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Ever wondered about the solution to increasing higher customer engagement for a company? Although common but effective, the answer revolves around the basic principle of providing the right product at the right price and including appropriate features that get delivered to the customer at the right time.
Convenience plays a key role in the B2B Sector for establishing higher customer engagement and retention. Customer engagement involves establishing an emotional connection between the customer and the brand. An increase in customer engagement helps affect sales and promotion of the brand in a positive way. A customer engagement strategy for B2B companies should ensure the quality of service or product is delivered as marketed to the audience.
Imagine a situation where a person has been loyal to a specific brand. Their recommendation of your brand to people in their social circle would increase the customer engagement for a company with new potential customers. As the demand for products increases, customer engagement and quality increase by the company. In this article, we cite the importance of B2B Customer Engagement and Expert tips to increase engagement.
B2B Customer Engagement refers to a marketing approach that focuses on creating an engaging relationship with the customer that ensures their retention. The basic principle of the B2B Customer Engagement strategy is to provide the customer with value rather than simple advertising. As the B2B
The sector has evolved over the years, so have the customers. They are aware of every niche in the B2B Sector and demand a newer approach to engagement.
The core value of it is to build healthy relations with the customer and cater to their needs. Apart from being the beneficiary, B2B Customer Engagement focuses on customer participation in the evolution of the brand. The focus of Customer Engagement has shifted from acquisition to engagement.
In the ever-evolving market scenario, B2B Customer Engagement becomes important to increase your company’s customer base and sales. A company needs to focus on its customer engagement to ensure loyalty and further influence the network marketing of the brand.
According to research done by Forrester, the B2B eCommerce is bound to account for 13.1% of sales in the United States by 2021 and 17% by 2023, and the key brand differentiator will be customer experience and engagement that overtakes price and product. Before approaching a vendor, potential prospects wait till they gather 65-90% buying information and a clear idea of their needs.
B2B Customer Engagement plays a vital role in determining the long-term success of a company. Since these customers review their needs before approaching, they prefer engaging with the brand rather than inclusive advertising strategies. Engaging with customers ensures reliability and trust of the brand among customers and places the company at a higher value in the market.
Another important reason for B2B customer engagement is the increased competition in the market. Buyers have various options of vendors and brands in the market, and it becomes important to interact and cater to the customer’s needs to ensure their retention.
Customer engagement does not completely ensure customer retention, as a competitor could provide extensive features and easier communication that lure the customer to switch brands or companies. With the increase in content marketing strategies, customers expect information about a business and its products for purchasing. Hence, building the credibility of your brand assures customers to seek out your products or services.
Personalized experience in purchasing products has become an important aspect among customers to engage with a brand. Businesses that offer personalization across different platforms and channels account as a key deciding factor among varied customers and their sales needs.
Customer Engagement can sometimes become a challenge for businesses considering the ever-evolving buying pattern of customers and their needs. With each customer having their share of requirements, it becomes important to improvise and adapt consistently. Poor Customer Engagement could hamper various factors of a business growth like their profits, sales, conversions, brand loyalty, and retention.
Some challenges faced in B2B Customer Engagement are:
● Customers get distracted due to the exceeding number of competitors in the market. Businesses need to work towards effective B2B Customer Engagement to increase the loyal customer base.
● Most customers demand effective communication with the business or brand, and this becomes a major challenge for businesses to enhance B2B Customer Engagement.
● Generic advertising strategies become an important challenge for B2B Customer Engagement as people usually prefer effective communication on a personal level with companies under B2B Sector.
● Companies and brands often miss out on gaining complete access to customer insights from various departments to create an effective B2B Customer Engagement strategy. It increases the quality of business interactions and helps to analyze the needs of each customer.
● Many businesses fail to provide capabilities that control and execute their customer experience strategy. Research by Accenture pointed out that approximately 21% of B2B Companies have control over their sales partners that influence the customer experience.
● Lack of Back-end integration poses a great challenge for companies to gain access to accurate customer data.
