Inside the mind of the B2B Buyer
Is your business truly customer-centric? According to Forbes, only 14% of B2B companies are, so if you can get inside the head of a B2B buyer, you’re going to have a huge advantage in the market.
Webinar topic detail
We’re hosting an expert panel of marketing leaders for a 45 minute quick-fire discussion, packed with practical tips on how to get inside the mind of the B2B buyer.
Whether you feel your organization is already well on the way to being customer-centric or you really need some urgent help, this session will arm you some new ideas to boost your results.
During this 45 minute session, you will:
Learn where the ‘pinch points’ are for your prospects
Discover how to instil confidence in your target audience
Understand how to create an online presence that does the heavy lifting
Pick up some techniques to improve emotional engagement with your audience
Get tangible tips to create experiences that your prospects will love
From this webinar, you’ll take away actionable tips that will help you to improve your buyer’s digital frustration.
Whether you are new to digital marketing or a digital marketing guru, you will be guaranteed to take away some helpful insight.
Understanding B2B psychology can be the ace up your sleeve. Grab a coffee and join us to get into the minds of your
B2B buyers, make them happy, and see positive results for your business..
July 21, 2022
11:30 EDT | 08:30 PDT | 16:30 BST
Places for this webinar are extremely limited, please register for your place now to avoid disappointment.
Joe: Hello and welcome to this Lead Forensics webinar entitled Inside the Mind of the B2B buyer. We’re going to get cerebral today. We have an excellent host of characters joining us for this webinar. We have Tom Burton, who is co-founder and COO at Leadsmart Technologies and author of The Revenue Zone. Hi Tom.
Tom: Good afternoon. Great to be here.
Joe: We have James Urquhart, who’s Managing Director of Lets Run Social and MIB Data Solutions. Hello, James.
James: Hey Joe, cheers for having me on.
Joe: My pleasure, thanks for joining. And Martin Boyle, Director of Brand and Communications at Lead Forensics. Hello, Martin.
Martin: Hi, Joe. Thanks for having me on.
Joe: Pleasure! We will be using the questions function to take questions from the audience, which can be found at the top right of your screen if you’re attending. Please send them in and we will answer as many as we can if we get time at the end. So when we’re discussing getting inside the mind of the B2B buyer, there’s a lot of mystery around B2B buyers. Who are they? How do they work and what do they want? And the truth is, the B2B buyers are just like you and me. They use Uber, they shop on Amazon and they watch Netflix. The only difference is that they work in the B2B world, where sales processes are horrible and often referred to as minefields. Forbes have recently quoted that only 14% of B2B companies are customer centric and a lot of that is because they do not try and get inside the mind of the B2B buyer. So chaps, do you think that the B2B buyer has changed or adapted at least since the pandemic? There’s going to be a sort of around robin question. So Tom we’ll come to you first on your thoughts on how B2B buyer behaviour has changed since the pandemic.
Tom: Yeah, well, I think you started to hit the nail on the head when you were saying, you know, that basically as B2B buyers are doing the same thing that we do as consumers. The thing that’s really been amplified……. you know, this was happening before the pandemic, but it’s really been amplified and accelerated by the pandemic……. B2B buyers want to buy like consumers do. They want to do their own research. They don’t want to be bombarded with sales calls before they’re ready. They don’t want to talk to salespeople until they’re ready to talk to salespeople and they want to have an experience, right…….in the B2C world, we want a really good buying experience, whether we’re buying on Amazon or another e-commerce site or even buying a car, right we want a really good experience………and the same is true for the B2B buyer is they’re expecting great experiences and experiences that align with how they want to buy versus the way the seller wants to sell. So I think those are the biggest things that I’ve seen that’s changed, that it’s really accelerated since the pandemic.
Joe: Absolutely so, it’s expecting B2C experience but having to navigate the B2B world, I suppose.
Tom: Exactly, exactly.
Joe: James, your thoughts on that? Any sort of agreements, disagreements with what Tom was saying just there?
