategy and current results. is an innovative growth strategy that creates buyer side demand, and leverages your direct selling activities for accelerated results. Unlike many B2B sales and marketing programs that are largely disconnected and often uninspiring to their market, highly targeted, full of personality and brings out the sexy in your B2B offering, helping convert it into sales. 4

5 This is a 360 degree, multi-channel, integrated communication strategy that will thrust your business into the spotlight as Thought Leaders in your market niche. Establishes a strong, high profile market position Helps hot prospects find and follow you Nurtures potential clients through the Buying Cycle, whether they are ready to buy now or not Invigorates your target audience with a clear and exciting vision for their future, Builds trust and relationships Integrates your sales and marketing activities for greater effectiveness Creates an urgent case for action Key Features Market Positioning Campaign A Market Positioning Campaign strategically positions your business and your people as Thought Leaders in you industry niche. - Thought Leadership Thought Leadership occurs when a person or business captures the attention of the market with innovative ideas and knowledge. They are positioned in the minds of their audience as a stand out amongst the clutter of communication. Nurture Marketing Nurture Marketing is a communication program that shares information, educates and entertains prospective buyers and engages them throughout the Buying Cycle Content Marketing Content is employed strategically as a central focus of the marketing communications. One idea is repurposed and repackaged into multiple formats including written, visual, audio and kinesthetic. It is then delivered via multiple channels, both online and offline. Content becomes entwined with the solution and also provides opportunities for new revenue streams. Automation Sales and Marketing functions are automated as much as possible. Customer data is gathered and analysed to allow tailored communication with individual prospective clients throughout the Buying Cycle. Sales & Marketing Integration Sales and Marketing silos create inefficiencies. The Rocket Fuel Growth Strategy relies on and fosters closer strategic integration between the functions. Relationship Entanglement Your business becomes embedded into the supply chain and other important relationships associated with your key clients and prospective clients. Strategy Strategy ensures each activity pulls its weight and helps deliver a consistent, coherent and compelling message that touches the hot buttons of your market niche. 5

6 The Back Story Why this Strategy and why Now? Economic There are three economic movements driving this strategy. First, the instability of the global re our Second, the cost of employing good sales people continues to rise. It makes sense to leverage their efforts more effectively by systemising and automating the prospect nurture process where possible. This allows your sales people to focus on progressing live deals and delivering sales ready buyers. Third, we now have access to free and low cost open platform software, software in the cloud, social media applications and other online goodies. It now costs less to nurture and engage prospective buyers whether they are ready to buy now or not. Social Social media has opened up communication and we now expect to receive authentic messages that engage us messages that touch, move and inspire us. We expect stories and personality and a vision for the future. Nothing less will be satisfactory. Conventional wisdom says that B2B buying decisions tend toward rational buying motives. While that might be true, we are still communicating human being to human being - and we human beings are hard wired to avoid anything remotely boring. If you are passionate about something and you are in business living that passion, then chances are you have an audience also passionately waiting to hear from you authentically. Too many B2B organisations fail to do either in their communication. Technology There are three key developments in technology driving the Rocket Fuel Growth Strategy. First, technology is now allowing us to automate both our sales and marketing functions at an unprecedented level. Software development in CRM and MAS mean we can handle and make sense of more information than ever before. It also means the two functions can and must work more closely together. Our internal organisational structures must yield to support that change. Second, online social media and B2B applications now gives us more access to more media channels, allowing us to build a profile in the market place as a Thought Leader in a way that go. Our insatiable appetite for information and education is unabated and increasing, creating a bigger market for content. Third, technology allows for more accurate measurement of Return on Investment and the investment in campaigns is more easily managed for success. 6

7 The Buying Cycle In the B2B industry, we talk a lot about understanding and acknowledging the Buying Cycle in our communication to prospective clients. But we need a good system to really make this work. Often there is a short window of opportunity to influence the decision making team toward your solution when they are in the market. Knowing when that window is approaching can sometimes feel like a Lucky Dip. You need a system that will take away some of the guess work, so you can be a part of the purchase conversation. A part of this process is about keeping in touch with those who do you are in the loop when the situation changes. When you are selling high investment and complex solutions like software, your buying cycle might be 2, 3 or 5 years. Selling consulting and other services, your buying cycle might be 3 or 12 months. Other products and services might turn over more quickly. Nonetheless, it is critical that your people understand this cycle and your marketing activities address your communication accordingly. The Rocket Fuel Growth Strategy is a perfect example of this. 7

8 Top 10 Trends for 2013 Here we make 10 predictions about the future of B2B Sales and Marketing for 2013 and beyond. 1. Plugging the holes in B2B strategy The most successful B2B businesses will be the ones that have three things handled: a. They are engaging prospective buyers throughout the buying cycle b. They have employed Thought Leadership in their communication strategy c. Their sales and marketing functions are operating as one 2. Thought Leadership as strategy The most successful sales teams will have a high profile Thought Leader who is heading a campaign in each market niche. 3. Sales & Marketing Silos fall Forget the old debate about who owns the sales funnel sales or marketing. Sales and Marketing functions are now integrated and strategically managed together from a senior role for maximum leverage. 4. Sales Managers as Performance Coaches Sales Managers managing their teams at a macro level will be highly trained performance coaches, as well as bringing their experience in sales. This combination will be seen as an essential part of the sales management toolbox. 5. Nurture Marketing is in every Marketing Mix Nurture Marketing will help to fill the traditional gap in the sales lead pipeline by maintaining engaging communication with prospective clients until they become sales ready. Both digital and traditional communication will be integrated. 6. Content as a part of the product/service/solution Content will become a strategic element of the B2B product/service/solution mix and will be delivered both online and offline. 7. Data processing and Automation Small and Medium sized business will become more interested in customer data processing and analysis, content and sales and marketing automation. The global Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Finance sectors will fuel this development with increasing investment and leadership. 8. Integrated Sales & Marketing Automation Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology will become more closely integrated with Marketing Automation Systems (MAS), enabling greater effectiveness. Beyond 2013, at least one system will offer best of breed of the two functionalities in the same package. 9. LinkedIn Groups LinkedIn Groups will become competitive environments for nurture marketing and lead generation. 10. Thought Leadership Succession Planning 8

9 There will now be a succession plan for Thought Leadership, just as there is for senior management in many organisations. Appropriate individuals will be identified niche campaigns. The Flip Side of There will be a widening revenue and growth gap between those who successfully move on these market developments (Integrated Sales and Marketing, Thought Leadership and Nurture Marketing). 2. More apps, more blogs and more social media options will accelerate confusion for the average Business Owner. 9

10 Strategy Workshops Rocket Fuel Growth Strategy Workshop 1-Day Workshops $495 Strategy Workshops are held regularly Only 15 places available for each Workshop Leanne Knowles will be your coach and workshop facilitator Discover the 3 Secrets to B2B Growth that most people miss Learn the Number 1 Mistake that will keep your message buried Strategy Program Consulting & Coaching Headswitch can work with you to adopt the Rocket Fuel Strategy and roll out a campaign across 6-12 months. We have two levels of support to suit most budgets. More Information Leanne Knowles Mobile Office Blog: 10

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