● Most customers prefer customization offerings from their preferred brands. Lack of modern interfaces gives companies a challenge to provide customizations to their customers and enhance the B2B Customer Engagement.
● Providing customer satisfaction by building brand credibility and trust is a major challenge for companies to improve B2B Customer Engagement.
● Customers expect an increase in quality with an increase in credibility. This poses a major challenge for businesses to adapt and plan according to the adapting needs.
● Improved delivery systems through customer data analysis become a challenge to cater to individual customers.
● Bringing Data centricity into marketing options is important for businesses as customers have started to prefer solutions based on their previous interactions and choices.
● Greater Customer Engagement helps create an environment for customers where all their needs get resolved. This ensures higher customer retention and satisfaction.
● B2B Customer Engagement has a higher and positive impact on the company’s performance. A study by McKinsey showed that B2B companies that improved their Customer Engagement strategies saw benefits like the companies under the B2C sector with revenue growth of 10-15%. The report also showed higher client and employee satisfaction along with a 10-20% reduction in operational costs.
● Ensuring an effective B2B Customer Engagement helps influence a higher Return On Investment (ROI) on all B2B Operations.
● B2B Customer Engagement strategies help establish a personalized experience with companies that ensure long-term relations.
● Since customers of B2B Companies are not one, catering to each individual’s needs can be difficult. Customer Engagement helps understand the needs of each customer and gives an extensive look into customer data analysis.
● B2B Customer Engagement improves customer experience, encouraging them to spend more on your products and services. Research by McKinsey indicated that enriching customer experience could lead to a 30 to 50% increase in KPIs, including a higher possibility to renew or sell another product.
B2B Customer Engagement involves bringing more customers through effective interaction and retaining the existing customers to ensure brand loyalty and credibility. To start an effective B2B Customer Engagement, a company has to follow various strategic approaches and techniques. Some of them include:
Multiple Channel Engagement
Companies can approach and engage with customers on different channels and many platforms. This builds a positive reputation of the company and responsibility, quick response time, and higher agility.
Customer Engagement Technology
Using Customer Engagement technology puts all customer’s communication channels in one place for effective communication and management.
Improving Service Quality
B2B Customer Engagement enhances by improving the service quality of your product based on reviews and feedback by customers. This brings credibility to the business and makes customers feel heard.
Increase Brand Personality
Working towards creating a relatable and meaningful brand personality increases brand awareness. Once the brand awareness increases, customers find a sense of meaning with the brand and desire engagement.
Conversational Marketing is an effective approach to increase B2B Customer Engagement. Using Chatbots or automated services for your brand can create realistic engagement experiences and helps address the customer’s issue quicker.
While bringing more customers through engagement is important for a brand, they must focus on existing customer retention. Consistent positive, reliable, and meaningful interactions with a business help keep the customers engaged and satisfied with the brand.
Social Media Marketing
For effective B2B Customer Engagement, social media marketing and interactions are a good way to respond to customers. While used in B2C, social media marketing has begun to cater to B2B Customer engagement in recent times.
Initiating effective Engagement campaigns on various platforms is an ideal approach for Customer Engagement. Social Media campaigns and video storytelling advertisements help establish the brand image among the customers. Although generic, advertising campaigns help explain the brand ideology and practices to customers, increasing brand credibility.
B2B Customer Engagement can impact a business in many positive ways. Customer Engagement can benefit the buyers and suppliers alike and additionally meet with the B2B Customer Expectations. Some of how Customer Engagement helps Businesses include:
● Increased customer interactions and engagements can increase the
The business’s brand value and develop customer loyalty over time.
● Customer interactions provide customer insights that help improve marketing decisions and enhance retargeting and content development.
● Customer insights can also help improve sales processes and outreach methods of the business.
● Businesses can boost their brand experience among their customers through effective Customer Engagement.
● Consistent Customer Engagement increases customer loyalty and trust that helps with customer retention.
● Customer engagement can provide the business with valuable customer feedback and insights that help improve its brand quality and alter methods.