James: No, I think definitely from an experience perspective, especially from working from home, as Tom’s alluded to….. we as B2B buyers still want that experience, even though you’re buying a B2B product for your business. There is something that we’ve seen and we’ve seen really change since the pandemic, is the influencers. Now, typically before we were working from home but when we were working in the office nine to five Monday to Friday….. there’d be people in the business, whether it’s a marketing team or sales function, there are influencers within that business that will influence the decision on whom or what service and products you’re going to use as a business. Now, what we’ve seen post-pandemic is those influencers aren’t now as influential because they’re not having a coffee with their manager or lunch with their manager. So we’re definitely seeing actually the focus on that buyer needs to elevate and we need to again, bring in what Tom was saying there, that experience for that buyer. Because where we’ve seen some wins in the past, where we’ve gone through the influencers, we’ve sort of really infiltrated that team around them and then the buyers gone, well, actually, if all my team are saying these are really good, I need to have a discussion…………. but now because they’re not all within the office environment day to day. We’ve definitely seen that shift in terms of, again, back to Tom’s point, we need to really bring an experience to the B2B buyer.
Joe: Absolutely Yeah. So I guess where we lacked that, the physical sort of interactions of, like you say, having a cup of coffee with whoever it is, I think you’re absolutely right that there’s something that’s lost when you’re doing things, you know, not in person, that sort of thing. Martin your thoughts on that as well, then. Sorry, carry on.
James: I was just going to say one other thing, Joe. Sorry to just jump in. There is the Gen X crew that are coming through. These guys are used to using social media and they have done for the entirety of their lives, you know. So the people at 30 plus have only had a snippet in their teens of using social media, phones. From a B2B world now, …………and you’ve seen this on TikTok and some very successful businesses have done that……. those that are really engaged with that Gen X community who are now hitting that managerial role are actually, you know, they’re really penetrating some of these buyers because they’ve taken on TikTok or they’ve taken on social media in the right way. Even though it’s a B2B product, they’ve……. again back to Tom’s point really….. it’s that experience. But really those ones that have looked to that Gen X community and gone, right let’s try and get in there early, we’ve seen a real shift on those types of firms as well.
Joe: Yeah yeah, I think you’re absolutely right. You make an excellent point with that. You know, that generation has been brought up with that sort of technology. So they have a much more innate understanding, if you were. Yeah, no, I think you make a fantastic point. Martin, your thoughts on how B2B buyers have changed?
Martin: Yes, I think both Tom and James have made some really good points. I think obviously the pandemic has accelerated some trends. The move towards digital, people are more tech savvy. You know, everyone and their grandma can jump on a Zoom call now. Just like if there…I don’t know if I’m over generalising it but people seem to be more switched on throughout the generations. In B2B marketing, you can be talking to four or five different generations of people. So I think that’s an interesting kind of upshot from what’s come out of the pandemic. What Tom said, you know, more and more people are used to doing their research online. So sales enablement, buyer enablement, all that kind of content comes in, you know. So before talking to anyone or perhaps not talking to anyone at all, people are trying to find out if you’re the right fit for them. Again, social media……so we’re doing TikTok, people are putting themselves out there more, I think, on social media in a B2B context. And I think also one of the things that we’ve noticed in B2B, the reach of your people in most cases; the people in your business is going to be much greater than the reach of your brand’s social profiles if you kind of aggregate it all together. So I think that’s something to consider, you know, people buy from people, but some kind of fundamental things obviously can remain the same……your prospect has got some pain point that you can help them with.
Joe: Absolutely, so just to pick up on the TikTok side of things, I think that’s a very, very clear example of what started out……you know, the public perception of TikTok was its people just doing dance crazes. Whereas now I saw something the other day there was an airline, I can’t remember which one it was, but they announced a change in their uniform policy, not with a press release, nothing like that. They just did it on TikTok and it went crazy, it went crazy viral. So, no, I think you’re absolutely right. The implementation of social media there’s definitely been an upswing and that sort of thing. So Martin, you mentioned pain points. So, Tom, we’ll come back to you, circle back around. What pain points do you encounter within your pipeline?
