6 tips on how to manage B2B Sales and Marketing in difficult times!

When times change or become particularly difficult, there are of course some challenges and tricky situations. We can't get away from that and it's not fun. But the absolute last thing we have to do is give up or pull the covers over our heads. I understand that it may seem like an easy way out and very nice for the moment, but we shouldn't do that.It's in the absolute most difficult and toughest times that lots of opportunities arise. It's when things are put to the test and things we thought were obvious suddenly change that we are forced to rethink and think anew. It's the really tricky situations and challenges that help us evolve. Yes, of course it can feel forced but unfortunately we need to be shaken up sometimes.

Opportunities with B2B sales and marketing in special times like now

When times are toughest and others are pulling the wool over our eyes, that's when we should be bold, punctilious, innovative and adaptive. This is when great opportunities exist. What I mean by this is that we need to be brave enough to stand up to all the negative influences coming from outside, we need to be brave enough to grab the flag and raise it above the organisation and say to all our employees that we will get through this in the best way possible. We need to be brave enough to go against the tide. What I mean by being picky is that we now have the opportunity to really evaluate which different marketing efforts are producing good results and which are not producing as good a result.By really measuring and evaluating what we have done in the past, it will help us to be more careful in our choices going forward. For example, take a look at which efforts have converted best in the past and invest more in those.

Now is also the time to be innovative in how we work internally and externally.Maybe you have been thinking about starting webinars but haven't gotten around to it, but now that physical trade shows and events are being cancelled, lots of time is being freed up to create webinars and similar events.Now is the time to be innovative and look at how you can optimise your sales and marketing processes.Being adaptive is also something that is important to succeed in difficult times. Just because you've been doing something for ages doesn't mean it will work as well now. Instead, it's about keeping an eye on everything that's happening around us and then adapting the way we work and reviewing our solutions for it.It's now about being able to make quick decisions to achieve the goals you set.So get a team together where you agree that quick decisions need to be made and where everyone is aware of what the process needs to look like to get you through this difficult time.

6 tips on how to succeed in B2B sales and marketing in difficult times

BelowI have listed 6 tips that are really good to know when it comes to marketing in difficult times. Because there are some crucial things that can make you succeed with your marketing in times like these.

1.Sales and marketing processes

in difficult timesNow is the time to really review your sales and marketing processes. What do they look like today? What's working? What is not working? What parts can be streamlined?Maybe the sales people have a CRM where they have all the information about customers and prospects, but the question is whether the marketing department, for example, has a Marketing Automation system where all the information can be gathered in one place?As sales and marketing departments today start to work more and more as a joint team, it is also important that there is ONE system that ties everything together and makes it easier for everyone.

A Marketing Automation system helps the marketing department to streamline their marketing efforts.With such a system, the marketing department can more easily set up Marketing Funnels to create hot leads for sales through campaigns, SEO, content and social media work.

In this way, salespeople get warm leads right into their CRM with all the historical data about what the potential customer has done on their journey to becoming a relatively warm lead. This allows the sales people to follow up on leads without getting too salesy.By driving leads in this way, your sales people save a lot of time as they don't have to sit and make cold calls and do a lot of prep work.

Salespeople will also be able to focus on the right type of people in the right type of business.By streamlining your sales and marketing processes in this way, you can also start to measure exactly what different efforts are delivering. In fact, you can now start to see exactly what, for example, a campaign has given you in terms of sales or other metrics that you consider important. From the time a person clicked on your link on Google to the time a salesperson closed the deal. How cool is that?

2. SEO - Search Engine Optimisation

in difficult timesIn difficult times like these, SEO is an incredibly good marketing strategy. I'll explain why.Well, because in a crisis like the current one, all physical meetings, trade fairs, events and seminars are cancelled and activities are moved to the digital forum. More and more people have more time to look for ways to solve their challenges and needs, usually by Googling.

Even before these challenging times, about 90% of all shopping trips started with a Google search. Buyers want to make informed, conscious purchases for themselves today.No one wants a salesperson to tell them what to do, we want to find the best solution ourselves before we decide to contact a salesperson or a company.If you are to succeed in these difficult times, you need to be on Google's first page when someone is looking for what you offer.

