b2b business development

B2B Business Development – The Complete Guide

By: Frank DePino | December 8, 2020

Business development is an integral part of any type and size of business. It is a useful strategy for the founder or director of a company, a manager, or an independent entrepreneur selling to other businesses directly. 

A successful B2B business development strategy will take the following into consideration:

  1. The right time to implement growth strategies
  2. Marketing to existing clients
  3. Content creation
  4. Offering free advice, content, and tools
  5. Communicating via content marketing and social media
  6. Targeting new clients using SEO
  7. Paid Advertising

No matter what type and size of business you are, if you are playing with an idea to deploy digital marketing strategies, here is some information to get you started. 

The Right Time to Implement Growth Strategies

Businesses frequently ask when it is the right time to implement growth strategies. 

The answer is not a specific time; in fact, b2b business development is all about probing your business operations and identifying areas of improvement. You can leverage what is working great while improving the under-performing areas of your b2b business. 

b2b digital marketing

Always remember, there is no set formula that fits all. Just because one plan worked for a similar competitor does not mean it will work for you too. 

A business development model requires you to combine your organization’s specific strengths and generate opportunities unique to your business

For instance, your business can use the client’s insight, combine it with client-centric solutions to offer added value or sell to them. 

Marketing to Existing Clients

The demands and digitalization of modern marketing have made it impossible for a business to rely on referrals and word-of-mouth. Therefore, your business needs additional b2b leads to continue the growth and generate decent revenues. 

Here is a quick overview of the steps to generate leads. 

  • Identify your target businesses
  • Define the motto of your business and define it to your potential business partners, clients, and stakeholders
  • Use digital tools such as social media platforms
  • Use written and video content to entice clients and generate additional leads 
  • Use paid ads to enhance your outreach and increase traffic to your website 
  • Use email marketing for generating new and following up on existing leads 
  • And finally, the creation and utilization of opt-in offers. 

The lead generation brings you to the next step that is initiating the b2b sales. For that, you will need b2b sales strategies to win over more businesses as clients. 

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Content Creation 

B2B sales are a tough nut to crack, and salespeople can easily get overwhelmed at times. However, it is not about a person pitching a sale to businesses anymore. Nowadays, B2B buyers prefer to research their needs and select a seller without any outside influences. 

Did you know 57 percent of buyers make up their mind to buy before calling you? 

That said, it does not mean that it makes your life any easier. In fact, you need to develop more dynamic sales strategies to stand out amongst the competition. 

You must remember the following.

  • Modern buyers are more skeptical than ever before when it comes to receiving B2B sales and marketing messages. Forrester claims 59 percent of buyers prefer doing their own research instead of hearing from a sales rep. 
  • Modern buyers prefer peer recommendations.
  • They already know the risk-associated, so be honest in your B2B sales pitches. 
b2b business growth

Modern B2B buyers have become increasingly competent in identifying and reducing risk factors. This presents an increasing number of challenges for your sales department. 

To overcome these challenges, you can apply the three most effective strategies for better lead quality. 

Proactively Offer Help to the B2B buyers make a decision

Yes, the b2b buyers like to conduct their own research for B2B sellers; however, that does not mean you cannot contact them. 

The b2b buyers rely on the information on sellers to make an informed decision. However, contacting them directly can help them get the right information about your business while saving time and energy. 

You can create a content library on your website and then ask your b2b sales team to share it with potential b2b clients. 

Did you know 95 percent of the B2B buyers select vendors providing apt content on the entire buying process? 

Using Sales-reps as Spokesperson

Another effective B2B sales strategy is to position your sales reps as subject matter experts. Here is how. 

  • Skeptical B2B buyers need more personal interaction with your sales team. You can then offer a sales service by listening to their needs and delivering relevant information to facilitate their decisions. 
  • When you create content, make sure that it offers a perspective or solution for perspective b2b buyer’s challenges. You can then present actionable call-to-actions (CTAs) to progress to the next stage of becoming customers. 

Aligning your Sales and Marketing Strategies

Did you know the misalignment in your sales and marketing strategy can cost your business up to 10 percent of your yearly revenue?

Therefore, work on streamlining your marketing and sales efforts. 

  • Clearly establish a standard definition of what qualified leads are for both departments. 
  • Unification of the content library, so both teams are on the same page regarding the information. 
  • Rectify irrelevant KPIs to improve your team’s performance. 
  • Let your marketers educate your sales reps on how to use the content and when. 
  • Involve sales reps in the process of creating content. They know what happens on the field, so use their experience. 

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

10 Website Must Haves to Drive Traffic & Generate New Leads

Does your website have all 10? Learn the secrets to driving more traffic to your website, generating more leads, and ultimately increasing sales.

Offer Free Advice, Content, Tools 

Creating a marketing strategy requires extensive planning and execution. Here five steps you can follow before offering free advice, content, and material to the clients. 