● Customer Engagement leads to increased Customer Experience and satisfaction that help the brand image of the business.
● With customer feedback, insights, and enhanced marketing decisions, a business can increase its funnel velocity.
While Customer Engagement for B2B can be tricky at times, few experts have provided businesses with effective solutions and strategies that can be incorporated into business Customer Engagement and Sales strategies. These experts have included various elements in their blogs that highlight the importance of Customer Engagement and Solutions that help with engagement.
Sam Bayer, Corevist
Say Bayer believes that to increase Customer Engagement in the B2B world, businesses need to provide the right product, with the right features, at the right price, and delivered at the right time. By following these conditions and parameters, businesses can nail the Customer Engagement game. He states that the buyer requires convenience at the end of the day, and businesses that provide convenience have a higher chance for customer retention.
He also believes in effective ERP Integration as it provides valuable insights into records related to products, inventory levels, customers, contracts, credit limits, pricing, and more. As businesses improve their ERP Systems, they can soon increase their B2B eCommerce revenues based on data analysis.
Beth Shero, Shero Commerce
Beth Shero believes in cutting friction from B2B Customer Engagement. As the demand for quick purchasing bulk orders and integration of back-office systems to streamline order workflow increases, he suggests seamless interaction between product information management, eCommerce, and ERP play for effective B2B Customer Engagement.
John Evans, Akeneo
John Evans from Akeneo believes in adapting and borrowing best practices from B2C that remain relevant in B2B. While products provided in these industries are different, with B2B offering many complex products, the common goal is to efficiently and cost-effectively manage their product catalog.
Evans claims that at Akeneo, B2B Customers prefer buying products online from vendors. To tackle this, providing high quality, comprehensive, and complete product information on eCommerce, print, mobile, marketplace, and POS is important for B2B Companies. Technologies like product information management (PIM), eCommerce platform, and ERP are crucial components for a comprehensive and compelling customer experience.
Erik Hansen, Classy Llama
Erik Hansen believes that Progressive Web Apps are the future for B2B companies and eCommerce. Erik believes the solution for effective B2B Customer Engagement is to modernize customers’ buying experience and work on Ship estimates, much like B2C. Allowing re-ordering based on the previous year’s sale levels and building interactive parts schematics for the easy part lookup are effective solutions to improve B2B Customer Engagement.
Another solution by Erik is to integrate ERP systems with PIM systems to ensure the product information is available to buyers and manage large catalogs. Erik recommends integrating picking systems with a suitable system integrator.
Arturs Kruze, Magebit
Arturs Kruze believes that B2B Businesses have started caring about ease of use and automation and improving storefronts for their sites. The solution to improve Customer Engagement in B2B is to set up proper product information management, eCommerce, and ERP play technologies that communicate and share data between them. Automation is the key to transform and enhance B2B Customer Engagement.
Tony J. Hughes, Best-selling Author, and Sales Trainer
Tony Hughes believes that the effective solution to improve B2B Customer Engagement is to evolve with a modern approach to selling centered on building a pipeline that leverages social media platforms. He believes in applying leading methodologies to manage complex sales and handle customer feedback.
Action Needed: Mood of B2B Buyer (linkedin.com)
Jill Rowley, GTM Advisor, Category Creator
Jill Rowley explains that the ideal solution for enhancing B2B Customer Engagement is to use social selling to drive revenue growth. Some solutions provided by her include:
● Instead of selling the product to B2B buyers, serve the product to them.
● Instead of talking to potential B2B buyers, talk with the B2B buyers and understand their needs or consider their feedback.
● Establish your business as a trusted source that provides authentic quality products, and refrain from becoming a biased spin merchant.
● Connect potential B2B buyers with experts and influencers, and increase business credibility among customers.
