One size doesn’t fit all.
Unfortunately, many digital agencies, marketing agencies and marketing consultants just don’t get B2B sales.
They don’t understand the sales cycle, the stakeholder management or the complexity of what they’re marketing, and they try to peddle the same old thing.
Let’s launch another funnel, another Facebook pixel and another campaign.
The simple truth is, if you haven’t worked in a complex B2B sales environment, you just don’t get it.
If you don’t get it, you won’t deliver results for your clients.
And that’s where I see one of the biggest problems with digital agencies today, they think the complex sales process is the same for a consumer, for a SOHO, small business, for a SMEs, medium-sized business or large business.
Last week I was catching up with a good friend of mine, Alan, who runs a software business. He wanted to talk to someone he knew, who understood complex sales, understood B2B and would get what he was saying.
He was frustrated with the marketing consultants he had engaged because they didn’t get him or his business.
Agencies and consultants will pitch the silver bullet, the one quick-fix solution that will solve all of your problems.
After six months of frustration, he cut the consultants loose and decided to do it himself.
And what can I say? He is doing better than the external partners ever have.
He built momentum in his business. He took it from 3 million to 5 million, and he has plans to take that up to 10 million.
So, Alan and I had coffee and a great chat, and I want to share a couple of insights with you.
The first piece of advice I have for you is not to buy into everything agencies are telling you.
They talk about silver bullets. They talk about having one thing that will fix everything for you and then suddenly your calendar will be flooded with appointments.
But the complex B2B sales process doesn’t work like that. It’s about building momentum. It’s about building trust in the market.
Alan started with building a structured plan about what he was trying to achieve each quarter.
The first quarter was all about ensuring his product had market fit, defining customer insights, making sure what he was selling was resonating with the customers.
Alan did that offline, so he could observe reactions to what he was saying.
Alan then moved into direct marketing and sales. Face to face marketing and sales, more meetings, connecting with customers, refining the offer, really deeply understanding what customers wanted and how his proposition works.
And then, once he had validated the product and the messaging, he scored sales.
What Alan had done was to build momentum.
Only then did he start to implement other solutions like digital advertising.
So, let’s look at why Alan’s strategy worked.
Alan had a plan and each stage built upon the previous.
Alan had very structured KPIs at each stage of that plan so he could monitor if it was successful. He wanted to know if the money he was investing was taking him closer to where he needed to go.
If you want to build your presence in a complex B2B market, then you need to build market momentum.
Go ask your team, what steps they are taking to build momentum in the market.
Seriously, please go and speak to them. I cannot stress the importance of this enough.
Do they have a plan in place?
How do they measure stages?
What are the validation points before they move to the next stage and start accelerating and pushing hard into the market to win more customers?
You see, there is no quick fix here. Slow and steady wins the race!
I use a couple of frameworks to build momentum in the market for my clients and I will share it with you. Keep your eyes peeled for the next emails in which we will take a deep dive.