  • Step 1 – Developing a b2b business development marketing plan with specific and measurable objectives. 
  • Step 2 – Laying out an execution framework for your new b2b marketing strategy to help achieve your business goals. 
  • Step 3 – Defining your potential b2b buyer’s persona.
  • Step 4 – identifying apt b2b marketing channels and tactics. For example, where your b2b prospective clients spend their time online, questions they ask, social media platforms they prefer, their needs, and gaps in the market that you can capitalize on. 
  • Step 5- Once you have done the homework, it is time to create an actionable plan. Follow best practices for each marketing channel when implementing your marketing strategies. 
  • Step 6- Remember, a marketing plan is an on-going cycle. To continue moving in the right direction, you must plan, execute, measure, improve, and repeat. 
digital marketing for b2b

Connect/Communicate Via Content Marketing and Social Media

Here are common b2b marketing channels you can use:

  • Blogging – This is the most organic b2b marketing approach as it offers visibility to your business drive inbound traffic to your website. You can use several blogging formats such as info-graphics, written, video-blogging (vlogs), case studies, tutorials, etc. 
  •  SEO Optimization – Have your content and website SEO optimized. Traditionally it involves using keywords and meta-data.
  • Social Media Presence – Use both organic and paid ads to make the most of your social media business pages. Most social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok allow you to reach out and engage with potential businesses via free and paid advertisements. B2b buyers are increasingly leaning towards social media channels to research and reach potential b2b vendors such as yourself. 
  • Free Content via whitepaper or eBooks – You can create stand-alone assets with valuable information in the form of e-books and whitepapers. You can even upload them on your website, blogs, and social media business pages as free downloadable documents. Do not forget you use a performable CTA as a possible b2b lead generation tool.
  • Email Marketing – this is free of cost and the most effective marketing tool since its inception. However, you have to avoid spamming businesses at all costs, or you may end up in a spam folder or block list. Moreover, you can use business networking platforms such as LinkedIn to InMail potential b2b clients for lead generation. 

Targeting New Areas Using SEO

Search Engine Optimization is the need of the hour for every business these days. It is inevitably essential to customize all your digital content for SEO. These include your websites, landing pages, social media business pages, videos, etc. 

There are two ways to do so. 

Local SEO

Local SEO is a process that involves the optimization of your online content for a specific geographic location. This is mostly the area that your business serves.

For example, suppose you are a commercial construction company working in New York. In that case, you can use keywords, tags, and other anchor text such as “commercial construction company in NY” or “NY commercial construction company,” etc., in your digital content. 

seo for b2b

Thus, every time a b2b buyer searches for a commercial construction company in NY, your company will appear amongst top searches in the SERPs. This will allow higher visibility of your business, resulting in increased traffic to your website. More traffic means more leads, which will eventually translate into increased ROIs. 

National SEO

As the name suggests, National SEO focuses on promoting your brand’s website on a national level. Unlike local SEO, you have to use highly researched and well-thought keyword terms for the nationwide visibility of your business. 

The idea is to rank your business amongst the top search engine results when someone searches on Google or other search engines for similar services.

If you are a local business only catering to a specific area, do not waste your resources and money on National SEO. Local SEO will be sufficient as an effective b2b business development strategy. 

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

10 Website Must Haves to Drive Traffic & Generate New Leads

Does your website have all 10? Learn the secrets to driving more traffic to your website, generating more leads, and ultimately increasing sales.

Paid Advertisement

You can use several paid advertisement services, the most powerful tool in your b2b business development arsenal. Paid ads will allow you to strategically place your promotions and advertisements in front of your potential clients. Some of the most popular paid ad services are Google Ads and Facebook ads.

You can use these Google ads for remarketing to connect with people who previously showed interest in your services. You can use remarketing ads to strategically place the ads in front of your b2b clients as they browse Google and its partnered sites. 

Similarly, Facebook will also position your ads in front of potential b2b clients to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your social media pages and website. 

Utilizing LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the world’s most prominent business networking platform giving your b2b business development strategy an immediate outreach to over 500 million members worldwide. You can create your business’s group and start connecting with potential business clients. 

You can create paid ads, post free content, connect with clients, and interact with them on a regular basis. This will allow you to drive more traffic to your business and identify quality leads. All you need is to be proactive in sharing your expertise through well-thought content with your growing b2b network. 

Tips on Improving Your B2B Business Development 

Here are some additional tips to improve your b2b business strategy. 

  • Learn to identify the gaps and how you can stand out from the rest of the competition
  • Stop cold-calling; it is time to get into some serious research to determine what b2b buyers expect from you. Do not pitch a sale but offer information to help them decide. 
  • No more salesy speeches; simply cut to the chase and tell the b2b buyers how you can solve their problems. 
  • Work on a long-term plan and build a reputation in the market.

Final Thoughts

To master a plan that works specifically for your business requires a touch of experts such as Mediaboom. Our experts will take care of the entire b2b business development process from beginning to end while offering cutting-edge techniques and digital marketing strategies. 

By: Frank DePino

Frank DePino is Principal and Founder of Mediaboom. Since 2002, Frank has led Mediaboom’s award-winning staff of creative and technical professionals building the most effective marketing and advertising solutions for its clients.

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