Serving the Modern B2B Buyer (linkedin.com)
Mike Kunkle, internationally-recognized sales enablement expert, Vice President of Sales Effectiveness Services for SPARXiQ
Mike Kuntle believes in smart selling in the age of Artificial Intelligence. He states that the effective solution for improving B2B Customer Engagement in the evolving world is to create new ideas, content, and approaches for customers. Explosions of innovation can increase customer interaction and interest in your business. The four core solutions that help in improving B2B Customer Engagement in the evolving world, according to Mike, are connecting dots by analyzing data, Creativity/Ideation, Adaptability, and Improvisation.
Implications for B2B Selling in the Age of Artificial Intelligence – MikeKunkle.com
Tiffani Bova, Distinguished Analyst and Research Fellow at Gartner
Tiffany Bova focuses on sales transformation and business model innovation for effective B2B Customer Engagement. She believes the solution to improving B2B Customer Engagement is by harnessing emerging technologies and analyzing the shifts in buyer behavior and buying patterns to create an efficient B2B Sales transformation plan. This helps create a strategy that bodes well with each customer and helps in the existing retention of buyers.
Tiffany’s Podcast: What’s Next! with Tiffani Bova
Jack Kosakowski, CEO of Creation Agency for the US division
Jack Kosakowski believes that to increase B2B Customer Engagement, it is important to use social media to create, strengthen, and influence the sales conversation and improve interaction with customers. By diving into social analytics and customer feedback, businesses can align their sales and marketing team.
Why Social Is The New Phone For B2B Sales (jackkosakowski.com)
Alice Heiman, Management Consulting and Business Consulting
Alice Heiman believes the key to increasing B2B Customer Interaction is by placing value propositions in a business’s sales message. Better prepared sales representatives that deal with customer grievances and feedback by helping efficient solutions build relationships with the B2B buyer and aid quicker
Return on Investment for the business.
Build a B2B Sales Organization from the Ground Up – Alice Heiman
John Smibert, Co-Author of B2B sales novel The Wentworth Prospect
John Smibert believes the key to successful B2B Customer Engagement is to remain with customers throughout their buying journey. He believes that in this evolving modern world, it is important to touch the client from the beginning and end through the buying journey. By aligning the Sales and Marketing of a Business, the process is, and businesses can gain greater access to customer analytics and increase engagements.
TALKING SALES 170: “Aligning Sales and Marketing on the buyer journey” – Graham Hawkins – Sales Leader Forums
Lee Salz, Business Consulting, Management Consulting, Bestselling author of “Sales Differentiation.”
Lee Salz believes the solution for B2B Customer Engagement is to approach buyers with proper research of the buyer and their needs considered. Approaching a B2B buyer using effective marketing strategies that include their business terminologies helps build a relationship with the buyer and increases Customer Engagement.
Use crime-solving strategies to boost your B2B sales – The Business Journals (bizjournals.com)
David Brock, Author “Sales Manager Survival Guide,”CEO at Partners In EXCELLENCE
David Brock believes that B2C customers have leveraged digital channels that are more powerful than B2B. He feels the solution for B2B Customer Engagement is to adapt to the B2C trends in customization, personalization, customer experience, and ease of doing business. All these adaptations have to be incorporated into B2B, keeping the customer needs and B2C world differences in mind.
Making B2B More Like B2C Sales??? | Partners in EXCELLENCE Blog — Making A Difference
Tim Rockwell, national sales manager at Imperial Blades
Tim Rockwell believes that productivity is a by-product of the healthy attitude and mindset of B2B sellers. The three points that contribute to B2B Customer Engagement, according to Tim, are compensation, competition, and comradery. These points ensure high levels of productivity and increased interaction among B2B Customers.
How to lead a successful b2b sales team
Tibor Shanto, Author of the award-winning book “Shift!: Harness The Trigger Events That Turn Prospects Into Customers”
Tibor Shanto believes the key to effective B2B Customer Engagement is by businesses integrating CRM. This helps businesses for a timeline of the right conversations to have, which ensures further steps and strategies by the business. CRM improves customer conversation over time and helps build a B2B buyer relation.
