What does a good B2B marketing plan look like?
Although B2B sales are more complex and have more variable parts than regular consumer purchases, there are still a lot of commonalities to be found when it comes to a B2B marketing plan. The good B2B salesperson generates leads, makes contact, presents their product and closes the sale. Of course, it also depends on your B2B marketing budget.
Focus on solutions. Ask about your customers' needs and challenges. What would they spend more time or resources on if they could have them? What does the next step look like for them? If your company hasn't already asked itself these questions, you can get ahead of them and provide invaluable help.
A good B2B marketing plan therefore includes these steps:
- Know your market. Unless you've been in the business for many years, it probably takes research to get to know exactly what's going on. What do customers want? How high are the standards? What is the competition like? These are all important questions that any business with a B2B marketing plan should be asking itself. Knowing your market and prospects also helps your marketing bid, as you cut out unnecessary marketing initiatives.
- Identify your customers. There is a difference between find customers and to identify them. This applies to all commerce, but is particularly important when it comes to your marketing plan in the B2B segment. In other words, don't just find companies that could be potential customers. You need to identify those businesses whose wants and needs you can meet. Companies that have the budget to buy your products. Companies that are interested in doing business with you.
- Make contact - the right way. Your customer is not the company you want to sell to. It is the person or department within the company that acts as the decision maker. So it is this person you should contact directly, rather than just contacting the company "in general".
- Pitch your sale. Once you've made the immediate contact, pitch your product or service. Again, think about the people behind it. Make sure you present your product to the right eyes and in the right way. That is, show your potential buyer the value your product can give them and why they can't do without it.
- Close the deal. If your research and your presentation have both been on point, closing the deal should be relatively easy. With B2B sales, it can be a longer process to get to this point, so be persistent out of being overbearing.
- Follow up and stay in touch. Once the deal is done, you should check in with the customer and make sure they are happy - even if you don't hear from them. If they have feedback on either the product, the price or the transaction itself, you should be all ears. Direct information from your customers is the most important research you can do.
Conclusion: your B2B marketing plan should be long game
When it comes to your B2B marketing plan, you should think of your customers as a business partner. Modern businesses that buy products or services from other businesses are less focused on transactions than they are on collaboration. They want consultation rather than "being sold to." If you can meet this, and implement it in your B2B marketing plan, you will also secure a lasting business relationship, rather than one-off sales.