Selling With Video

3 Ways to Get Engaged in the B2B Buyer’s Journey

Three ways B2B sales professionals can participate in the first 70% portion of the buyer’s journey using social strategy practices.

Catch the latest Poolside Sales Chat every Friday on Periscope

On episode 7 of Poolside Sales Chat I tackled a topic that has long been a challenge for B2B sales professionals…The buyer’s journey. A typical B2B buyer goes through several stages, often as many as six stages from initial research to transaction.

Face it, your B2B buyer doesn’t care deeply about you, your product or your company. Your B2B buyer has a career, a boss, goals, maybe event potential bonuses to earn based on meeting certain goals. Your product or service is just a means to an end. 

Your B2B buyer doesn’t go through your sales journey. He or she goes through a buyer’s journey.

If we go back 15 or 20 years before the proliferation of the Internet and the finger-tip access to information just a Google search away, it was a very different buyer’s journey.  

Remember RFPs? 

In years past, if you didn’t have an established relationship with the buyer based on golf or dinners or other in-person relationships, the chance of an RFP favoring your company was slim. The RFP process was all about the buyer controlling the buying process. The game was played with unwritten rules. The RFP was rigged. The specs were written by the vendor with whom the buyer wanted to work.

Today, RFPs still exist, and often the RFP is still rigged because the buyer has complete control of the research process online.

You know the stats…67% of the B2B buyer’s journey is completed online. And, 75% of B2B buyers conduct research in social media channels. So, how can you get engaged with a buyer when your biggest window of opportunity is in the 30% portion of the buyer’s journey?

The better question to ask is how can you participate in the 70% portion of the buyer’s research? Here are three things you can do to engage the B2B buyer early in the journey using social business selling practices.

1. Be visible

If you’re invisible you can’t show up on the buyer’s research radar. Demonstrate your expertise and the expertise of your firm. Publish articles through the LinkedIn publishing platform that answer questions asked by your buyers. Get your peers involved to do the same. Add comments on relevant articles that illustrate your knowledge of the subject. Share other people’s articles that address relevant topics to give you visibility to the buyer. 

2. Offer to help

Remember what your mom taught you as a young child. Look for opportunities to be helpful. Give of yourself without expecting anything in return. Answer questions in specialized groups. Make introductions to people who offer value or can answer questions you can’t answer. Be someone that others seek out when they need help in your area of expertise. 

3.  Be a good listener

I’m referring to being a good social listener. Set up saved searches in LinkedIn for specialized keywords in your industry. Follow people and conversations about those keywords. Similarly, set up hashtag streams on Twitter for those keywords. Use the social listening capability of your marketing automation software, or use a social media tool such as Tweetdeck, Buffer or Hootsuite to set up columns (streams) that follow tweets on specific hashtags. Follow conference hashtags in your industry where buyers often engage with each other and discuss relevant topics. Look for influencers who engage with your prospective buyer and implement #1 and #2 above with them.  Through social listening, you can often pick up signals from buyers who are engaged in research and evaluations for products and services.

Your chances of getting engaged in the B2B buyer’s journey in the 70% window are much greater when you implement these three practices.   

Catch my Poolside Sales Chat video on this topic above.

Feature image source: Gerd Altmann.

By Mario Martinez Jr.

Mario is the CEO and Founder of Vengreso. He spent 85 consecutive quarters in B2B Sales and Leadership. He is one of 20 sales influencers invited to appear in the documentary film “The Story of Sales” launched in 2018.  He was also named 2019’s Top 10 Sales Influencers by The Modern Sales Magazine, 2018’s Top 25 Most Influential Inside Sales Professional and Selling Power Magazine’s 2018 Top Sales Training and Coaching Consultant.  Mario is the host of the popular The Modern Selling Podcast.

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