B2B Sales and Time Travel – TiborShanto.com 01 – Prospecting
Keenan, CEO A Sales Guy Consulting, Recruiting
Keenan believes that B2B Customer Engagement will improve if the business has the expertise and knowledge of navigating and selling to B2B buyers. This helps businesses execute against robust sales processes, know how to prospect, navigate the buying process, and build relationships with customers.
Good News For B2B Sales People | A Sales Guy
Bob Apollo, Business Consulting, Management Consulting
Bob Apollo believes in recording your opportunity management systems to improve B2B Customer Engagement. The process involves improvement in recording name source, trigger campaign, BDM, time to progress, and leakage or failure to progress for each stage in the B2B buyer’s journey.
Six Strategies for B2B Sales and Marketing in 2012 (inflexion-point.com)
Jill Konrath, Author of 4 Best Selling Sales Books, Twice named LinkedIn’s #1 B2B Sales Expert
Jill Konrath believes that the key to effective B2B Customer Engagement revolves around applying fresh approaches and modern sales strategies that encourage customer interaction.
Jill Konrath’s Fresh Sales Strategies
Matt Heinz, President, Heinz Marketing Inc.
Matt Heinz believes that in the current modern technological world, there are many various platforms, tools, and technologies at the disposal of every business for effective Customer Engagement. Utilizing these tools to their full potential can help develop greater relations with B2B buyers.
Daily B2B Sales and Marketing Insights (heinzmarketing.com)
To increase B2B Customer Engagement, businesses can:
● Calculate the Customer Engagement by calculating Sale frequency, Average order value, and Repeat sale rate that helps keep track of customer analytics and adapt marketing strategies.
● Using Customer Engagement technology puts all customers’ communication channels in one place for effective communication and management.
● B2B Customer Engagement enhances improving the service quality of your product based on reviews and feedback by customers.
● Adding value to every customer engagement helps create a powerful switching barrier that keeps customers invested in the business.
Click-to-call services by LimeCall help increase Customer Engagement. Customers can connect with agents or specific teams of a business. Apart from managing Customer Engagement, LimeCall features also help generate and track leads. This helps in tracking your progress and building healthier customer relations based on lead analytics.
● Improve existing customer experience with effective communication models that cater to B2B buyers.
● Be transparent with customer analytics and business plans. This helps create credibility and trust among customers for the business.
● Incorporating modern technology that gives analytical customer feedback improves marketing strategies and builds positive customer experience and engagement.
● Using Omnichannel strategies to cater to customers through various mediums. Linking many platforms helps understand each customer and increases engagement.
● Personalizing the customer experience that encourages customer loyalty and consistency with the business.
● Adapt relevant strategies and methods from B2C and incorporate marketing approaches that affect B2B Customer Engagement.
Using LimeCall Click-to-Call service features helps categorize your customers according to varied needs and provides effective customer engagement solutions. LimeCall integrates to use in many ways, like a widget or automation via API. Some of the top LimeCall features include Call Masking, Lead Generation, Lead Tracking, Call Analytics, Call Stalking, Call Recording, Customer Call Feedback Analysis, and much more. These features help in increasing Customer Engagement and improve relations with B2B buyers.
Convenience plays a key role in the B2B Sector for establishing higher customer engagement and retention. Hence, B2B businesses need to structure their marketing models to cater to customer needs and promote B2B Customer Engagement. Following tips and tricks from Expert suggestions help develop the business plan from an experienced marketers’ perspective. To sum up, the tips that help in increasing B2B Customer Engagement, businesses should:
● Personalize the buying process according to the B2B buyer’s needs to increase customer satisfaction.
● Buyers have various options of vendors and brands in the market, and it becomes important to interact and cater to the customer’s needs to ensure their retention.
● Work towards creating a relatable and meaningful brand personality to increase brand awareness.
Never underestimate the power of passion. With over 17 years of experience in building internet businesses, 5 successful bootstrapped b2b brands. Sathish spends most of his time executing ideas into niche internet brands through a lean team and enjoys being a wanderlust.
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