The pandemic has had major effects on B2B industries, causing problems and disruptions almost immediately. About half of respondents said they had experienced budget-related difficulties, including freezes on budgets and purchases. When asked to identify their company’s weak areas that have been exposed by the pandemic, 56% of B2B companies said that it was their technology infrastructure.
The pandemic has shown how important it is to digital transformation. Due to this, all Business to Business solutions are rapidly improving their digital transformation, increasing by 15%.
How COVID-19 is Affecting B2B Software Companies
If you have a business that sells B2B software or has a B2B SaaS offering, things are probably going well for you. Coordinating and automating things for businesses has never been more important than it is now, with 88% of businesses requiring or encouraging their employees to work from home.
Many B2B software companies rely on face-to-face meetings to land new clients, which can be a problem. social distancing is making it difficult for businesses that rely on in-person meetings to continue their marketing strategies
Although virtual events and video conferences are a good adaptation, “webinar fatigue” is a real phenomenon. Although the internet has existed for some time, numerous enterprises continue to favor in-person gatherings.
So what do you do? Your software might be in high demand, but if you’re having trouble reaching your target audience, how can you convince them to invest in your solution?
This pandemic has been tough on businesses. This means that nearly two million people in the US filed for unemployment last week. Millions of people have already lost their jobs or had their hours cut back and more job losses are expected.
Many business owners and decision-makers are finding themselves having to cut back in a lot of areas. Many business owners are concerned about the future of their company, which can make it more difficult to convince them to invest in a software solution. This is especially true when the conventional sales process has been disrupted.
It is difficult for B2B software businesses for many reasons. Even though the current situation is not ideal, there are still opportunities to be had. You just have to know where to look.
Since you can’t have in-person meetings, it’s time to adapt your strategy to the best medium you have left, which is the internet. Most businesses are now asking their employees to work from home, so your future customers are likely to be online as well. You should be too.
Although online events can be useful, you cannot rely on them to replace live events in your marketing plan. You should consider changing your marketing strategy.
Since the imposition of the quarantine, numerous businesses have become aware of the need for a software solution to a problem they were hitherto unaware of. Google Ads is a great way to ensure that your business is found when people look online to see what their options are.
If you haven’t started running paid search campaigns yet, now is a great time to do so. Google Ads is a great way to advertise B2B software businesses, and it is very important to do so now.
Now is a good time to revisit your paid search campaigns if you already have them running. We have extensive experience helping B2B businesses with their Google Ads campaigns and have seen firsthand the sorts of problems they struggle with the most.
As Google Ads becomes more competitive, you need to make sure your campaigns are running efficiently to avoid wasting money on the wrong clicks. Check out this article if you want more tips on how to improve your Google Ads campaigns.
LinkedIn is another great marketing channel for B2B businesses. If you want to connect with people for business purposes, LinkedIn is the best site to use.
Connect with potential clients. Message them. Join groups. Participate in discussions. Although you cannot meet with people in person, LinkedIn is a great way to reach out to prospects and build relationships.
B2B software companies don’t usually find Facebook to be a great marketing channel. Although it is possible to use Facebook for business purposes, most people use it for personal reasons and are not interested in business solutions.
The distinction between business and personal life is very unclear at the moment. Many people are working from home, and this gives them more opportunities to check Facebook during work hours.
The effectiveness of Facebook Ads for your business depends on the software you are using. There are a lot of ways you can reach your target audience, so it’s worth investigating.
If your sales cycle is on the longer side, you should invest in content marketing. Since in-person meetings are no longer an option, content marketing is a great way to build trust and provide value.
If you want to promote your business, you can start by doing any or all of the following: blogging, writing eBooks, running webinars, or recording podcasts. The goal is to create so much value that people are attracted to you. This method of marketing is very effective and beneficial for businesses, especially now that companies are being more mindful of their spending. It allows businesses to connect with potential customers and grow their relationships.
Email marketing goes hand-in-hand with content marketing. Email marketing is similar to content marketing in that both are focused on creating relationships and providing value.
While your potential customers may not be ready to purchase your business-to-business software at this moment, that does not mean they will not be prepared to do so in a few days, weeks, or months. Email drip campaigns can be used to get people’s email addresses using lead magnets. These campaigns can keep you on the potential customer’s radar until they are ready to purchase.
Making the Most of Your Online Marketing
There are a few things to keep in mind no matter what marketing channels you choose to focus on. Even though you might not always be interacting with your potential customers directly, they are still people and should be treated as such.