Tom: Well, I think, you know, as we just talked about, right…….. the buyer wants to be in control of their own journey and they want to remain anonymous longer. They don’t want to necessarily fill in an opt-in form or call and talk to a salesperson or have a discovery call or do all the things that as Sellers we want them to do. So the challenge is, as prospects want to remain anonymous longer and be in control of their own journey. How do you have, as Sellers and as B2B companies, how do you have more visibility on what’s happening…. even though they haven’t raised their hand or provided their email or opt in or whatever? So if you look at a lot of pipelines in the past and the way that we’ve built our marketing analytics, it’s more transactional, right? They downloaded, they opted in, they did something. It’s very transactional……and we’ve used that to drive our pipeline and our forecasting. We need to look at that differently because we need to look at what the actual buyer is doing, track their engagement better, understand what they’re doing and as we see them progressing, then we can have more confidence that they’re moving…… that’s what I talk about in my book ………towards that revenue zone, which is where we really, really want them to be.
Joe: So would you say it’s fair to say it’s a case of adapting? Not how you are selling but sort of adapting to how people are buying rather than trying to force them to buy in a particular way.
Tom: Exactly, if we keep forcing the way we want to sell against the way the buyer wants to buy, right…. we end up with friction and pissed off prospects, which are not the best things either. So yeah, it’s really, you know, aligning…… accepting how buyers want to buy and aligning and building your sales process, your sales experience, your marketing experience and your pipeline and your forecasting to align towards that progression, that’s showing that buyer moving to the point where they’re willing to do business with us, which is what we want.
Joe: Rather than swimming upstream, as it were, I suppose.
Tom: Yeah. … you see it all the time, you know. You see that all the time where there’s real friction because there’s no alignment between the buyer and the seller.
Joe: James, your thoughts. Pain points for you within your pipeline, are they similar to Tom’s mentioned there?
James: I’m really intrigued to hear obviously Tom’s point there. I want to go against it a little bit, Tom, if you don’t mind.
James: I think it definitely depends on the service or what you’re selling, because with service based, if I look at one of my firms, Lets Run Social. We can’t always sell as they want to be sold to because a lot of the time people who come to us have a pain point, which sometimes they don’t know they’ve got. So they can’t enter my ecosystem during my sales cycle. So a lot of the time, especially when we get asked to pitch for work, there’ll be some certain elements that we’ll need to be able to pitch. One of those is, like you discussed then Tom – a discovery call. Because a lot of firms will go out to market and they think they know exactly what they’re looking for when actually, in fact, they might not. That’s not because the B2B buyer is uneducated or bad. It’s just that they might not know what is available or what that firm can do for them. So although I absolutely agree, maybe for SaaS type products, Tom, but I think when you are looking at a service based business like what Lets RunSocial does, we will never do a set package because every business has a different commercial offering. Everything I do, especially in Let’s Run Social, is that if they’re going to spend money, there needs to be a commercial gain for that business. So that’s very hard to do when you’re fully aligned. But in terms of pipeline…… and this all goes in a way with what you’re saying Tom…….is a lot of pipelines are full of rubbish that aren’t actually qualified. Something we try to do a lot here is disqualify, is how can we disqualify this prospect as early as possible. Which is just mad because it reduces your pipeline but with every sales function, you’d rather have a pipeline that is accurate rather than a pipeline that is inaccurate, as we all know. You look at the pipeline and you go, oh, that’s brilliant and then when it comes to the end of the month or however that cycle is, you go, well, that doesn’t add up from what we from what we were expecting. So yeah, that’s my answer on that one Joe.
James: Sorry, just real quick, I totally want to make sure, you know. The discovery calls definitely have their purpose, right? And every business is different to your point and what their cadence is and what their sales motion is. What I would think I was pointing out there is that, you know, I don’t know, you probably get cold emails or cold LinkedIn connections and Hi James, how are you? Can we set up a 15 minute discovery call? You don’t even know what they do, right? So right off the bat, you kind of have friction because it’s like you’ve been interrupted and you (inaudible) …..but having a discovery call in the right sequence and the right place along that journey, totally valuable and very valuable for a lot of B2B businesses.
That’s right. Yeah sorry. I was going to say you’re right there because a lot of sales execs will try and go in too early and that’s because they’re trying to pull up pipeline, like we all do, we’ve all been there. We’ve all tried to pull that pipeline as big as possible. Yeah, like you said, you’ve got to do that initial not so much discovery, but bring them into your ecosystem, whether that’s through content on social, you know, the branding stuff that Martin does for Lead Forensics even, that’s the start of it, definitely.
