In the B2B space, in particular, developing sales and marketing strategies that really work can take years. Why? In spite of the abundance of information out there that can help B2B business owners and sales managers develop such strategies, it’s hard to find two B2B businesses that are truly alike. Even if you offer solutions, technologies, or services that are similar to another B2B firm’s offerings, it’s highly probable that your needs, goals, and points of focus are going to vary quite a bit from those of your competitors during your business’s various stages of growth. In other words, the sales and marketing strategies that work well for other B2B companies, or for your competitors, may not work as well for your company if you’re not in the position to get the most out of them or to implement them properly.
One thing that all B2B companies do have in common is the need to prepare for the effects, good and bad, of launching a new campaign or initiative. Below are three questions that all B2B sales leaders should ask prior to implementing a new sales and marketing strategy.
1. Do I know how my customers want to find me?
To some extent, all B2B companies have to test sales and marketing strategies out to see what works best and then make adjustments, but in the absence of market intelligence that reveals exactly how their target customers want or need to find them, it’s easy for companies to spend a lot of time, resources, and money on testing out strategies that yield lackluster results. Knowing how your target customers prefer to interact with you when you develop a sales and marketing strategy is always going to help you improve your tactics and strengthen your plans.
2. Is the cost of testing or implementing my strategy going to be worth the results?
To determine whether or not the cost of testing or implementing a B2B sales and marketing strategy is going to be worth the results, you need to be able to compare the price of your product, service, or solution with the cost of your strategy. Do you have the budget to justify the strategy? Is your profit potential worth the risk? What percentage of risk are you willing or able to take on?
3. Can my sales cycle endure the time it will take for my strategy to have an effect?
Telemarketing, setting sales appointments, and increasing audience attendance at events can generate quick wins, but it may be that lead nurturing, high-level e-mail marketing, search engine optimization, and content marketing will win you even better results if your sales cycle can endure the considerable time it takes to perfect these solutions.
Particularly if your sales and marketing budget is limited, it may be in your best interest to reach out to a sales management consultant that can analyze your current sales and marketing processes and provide you with the market intelligence you need to determine how your customers really want to reach you and how you can better allocate your funds.
It’s common for B2B companies to assume that they know how their customers want to reach them, that their strategies are sound enough to be worth the effort it takes to test or implement them, and that their sales cycles can bear the next new and exciting strategy, but the reality is that companies suffer when they don’t take the time to develop a strategy for testing and implementing sales and marketing strategies before they embark upon them. It takes homework to develop a strategy for strategizing. This homework is often done best by an objective, qualified third party that specializes in the management of sales processes and forecasting based on impartial analyses.