If you want to be successful in marketing your B2B software online, you should focus on building relationships. It is critical to have a marketing strategy that will not change when you switch to digital marketing.
Your potential customers want to feel like they are important to you and that you value their business. They want to feel like people. If you don’t make your leads feel special, it will be difficult to convert them into sales.
Be the expert, but more importantly, be their expert. Be confident in your abilities and act like an expert in your field to gain the respect of others. Since you won’t be able to meet your potential customers in person, you’ll have to work harder to give them the confidence they need to feel good about buying from you.
Don’t come across as trying too hard.
Good B2B marketing is a balancing act. Your priority should be to make your customers feel trusted and confident in your solution. When creating content, it is more important to focus on your audience and what they want to see, rather than bragging about yourself and your accomplishments. You should be so good at what you do that people trust you even though they don’t know why.
With the right combination of ingredients and the right marketing strategy, you will be able to create a great online marketing experience.
Digital marketing has become the key to selling B2B software as it allows businesses to reach a larger audience than traditional marketing methods. Since in-person meetings aren’t an option, you need to adapt and focus on generating leads and sales online.
A report on B2B trends found that successful companies use both human and digital interactions to create a hybrid customer journey. One company saw an improvement in sales productivity of 5 to 7% after they started using digital tools to supplement face-to-face processes. Companies with good digital capabilities had an 18% return to shareholders and reduced their costs by 40-60%. Making hybrid processes can truly help companies. We should be careful when jumping into this trend.
1. Shifting Spend Behaviors
Changes in spending habits are not just limited to consumers; businesses are changing their spending behaviors as well. B2B companies are shifting their spending behaviors, as well. A survey conducted in April 2020 showed that 55% of people are reducing their budget by 4-25%. People were cautiously optimistic that the lockdown restrictions wouldn’t last too long. Furthermore, some industries were already feeling the negative impacts of the Covid-19 outbreak.
19% of B2B enterprises said there would be no change in their spending, even though the economic implications of the pandemic are unknown. Additionally, 26% said that their budgets even increased at a rate of 4% to 25%.
2. Marriage of Digital and Remote
The outbreak of Covid-19 has caused companies that were planning on digitizing their strategies to implement them faster. The increased popularity of online events is one area where this is evident. This text is an example of how, in April 2020, only a small percentage of B2B exhibitions offered virtual options. This increased to 81% in June 2020. All areas showed increases, including online education sessions, exhibitor promotional content, and general session content. The biggest change could be seen in full virtual trade shows. In April 2020, only a small minority of B2B exhibitions were held online. 41% of people surveyed said they were likely to attend an in-person event two months later. More than half of B2B marketers hosted at least 20 to 30 virtual events in 2020, according to a study from Markletic.
B2B companies will need to adopt various digital technologies in order to achieve these goals. The majority of sales leaders (66%) believe that digital channels of interaction are more important than other types of channels. In contrast, only 34% felt that traditional sales interactions were more important. The shift that has been noted is also reflected in changes in customer behavior.
3. B2B Buyer Preferences
Individual customer relationships are valuable for B2B companies. Each client relationship is incredibly valuable to large enterprises (McKinsey). B2B companies should use digital tools to improve their customer’s journey.
4. Retaining the Human Touch Digitally
According to McKinsey, 46% of buyers would purchased from a supplier’s website if given the option, and if the service was efficient. This is a great opportunity to increase sales, as only 10% of B2B buyers purchase online. B2B businesses should capitalize on this. There are other trends eCommerce sellers should consider in addition to this one.
5. UX: The Six Journeys
As was mentioned, companies must create protocols involving both analog and digital interactions to support customer experiences. This text is talking about the current trend in UX design. UX stands for user experience. This is defined as something that:The end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.
You also need to think about the customer service processes of the future and how to design them in a way that will be user-friendly. It should encompass everything including every single touchpoint. You create and curate the customer’s total experience. Some experiences are quite native to the B2B industry.
McKinsey and Company identified six journeys that shape customer experience in B2B industries:
- Identification of products and services meeting a need
- Selection of supplier and making an initial purchase
- Co-development of products with a supplier
- Dealing with unexpected events
- Usage of the product and getting the service
- Reordering familiar products and services
B2B in the Future: Blurring the Lines Between B2B and B2C
The B2B industry is now following some of the trends that have been seen in the B2C industry for some time. The company is focusing on becoming more customer-centric and efficient in their digital processes in order to stay competitive and prepared for the future. B2B business purchasing and selling are more complex today than they were in the past. We need to use digital tools to improve our ability to understand, predict, and react to changes and uncertainties.
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