Joe: So Martin, did you have anything to weigh in on, with the pain points in the pipeline?
Martin: From a brand perspective, Yes for us, we’re mainly selling to people in B2B sales and marketing. And I suppose their real pain points are probably not enough demand, not enough leads or sales. Those are probably the things that are keeping them awake at night…… And to James’s point, maybe they don’t know you can find out who your anonymous website visitors are. So our marketing challenge is, how can we be where they are and make them aware that we can help and how can we kind of create that demand and pull people in?
Joe: So I think I’ll stick with you, Martin, for this next question. What strategies do you take to create and build confidence with the brand and with the buyers?
Martin: So I suppose it’s telling a story or telling stories, basically. Most B2B companies out there aren’t selling necessarily to the owner of a company. They’re selling to someone who has a boss. And the question in their head is likely to be something around the lines of what will I tell my boss or what will I tell the other guys that need to know about this? So, you know, that’s where that kind of conversation around, although they’re not the cheapest comes in. So I think it’s about what can you do to make it a no-brainer to use your products or services based on something other than price. So I think on top of that, you’ve got the reputation piece. So brand, as they always say, is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. So it’s kind of just being aware of managing advocacy. So, you know, we’re on review sites, Trustpilot, G2. Create case studies, compelling stories from someone in your industry about how they managed to get some results is obviously going to hit home. Proof, so which other companies are using the product or service, you know, that can be quite powerful. All of this kind of stuff helps to build up a picture in the mind of the buyer and it helps to kind of remove some of that risk for the buyer. You know, you show that you’re credible, there’s a good reason to use you. It can inform the conversation that maybe this person is having with their team or with their boss.
Joe: It seems that, in all the webinars that I’ve done for Lead Forensics, the same thing keeps coming back up. It’s that authenticity is the currency to be used here, and what you’re saying by using Trustpilot, G2, all these sort of methods and things, I think it really speaks to that. Tom, your thoughts now, What strategies do you take to create and build confidence with your brand and your buyers?
Tom: I do totally agree with what Martin is saying about authenticity and keeping it real. But one thing that we’re really testing and focusing on is having valuable content that is made available at the right time in the buyer journey as much as possible. Now, that’s easier said than done, but so two things…….when I say valuable content, kind of staying away from the more traditional lead magnet………you know, three steps to evaluating a CRM or something in our world. But the more traditional lead magnet that’s trying to just, you know, grab that email address, but really looking at, OK, again, what does that buyer journey need that they’re generally going through and what content is relevant for them and valuable for them at each stage along the way. So a customer testimonial may not be very valuable in the early stage of their process. They just want to know about the product. They want to maybe see some features, a demo or even understand that we understand their problem. Then maybe a customer testimonial or a case study or whatever makes sense (inaudible) down the road. So rather than shotgunning out a bunch of content and letting the prospect try and figure out what content is relevant, at what point in their journey. We’re looking at how do we roll out and provide the right content tailored at the right time based on where they are in that journey along the way. And we’re seeing some really interesting results with that in terms of not only building confidence but really creating a competitive advantage because now we’re guiding the prospect and the competitor is not. And so they’re going to keep looking to us as that thought leader and all of that. So quality of content and then the experience that they’re getting, is really I believe, the key in this new world of building that credibility.
Joe: I think it’s an excellent point you make about tailored content and at the right time as well. You’re absolutely right, it’s key, I think. James, same question to you then about strategies of creating and building confidence.
James: Really just Tom and Martin are on point- case studies, testimonials, right time, right place, all that stuff. There’s a couple of things from more of a sales perspective really, is that we’re going into a recession, we know it’s coming. I think whenever a B2B buyer/owner is spending money there needs to be a commercial gain for that business. Otherwise you do get turned off. Now, I’m stressing this to everyone at the moment especially in the B2B world, is that when you are quoting or pitching….. is that what is that gain for that business? Because if it is not looked at, if it’s not looked at in a commercial sense, I truly believe that buyer at some point or that owner could turn you off overnight because that is just the nature of the beast…..however much they like you. But on the flip side of that, just going on what you guys were saying then, which is personal brand, you know, things like LinkedIn and I know we touched on that in the last point. But in terms of building that brand and that confidence, if they can see that clients are interacting with you online, it might be something that you put on about having a weekend away with your daughter. But if one of your competitors is just going great working with you next week or whatever that may be, again, it just builds confidence. So they are the two points on that one from me. But the key one for me is that commercial element, we’ve got to look at things now commercially. We’ve gone from covid, where we had Furlough in the UK, everyone had loads of disposable income, anybody could create and sell a product overnight. We’re now going into a cost of living crisis here in the UK.