We also see that by far the best conversion rate comes from organic searches on Google. What I mean by this is that someone is most likely to do a Google search, find your business and then become a hot lead by downloading something from you or booking an appointment through your website - all thanks to the power of good SEO.What you need to be prepared for, however, is that it takes time to create good results with SEO, but it will be worth the effort for sure.

3.Content

in difficult timesThese are the times when people and companies want to lean on suppliers and partners who know what's going on and have confidence in them. How do you do that?Well, you do it by creating and distributing great content in various forms, content that gives your customers and potential customers a wealth of knowledge.

Knowledge that helps them improve and that helps them overcome their own challenges. My tip is to tell them what value your services and products bring to your customers. Offer actionable tips and tricks that your customers can implement right away.You can create lots of different types of content ranging from blog posts to videos, vlogs, podcasts, webinars and courses etc.

As well as building trust, Google loves companies that publish a lot of content on their websites.If you share a lot of content about a specific area, Google will perceive you as a company with a lot of knowledge in that area and will therefore rank you higher in the organic search results on Google. In other words, there are only benefits to really good content.

4.Social media

in difficult timesNow that all physical meetings, fairs and events are cancelled, social media becomes an even more powerful channel to be seen. Everyone suddenly has more time to spend on LinkedIn, for example. If we can't be seen IRL, we want to network even more digitally. So make sure you have a top of the line social media presence. Pick the channels that are most important to you and where your customers are.

Most often in B2B, LinkedIn is the way to go.Tell your employees that it is not only the sales people who should be on LinkedIn, but all people with different roles in your company should be there.I call this Social Knowledge Sharing, which means that all people in a company are active on LinkedIn where they can share articles and tips and tricks.

This is where all the content comes in that I wrote about in the paragraph above. All this content that you produce can be shared by your employees on social media.Imagine the impact if all your employees shared something on LinkedIn at least once a week? It would be your most powerful marketing effort these days! So with that said. Go out into the wonderful world of social media!

5.Digitisation

in difficult timesNow we are really put to the test. Employees are working from home offices and we have to adapt to this and really fast. Both internal and external meetings will have to be held in a different way, probably via video.How do you communicate effectively between colleagues? Reporting and follow-up must be done digitally and work smoothly.

Your potential customers must be able to easily find what you offer digitally and also on your website.Do you have all the tools you need to work digitally? If not, I can recommend Teams, Zoom, Whereby, Google Hangouts, Google Meets. To communicate internally I recommend Slack which I think works very well.As I also wrote about in point 1, it is a good idea to start digitizing the sales and marketing processes by implementing a Marketing Automation system. This will help you save both time and money. If you are interested in implementing such a system, I can recommend FunnelBud who offer both system and implementation and in a very cost effective way.

6.Measurement and analysis

in difficult timesLast but certainly not least comes measurement and analysis. Now there is no such thing as good gut feeling when it comes to the results of different interventions. If you're not already measuring the results of your efforts, it's incredibly important that you start doing so now. So make sure you implement the key analysis tools. Here we recommend Google's own analytics tools.

If you really want to be able to make better marketing decisions, I can recommend the analytics tool Informind, which is designed for b2b marketers.

If you want to learn more about these, download our Quick Google Guide here. With these tools you can see the results of different actions. Actions and activities that don't have a measurable impact should be cut back and the ones that do have a good impact should be invested in instead.

Now that fairs and events are not happening, my recommendation is to go digital more. In other words, measurement and analytics will be an incredibly important part of future marketing efforts. It might also be a good idea to find out what a lead is worth so that you know how much you can afford to spend on each lead. You can find more information on this in this blog post: What is a lead worth?.

Summary - how to succeed in B2B sales and marketing in difficult times In conclusion, there are several things you can do to do the very best in difficult times like these. My advice is to first set aside some time to think through the situation and then pluck up the courage to be innovative, picky and adaptive.It doesn't have to cost a lot to make this effort.

Surely we must all pull together, go the extra mile and be committed if we are to succeed at this difficult time. So go into your marketing work with a positive mindset and a big dose of optimism. It will take you much further than you think!I believe in you and that you will succeed!

Don't let anyone drag you down, but dare to stand up, dare to go against the current and dare to be brave and this will go as well as it can!If you want to meet me for a pep and consultation meeting then I think you should book a meeting with me by clicking on the button below.

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