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3 Ways To Connect With Today’s B2B Buyers

Posted by Tony Zambito on March 28th, 2012 at 8:50 am
Pamban Bridge ~ Connecting Rameshwaram Island
Image via Wikipedia

This is part 4 of a limited series on why buyer choice modeling is the new view B2B Business must adopt to improve revenue performance and develop long lasting relationships with buyers.

Connecting with today’s B2B buyers is on the minds of most CEO’s and their teams today. Not too long ago, reaching and connecting with B2B buyers was a straight forward proposition. Depending on surveys from such sources as IDC, IDG Connect, DemandGen Report, Forrester, and more, we know that buyers are remaining invisible to B2B businesses and spend only a quarter of their time talking directly to sales when making purchase decisions. The idea of connecting to B2B buyers has gone from straight forward to major league complex.

There are plenty of debates regarding the best tactical means to connect with B2B buyers. The effectiveness of these tactical means, as reported by once again the likes of IDC and etc., show that many B2B leaders believe these tactical efforts such as content marketing and marketing automation may only be effective about a quarter of the time. It does represent a big gap and it begs for a rephrasing of the challenge – this a big disconnect with B2B buyers. Enough to keep any sane B2B CEO and their senior management team scrambling for answers. Part 1 and part 2 of this series pointed out that conventional funnel thinking is woefully inadequate in today’s B2B buyer landscape and is limited in the ability to address new and evolving complexities.

Determining new strategies as well as tactics that can meet the challenge of connecting with today’s B2B buyers revolve around understanding new buyer psychology and dynamics that are in a state of continuous evolution. B2B businesses can do three things to help grasp the connection issue and make plans that close the gap:

Buyer Modeling To Understand Buyer Choices and Scenarios

Business executives today are using the concepts of buyer modeling to understand as well as visually illuminate buyer choice. Buyer modeling incorporates the elements of attitudes, beliefs, values, goals, perceptions, needs, and motivations. By modeling buyers, buying scenarios, buyer experience, and decision journeys, B2B executives can then map strategy as well as tactical marketing and sales activities that enable them to connect with B2B buyers on a relational level. Buyer modeling is based on qualitative research that addresses choices being made versus inadequate interviewing that is done in the context of the funnel.

Focus On The Total Brand and Buyer Experience

B2B businesses are learning how to think outside the context of the funnel and how to encompass the total view of the brand and buyer experience. The invisibility of buyers who are in explore and network mode of the buyer choice model makes it an imperative for B2B businesses to better understand how different buyers interact with different channels that create impressionable brand and buyer experience. The emphasis here is on identifying critical Buyer Moment of Truth™ impression points that contribute to the overall brand and buyer experience. For example, does the web channel brand and buyer experience stay true to form when buyers interact with either the social media, sales, resellers, partner, or service channels? HP, for instance, has a strong ecosystem of reseller and partner channels where the brand and buyer experience has many potential pitfalls and has several challenging Buyer Moment of Truth handoff points that can make or break their involvement. B2B leaders today can conduct buyer experience mapping that identifies critical Buyer Moment of Truth and ensure that the brand and buyer experience stays true to form throughout.

Descriptive Buyer Segmentation Based on Buying Behavior and Opportunity

By integrating the benefits of predictive analytics with that of predictive buyer modeling, B2B leaders are gaining smarts on taking segmentation to a new level. With the use of visually illuminating B2B Buyergraphics, buyers can be segmented descriptively by explore and buying behavior and also by modeling buying scenarios that identify where the organization can reach a “best fit” level with buyers. This can be especially useful in industries where there is a strong company or account focus as well as complex buying scenarios that involve lengthy buying cycles. Descriptive means of segmentation helps to illuminate the many elements related to choice, needs, goals, attitudes, behaviors, values, and experience. This approach enables both marketing and sales to focus on resonating with buyer segments that have similar goals and buying behaviors where knowledge in doing so is dynamic and enriched with each company or account interaction. In essence, allowing B2B businesses to build strong connections with B2B buyers in buyer segments that have higher winning percentages.

When B2B leaders can do these three things, they can be better informed on how to guide the overall trajectory of their organization. Their focus is on identifying the buyers and buyer segments that they can best establish a connection within the context of understanding choices being made. More importantly, they can learn how to connect with B2B buyers today in ways that resonates and invites participation into the buyer driven world of goals, challenges, issues, uncertainties, and growth objectives that orbit them continuously.

Next up: Transforming B2B Business

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2 Responses to “3 Ways To Connect With Today’s B2B Buyers”

  1. "many B2B leaders believe these tactical efforts such as content marketing and marketing automation may only be effective about a quarter of the time."

    Why such a low percentage? I realize that content marketing alone isn't enough to connect with B2B buyers, but it is definitely an integral component. What is keeping these tactical efforts from being more effective?

  2. Laura Greeno says:

    Tony,
    Excellent post, thank you! This is exactly what I talk to B2B executives about every day. I've tried to "simplify" some of the discussion and include small company scenarios...those reaching the consumer as well. http://www.webscoutmarketing.com/blog/
    Looking forward to seeing more from you ;)
    Laura with WebScout

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