Sales and marketing are basically about building trust, but the majority of B2B customer journeys take place online – without a salesperson. So how do you build trust, and how do you optimize the sales process, so the customer gets a great buying experience? We’ll give you 3 tips for optimizing your B2B sales process.
While B2B sales used to take place as a dialogue between buyer and seller, the sales process is completely different today. The salesperson plays a much smaller role than before. The first phase of the buyers journey takes place online, where the customer does research and gathers information. The customer rarely wants to talk to a salesperson, before he or she has made a decision, and this puts the trust-based customer relationship to the test.
The sales process is not that simple. It’s not just the sales department that is responsible for the good experience. The customer journey starts in marketing. Sales and marketing must, more than ever, work closely together. Fortunately, there are several tools you can use to build a bridge between sales and marketing, and this is exactly, what is needed, if you want to build and maintain strong customer relationships.
You will find all the tools in our favorite CRM – namely HubSpot. We have gathered the best of them below.
RELATED READING: How to choose the right CRM system for your B2B company
3 steps to build a better sales and marketing process
1) Unique content that converts leads
The first step to a good customer relationship and an effective sales process starts with marketing. It’s about creating valuable content that reaches the target audience, where they have a need.
It requires you to know your target audience well and to know what content is appropriate for the different stages of the buyers journey. Is it checklists and guides they need, or should whitepapers, reports, or an e-book be produced? No matter what, the content needs to be presented sharply and accurately, so that potential customers get the information they need. If you can answer their questions, they trust your business, and hopefully they will convert into leads.
FURTHER READING: What is lead generation & how to use HubSpot for lead scoring
2) Effective measurement of lead generation
With the right content, you should be able to attract a lot of leads, but that isn’t enough. You also need to provide a setup that can collect data about your leads as well as any campaign results. It is essential, that you can measure it, as otherwise, you don’t know if your marketing budget is being converted into hot leads.
Effective measurement is the path to success. With the right numbers, you can constantly customize your campaigns and your content based on real data, to increase the chances of hitting the target audience precisely.
3) The use of lead scoring to assess leads
The third step in the journey towards an optimized sales process is aimed at salespeople. The modern B2B customer doesn’t want to be contacted, until he or she is ready to make a decision. If you reach out too early in the process, you risk chasing away the potential customer.
So if you want to build trust, you need to make sure you contact the potential customers at the right time. You can do this using lead scoring.
As a HubSpot Partner, we have learned that HubSpot is the perfect tool for lead scoring. Here, you can set up several criteria that award the individual leads points based on their actions. For example, subscribing to a newsletter might give 10 points, while ordering a demo version gives 40 points. Once a lead has achieved a predetermined number of points, it’s defined as hot and ready to buy. The salesperson can then act.
In short, lead scoring helps salespeople improve their timing, so they can contact the hottest leads at the very moment they are open to dialogue.
FURTHER READING: Use lead scoring in HubSpot to increase B2B sales
If you want to create trust and form long-term customer relationships, it can benefit you to look at your sales process. Ask yourself if you have managed to build the necessary bridge between sales and marketing and investigate whether the above tools can help you create an even better buying experience for the customer.