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

Whentimes are toughest and others are pulling the wool over our eyes, that's when we need to be brave, smart, innovative and adaptive. This is when great opportunities exist. What I mean by this is that we need to be brave enough to resist all the negative influences coming from outside. We need to be brave enough to grab the flag and raise it above the organization and tell all employees that we will do this in the best possible way. We need to be brave enough to go against the grain. What I mean by being picky is that we now have the opportunity to really evaluate which different marketing efforts give good results and which do not give as good results. By really measuring and evaluating what we have done in the past, it will help us to be more careful in our choices in the future. For example, take a look at which efforts have converted best in the past and invest more in these.

It is also now that we need to be innovative when it comes to how we work internally and externally. Maybe you have thought about starting webinars but have not come to a conclusion, but now that physical fairs and events are canceled, lots of time is released to create webinars and similar events. This is the time to be innovative and look at how you can optimize 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, we need to keep an eye on everything that is happening around us and then adapt our way of working and review our solutions accordingly. It is now about being able to make quick decisions to achieve the set goals. Therefore, put together a team where you agree that quick decisions need to be made and where everyone is aware of what the process needs to look like for you to get 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. There are some crucial things that can make you succeed with your marketing in times like these.

‍1. Sales and marketing processes

Now is the time to really review your sales and marketing processes. What do they look like today? What is working? What is not working? Which parts can be streamlined? Maybe the sales people have a CRM where they have all the information about customers and potential customers, but the question is whether the marketing department, for example, has a Marketing Automation system where all the information can be collected in one place? As sales and marketing departments today begin 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 the marketing work. With the help of such a system, the marketing department can more easily set up so-called Marketing Funnels to create warmer leads to the sellers through campaigns, SEO, content and work via social media.

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

Salespeople will also be able to focus on the right type of people in the right type of company.By streamlining your sales and marketing processes in this way, you can also begin to measure exactly what different efforts are achieving. You can now start to see exactly what a campaign has given you in terms of sales or other metrics that you consider important. From a person clicking on your link on Google to a salesperson closing the deal. How cool is that?

2. SEO - Search Engine Optimisation

In difficult times like these, SEO is an incredible marketing strategy. I will explain why. Well, because all physical meetings, fairs, events and seminars are canceled in a crisis like the current one and the activities are moved to the digital forum. More and more people have more time to look for how 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. The buyer wants to make informed, conscious purchases all by themselves today. No one wants a salesperson to tell them what to do, but we want to find the best solution ourselves before we choose to contact a salesperson or a company.If you are to succeed in these difficult times, it is important that you appear 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.

Content_200D↩3. content_200D↩

These are the times when people and companies want to rely on suppliers and partners who are on top of things and who inspire confidence. So how do you do that? Well, you do it by creating and disseminating really good content in different forms. Content that gives your customers and potential customers lots of knowledge.

Knowledge that helps them get better and helps them overcome their own challenges. My tip is to tell your customers the value of your services and products. Offer tangible tips and tricks that your customers can implement immediately. You can create lots of different types of content from blog posts to videos, vlogs, podcasts, webinars and courses etc.

Besides the fact that great content builds trust, Google also 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 that has a lot of knowledge in this area and thus lift you higher in the organic search results on Google. In other words, there are only advantages to really good content.

Social media ‍4.

Now that all physical meetings, fairs and events are canceled, social media is becoming an even more powerful channel to be seen. Everyone suddenly has more time to hang out on e.g. LinkedIn. If we can't see each other IRL, we want to network even more digitally. Therefore, make sure you have a top of the line presence in social media. Choose the channels that are most important to you and where your customers are.

Most often in B2B it is LinkedIn that applies. Feel free to tell your employees that it is not only the salespeople who should be on LinkedIn, but all people with different roles within your company should be there. I usually 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 point above. All this content that you produce can be shared by your employees on social media. Imagine the effect if all your employees shared something on LinkedIn at least once a week? It would be your most powerful marketing effort in these times! So with that said. Enter the wonderful world of social media!

‍5. Digitalization

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.

Measurement and analysis ‍6.

Last, but certainly not least, comes measurement and analysis. Now there is no longer any such thing as a good gut feeling when it comes to the results of your efforts. If you don't already measure the results of your various efforts, it is incredibly important that you start doing so now. Therefore, make sure to implement the most important analysis tools. Here we primarily recommend Google's own analysis tool.

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

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 trade fairs and events are not happening, my recommendation is to focus more on digital. In other words, measurement and analysis will be an incredibly important part of the upcoming marketing work. It can 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. In this blog post you will find more information about this: What is a lead worth?

Summary- how to succeed with B2B sales and marketing in difficult times In summary, I would like to say that there are several things you can do to make the absolute best of a difficult time like this. My advice is to first take some time to think about the situation and then have the courage to be innovative, resourceful and adaptive - it doesn't have to cost a lot to do this.

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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