Funds, you know, people’s pockets are a lot, a lot looser and we need to look at things more commercially.
Joe: So just to go back to what you were saying. There was something that you mentioned, you know about a post about going to the beach or whatever. B2B marketing in general has this sort of perception of being fairly bland and you know, emotionless. Again, you gave us an example there, James, of just posting a candid picture at a beach. What sort of emotionally engaging tactics do you employ? We’ll stay with you on this one, James.
James: This one’s hard and I think it’s horses for courses. What I don’t like with personal branding is people that are portraying one image online and then when you get them on the phone or see them in person, they’re a totally different person. That for me is not a personal brand and you know, Martin, you’re giggling now…we see this all the time. I am who I am online, as I am offline and there’s no discrepancy. I think this is actually in terms of just businesses themselves….. if they market themselves in a certain way and then when you get a salesperson on the phone it’s different, automatically there’s no synergy. And this is where the sales and marketing team sometimes, you know in my opinion, need to be close because if you’re marketing your business in a certain way that needs to be across the board, your tone of voice across the whole business needs to be the same. But that personal branding in terms of, like you know the beach example I’ve given…….. Then if you are away for a couple of days and you want to show your prospects, your customers where you are for the weekend and you’re
happy with doing that (because a lot of people aren’t) then show that. For me, I do it now and again and then when I’m on the phone with customers, they go, ‘oh, how was your weekend away?’ So I’ve already got a talking point, you know, they know what I’m up to. Some of them might say, ‘why weren’t you working on our account?’ or whatever it may be. But again, there’s that nature to it. It’s a tricky balance but for me, if you’re portraying yourself one way online, make sure it is actually who you are and you’re not faking it, essentially.
Joe: Yeah, again we’re coming back to authenticity and the consistency that you mentioned, I think, yeah, it’s key, it absolutely is. Martin, same question for you. What emotionally engaging tactics do you employ?
Martin: I think you’re quite fair in saying that B2B marketing has a bit of a reputation of being bland and emotionless and quite often faceless as well. So I think social media definitely…. get your people on there. Create content that’s entertaining as well as informative and get your people to have fun with it. Because I think you can really tell when people are genuinely having a bit of a giggle and that’s contagious. Marketing at its core is about mental availability so what are you doing to be top of mind? And it’s not just about what you’re doing to be top of mind, it’s how do you want to be thought about when you are top of mind, so B2B can definitely use B2C ideas around connecting emotionally, buyers aren’t emotionless robots. You probably don’t want your brand to be seen as a kind of a faceless, emotionless, boring entity. So I would say a really easy tip on that is just get people out there. Then on the topic, we can talk about all sorts of things on this question……..you know, on the topic of account based marketing, 1 to 1 (inaudible) there’s a lot you can do to personalise and connect and bring some emotion into that however that is probably a webinar for another day.
Joe: Well, let me know when you’re available. We’ll do that. That’s fine. But no, you’re absolutely right. just a small piece, a bit of humanity to it. I think it’s been proven that if you have a YouTube thumbnail that says, you know, top three tips to such and such but if you put a person saying ‘hey, this is how to do that’, I think people are more likely to click on it. So, yeah, you’re absolutely right with your content, I think. Tom, last but not least, same question to you there.
