2020 B2B Sales Methods

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I was putting together an unstructured list of different ways how to most-likely gain new B2B customers in 2020. They vary a lot when it comes to effectiveness and efficiency. When I say B2B, I’m referring to high-ticket, multi-touch, consultative selling tactics with long sales cycles.

There’s no one-fits-all channel. It depends on

  • Market adoption – problem/solution awareness
  • Relevance & urgency – being valuable is not enough
  • Solution alternatives – fighting against internal alternatives or external competitors

 

Seeds

  • Referrals & recommendations from existing customers and partners. This is the most effective but unfortunately also the least scalable way to gain new customers.
  • Recommendations from “Industry insiders”. Great idea, but if you are unknown or new to a market segment, nobody will risk their own reputation by recommending you. You cannot pay an expert to recommend you.
  • Networking / Word-of-Mouth. Even your CEO should have this on his priority list for 2020.

 

Nets

  • SEO & PPC. Will your buyers use Google to find a solution for the problem you solve? Where do your buyers hang out? LinkedIn, Facebook?
  • Social Media Engagement. Engage with their content but also provide valuable content for them. Do you know enough about your buyers?
  • Live webinars. This is just another type of content (like blog articles, video, podcast) but a very effective one if done right.
  • Industry specific print and online magazines. Use their reach to promote your content (articles plus ads).
  • Online groups & forums. Research them and make this a part of your digital marketing strategy.
  • 3rd party newsletters. Niche magazines very often run a newsletter to super segmented readers. You can buy a slot there.
  • Exhibiting and Speaking on conferences & trade shows. Good for your ego (marketers would call it brand awareness) but not very scalable.

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Spears

  • Cold Calling. I know people they say it still works every now and then, if done by very senior sales executives or CEO. Not a strategy you want to rely on in 2020. We stopped in 2014 to offer cold-calling as a service.
  • Cold Emailing. Really depends on market adoption and solution alternatives. Email prospecting to early adopters is still a very powerful thing if focus is on quality and not quantity (GDPR…).
  • Direct Mailing. Did you receive a letter in a prominent envelope in last month? Did it make you curious? Did you open it? Yes, you can stand out from the crown again. Works for niches.
  • Speak to exhibitors and other visitors at conferences & trade shows. Ok for networking (seeds) but not for direct lead generation.
  • Track website visitors. If you have some website traffic, you can analyze the visitor’s company and reach out to their buyer persona (directly or indirectly with retargeting).
  • LinkedIn Messaging. Very powerful, although Germany came late to the party.

 

As you can see, some are obvious, some might be new, some you’ve already forgotten and might want to reanimate them in 2020.

How can we help? We do a lot on outbound lead generation (spears) for our clients but we also help them on some inbound lead generation (nets) tactics.

More important to know about us is that we actively help to find out very early what might work for a particular target group:

 

Sales success = product * target * message * channel * tactics

 

 

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