Business-to-business (B2B) customers are often loyal to a single company. Maybe they've been doing business with the company for the past five years, or perhaps they simply don't have the purchasing authority to make decisions. Regardless, it's difficult for B2B marketers to convince prospects to switch companies. This doesn't necessarily mean that it can't be done, however. With the right approach, you can convince prospects to choose your company instead of a competitor's.
You can differentiate your company from your competitors by personalizing your marketing messages. According to a study conducted by Conversant, 77% of professional marketers believe personalized messages are more effective than mass messages. When a B2B prospect sees an email featuring his or her name, for instance, they'll feel more inclined to read on. If you have past notes on the prospect, personalize it with past conversations, interests etc. If you do not have any past communications with the prospect, then use SalesLeads' Target Account Sales Intelligence for a bit of background information on the company, and also get the right contact names, titles, email addresses and direct dials. Now you have a more personalized approach.
As previously mentioned, some B2B prospects may want to switch companies but don't have the authority to do so. As a B2B marketer, you can overcome this challenge by identifying the decision-makers in a prospect's company. In other words, who is able to make the purchasing decisions? This usually includes CEOs and other upper-level executives. Again, use SalesLeads' Target Account Sales Intelligence for the right contact names, titles, email addresses and direct dials.
You can't expect prospects to switch to your company if you aren't easy to reach. When a prospect has a problem, concern or simply a question about a product or service offered by your company, he or she probably wants to easily reach a representative. If the prospect calls several times a day only to get a voicemail, it sends the message that your company is unreachable, doesn't care. Maintaining communications, monthly or even quarterly, will help keep a positive and solid relationship in tact.
Consider using multiple methods of contact -- phone, email, online chat and social media -- to ease prospects' worries and increase your chances of success. You can also use a customer relationship management (CRM) solution to streamline and improve communication.
This tip is similar to using personalizing marketing messages: by segmenting your prospects into several small groups, you can use a custom approach towards each segment. Not all prospects have the same needs. In fact, every prospect has an entirely unique set of needs. By segmenting your prospects, you can personalize your marketing approach to create a stronger response.
By reaching out to the prospect through the decision makers and other internal contacts, personalizing with their name and taking the time to target what you think would be the best solution...and why, your efforts will be noticed by the prospect. When the timing is right...they'll call you first.