Tom: Yeah, I totally agree with James and Martin in terms of, you know, putting a bit of a personality, right. I think where companies get into trouble is where they post that picture at the beach kind of as a gimmick almost versus really making it part of their brand. And that transparency of hey, I want to understand what the business is like and behind the scenes. You can just tell sometimes when people publish something because it’s like I said, almost a gimmick or just something to attract and get a bunch of likes or whatever. But I think the other part of it and Martin, I think you touched on this earlier, as you build your content, even going back to what I was talking about earlier is the sequence of content that you’re providing. Look at it as how you can weave a story into that. Make it a story and make the prospect or the buyer the hero, right. You know, when you build a story there’s always a hero and a villain and all of that. Well, look at the viewpoint when you’re creating your content ….. OK, well, who is the hero? and how do I weave a story through that. Even if it’s just a little story as they move through. We’re seeing that as a really interesting way to keep the interest level and the attention level as well because they’re looking for what’s the next chapter of the story? What’s the next episode in the piece here? Again, don’t go……you can go completely in the other direction and it goes off track by trying to make it too much like a movie or a story. But see if you can weave a little bit of story, maybe 20% story, 80% valuable content. Again, not easy but just be thinking about that. We’re seeing some really interesting results with that.
Joe: It’s an excellent point. I make a lot of videos and content for Lead Forensics and the approach that I take is that exact thing. You know, it’s not going to be Anton Chekhov or whatever, but everything should have a story, and should have a narrative flow to it. So no, I completely, completely agree, that’s a fantastic point. So I want to talk about incentives for a bit, so incentives can and are most commonly used on the B2C side. But do any of you do any B2B incentives? And how do you keep them relevant to your goals? James, we’ll drop down to you for that one.
James: Incentives….. and again I’m interested to get Martin and Tom’s point on this after mine. But I think they’re becoming quite dangerous sometimes in the B2B world. And if I always bring it back to, you’ll sort of gauge where I’m going with this, but in terms of commercial, as I see all the time, what I see sometimes on LinkedIn….. is that, ‘oh, you know, here do us a Trustpilot review or x, y, z, and you can be put into a draw’. Is that authentic, first of all? And sometimes it’s not, they’re just in it because they want to win, whatever it may be. But then I always bring it back to, from a marketing or sales perspective, is how much is it going to cost you to acquire a customer? And back to that pipeline point, is it the right type of people for your pipeline? Because if that incentive is going to bring in the wrong type of people into your pipeline, then even though the incentive looks brilliant because on paper the marketing team has created x amount of leads, has it brought in the right type of leads? And then back to Tom’s point earlier, which is putting the right content, from the right people, at the right time, it sort of detracts away from that a little bit. So I think from an initial acquisition perspective, I think it can be dangerous from that perspective. I think actually keeping a customer engaged with your brand or your business can sometimes work really well. Now with one of my firms, which is MIB data solutions, we provide data, prospect lists to the UK market and some in the US and depending on how much that business will buy from us they get a cheaper rate. So there’s an incentive there, but it’s not so much…… it’s more of a buy more, here’s a bit of a discount. I think incentives, even though they can work brilliantly, I’m always conscious that they’re bringing in the wrong customers, the wrong leads but also it breeds bad sales and marketing tactics sometimes. I’m not saying that’s across the board but I think sometimes it can do. But like I said, I’m very intrigued to hear Martin and Tom’s point on this one.
Joe: Let’s jump straight across to…… sorry, Tom you look like you wanted to……..
Tom: Well, I completely agree that in the early stage of the sales process, incentives can be very dangerous and are likely going to attract the wrong type of prospect, especially if it’s used like a lure to get them into the, you know, much like if you go to a trade show and they’re giving away free stuff at your booth to scan your badge and you get all these scans of all these bogus people that don’t even know who you are, you know, and you count those as leads….it’s a similar thing. Where I do see an interesting use, and I think you touched on this, James, for incentives is once you have a customer you want that customer to become an ambassador. You want that customer to be an evangelist for you and be willing to talk about you and all of that. I think there’s a lot of things that can be done. Incentivize …… not even, non-financial, but even for an example of having a customer on a podcast and getting them exposed to other prospects or putting them on a YouTube video and exposing them and exposing their business and spotlight what they’re doing. There’s a lot of things you can do to incentivize but I think it works a lot better when they’re a customer. I think that you can also get into trouble in a presale or a prospect situation as well…….. which stakeholder is getting incentives and which ones aren’t. You can create unnecessary politics and friction. The value of it is not going to be there versus the risk but I do think once you have a customer, there’s some interesting ways to incentivize
them. I don’t know if it’s by giving them financial incentive or giving them something. It’s more of ‘hey, how do we help your business and how do we help you accomplish what you’re trying to accomplish’……either personally as a personal brand or as a business brand
Joe: Definitely, I definitely would consider that would be a much more valuable transaction for that…..and turning them into ambassadors is a smashing idea. Martin, your thoughts on that one?
