Learn how the new digital buying cycling requires B2B marketers to think differently and how a website can fuel the sales process by incorporating digital sales accelerators.
Make Your Website a Digital Sales Accelerator
In a previous post, B2B Lead Generation and The Sales Engine: The Pathway to Predictable Sales Growth, we discussed the components of the sales engine and how one client is successfully providing actionable lead generation to its independent rep partners. In this post, we’ll focus on how a company’s website can fuel the sales process by incorporating digital sales accelerators. Today’s digital consumer operates in a completely different environment than buyers of the past and this new buying cycle requires B2B marketers to think differently.
The following are examples of the shifting landscape in the B2B Buying Cycle:
- 94% of B2B buyers conduct some sort of research online .
- Studies show that 60% of the buying journey is now complete before a buyer’s first conversation with the salesperson .
- More searches are done on mobile devices than on desktops as of early 2014 .
- 43% of B2B buyers are millennials (born around 1980). Millennials think and buy differently than their GenX and Baby Boomer counterparts and have an entirely different set of expectations .
With the shift in the B2B buying cycle and the weighted importance your digital presence plays in the overall sales engine, it only follows to leverage technology to quickly advance conversations along the sales continuum. I refer to these tools as digital sales accelerators which consist of your website, product search and selection tools such as online catalogs, product configurators, online 3D CAD models and the ability to transact (if applicable). There are other digital sales accelerators that can be employed depending on the uniqueness of your sales process, target market and desired business outcome.
In the infographic above I’ve provided a simple illustration of how a user might execute a search within Google, Yahoo! or Bing and, once delivered into your website, utilize product search selection tools to quickly select the product of choice before converting. In some cases, a B2B client might not offer products or services that lend themselves to transacting through an ecommerce platform, so a conversion might be something other than a transaction (ie, phone calls, RFQ form submissions, 3D CAD downloads, video views or another positive action/event).
In today’s buying cycle, companies that serve up compelling content and facilitate the digital buying experience outperform their peers every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
See the following case study outlining how RTS Cutting Tools has successfully won new, web-driven business at an unprecedented rate. By acknowledging the buying cycle had changed, RTS Cutting Tools positioned themselves to win sales more consistently.
In working with several B2B clients I’ve witnessed the impact of digital marketing solutions firsthand. Specifically, investments in some or all of the following:
- New, Content Rich Website with Digital Sales Accelerators
- Online Catalog
- Product Configurators
- 3D CAD Models
- Shopping Cart (if applicable)
- Search Engine Optimization & Conversion Improvement
- Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
Clients that allocate budget for the digital marketing solutions above typically achieve the following common results:
- Unprecedented growth in actionable lead generation.
- An increase in new customer activations and overall web-driven transactions.
- Analytics-driven guidance to further optimize their digital impact.
Buying-in to digital sales acceleration is quite possibly the most important strategic decision you’ll make this year. Think through how your company can reallocate sales and marketing budget to adapt to this new reality and watch your sales grow predictably.
 Acuity Group 2014 State of B2B Procurement Study: Uncovering the Shifting Landscape in B2B Commerce
 Forbes: The Disappearing Sales Process
 Search Engine Watch: Mobile Now Exceeds PC, The Biggest Shift Since the Internet Began
 Adage: Google Says Millennial Influence on the Rise in B2B Buying