Martin: Yeah, that’s a great point. As a business, we occasionally run them but not too often. I think if the prospect really needs your product or service they’ll be interested in finding out more. Incentives can obviously give a little nudge. Perhaps I would just say test and learn. Look at the return on investment you’re getting on a case by case basis. To James’s point, you know, is it bringing the right people in or they convert? So kind of tie up the whole attribution piece. It might work well for some businesses and some industries and not so well for others. So I’d just say test and learn. Tom, great point……all businesses are going to benefit from getting their customers to really open up, tell their stories and share their stories of the actual experience. So yeah, I think it’s a great point.
Joe: Chaps this has been a fantastic discussion. I really like the ideas that are being floated around here. So the question that I’m going to end on is if there was one key takeaway that you would want the entire audience to come away with from this discussion about Inside the B2B Buyer’s Mind. What is that one key golden rule? What would that be? Tom, let’s start with you.
Tom: Can I give two?
Joe: Go on then. Go on,
Tom: Then there’s two. So the first is mindset, right…… As B2B Sellers, we have to change our mindset a bit to how are we going about selling to align with that buyer journey and the way buyers want to buy. So rather than trying to force our buyers and prospects into our process and MQLs and SQLs and all the things that we try and do that doesn’t really necessarily align with the buyer’s desired experience. It’s a shift in a mindset. That’s what we work with people all the time, if you don’t change the mindset that you’re going to have to do things differently then it’s very hard to adapt and you kind of keep trying to do the same thing and/or do more of the same thing to try and get a different result and that generally doesn’t work. Second and we’ve kind of touched on this, but even just what you were saying with Lead Forensics and James, I know you touched on this a little bit …..is really, take your data …….you know. We all have a lot of first party data, data about our customers, data about our prospects, if you’re using Lead Forensics you have data that you’re getting from that. Take your data, consider it a lot more valuable and really look at how you use that data to continually improve that experience with the customer, right. Even if they are being more anonymous or even look at how your customers are buying and all of that. There’s a tremendous amount of data that we see that companies are just wasting. They just throw it away and it’s super valuable. You know, third party data is becoming less and less accessible and more and more expensive. So your first party data is even more valuable and more useful. Even if you’re not knowing what you’re going to do with it right away, start thinking about in the future how you want to take advantage of it. So I know we could probably do a whole other webinar on data and we didn’t really touch a lot on that. But I do think it’s something, you know. Mindset and data are the two things that we really try and stress to our customers.
Joe: Thank you very much, Tom. Some very, very salient points from you. James, have you got one that can I limit you to, one take away? Or would you like to take advantage of having the two for offer?
James: I’ll have the two but I’ll be quick, promise. First of all… you need to realise that retaining business is a lot cheaper than going out and getting a new business. That’s the first of all and especially going into a recession like I’ve already discussed today, it’s going to be cheaper to retain those than it is to go out and find more. So that’s the biggest point. And then my second point is…. keep it commercial. Those customers that you have got on board, what are your services and products doing for that business? And if it’s fluffy, have a look at it and make sure you fully understand what your customers are having from you and what they’re doing and what you’re doing for them. Try and always bring it back to a commercial gain for that business because without stressing about it. We are going to go into tough economics and those owners or those people with the purse strings will either reduce their budgets or have them stripped entirely. Now, if you can prove what your service or product is doing, is commercially helping the business get through this time, you will never be turned off unless they’re mad. So that’s my two points.
Joe: That’s great. James, thank you very much for joining us from your lovely van. It’s been a joy. Martin, I mean, I’ll give you the buy one get one offer as well. But if you do want to just give us one piece of advice. Absolutely go for it.
Martin: Let’s go for just really simply putting yourself in their shoes. So I think marketing and sales can be seen as something that’s done to people sometimes. So basically super simple. Just try and look at everything you do through the eyes of the person who’s going to be on the receiving end of it and look at it across everything. So that’s my one little gem for today.
Joe: No, it’s perfect, it’s a wonderful nugget of advice. Guys, thank you so much for joining us.
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