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B2B: Customer Experience, Lead Nurturing and Social Selling

By Milan Ruzicka | Nov 15, 2017

I love buzzwords, especially when they are acronymized –  ABM, AI, UX, CX. You can talk about them with fellow professionals and nod about how important this or that is. And sometimes, completely misunderstand each other. Let me take a jab on two or three today.

Sometimes buzzwords are so broad that pretty much everything fits into them. Let’s take “customer experience” or “CX” –-C’mon!  Everything that touches the customer is part of the experience and therefore CX. That’s why you can (and should!) have CX as a part of everything you do, including your lead collection process.

Now, what about the “prospect journey”?  In the past 6 years, I have spoken with many marketers and most of them believe the prospect journey is solely the interactions with your “buying right now” population.

I think that is a huge mistake! All who think that way miss out on the opportunity to drive growth from the prospect pool. You need to design an experience for your awareness/ consideration-stage prospects too.

The good news? You have a good part of your prospect experience already figured out if you have plotted your nurture strategies. This is where you think about how to reach your prospect and with what content you should address your lead pool with

But what about all of your prospects entering your funnel? The companies who you can’t call MQLs or even just Ls by the wildest stretch of the imagination?

That’s where your awareness communication strategy comes in. It probably has all the usual suspects in it – digital advertising, radio commercials, maybe ads on YouTube, or even some outdoor? Maybe you are a global heavy hitter who burns some serious money on TV! You have the social media covered by your company social handles and it all ties together. Right? Right?!

But the truth is that there is a 2 in 3 chance that you are missing out on the opportunity in social media. How do I know that you ask?

Well, our friends at Forrester, big believers in social selling, did some respectable research and found out that only about 30% of B2B companies have a social selling program.  Does it matter?

Yes, it does!

Don’t forget that we live in times where your buyers engage with you later and later in their selection process, they believe less and less in the traditional marketing communication and get a ton of information from their peer communities. There is plenty of research done on this and you have probably seen it too. Even if you haven’t, you had heard if from your salespeople – selling is just getting harder every year (look at the stats on how many salespeople, globally, meet their quota – hint: less and less!)

So how do you engage with new buyers? You should not restock your already full toolbox completely, but you need a new tool or two.

Social media communication initiated by your sales team might be the biggest overlooked opportunity in your organization.

If you have tens or hundreds of salespeople, the chances are that they already talk weekly with 100x the number of customers and prospects you have in your lead-gen funnel. Imagine, how impactful it would be if you would have a programmatic approach to social media at the sales rep level. With the force of your presence, you would start to form an opinion, a position, an awareness about your company on the media where the buyers are…and where the communication is less crowded – don’t forget, only 1 in 3 companies play there programmatically.

This all ties together – if you leverage social media well, you will reclaim the chance to form a part of the buyer’s journey, a type of “customer experience”, which you haven’t leveraged earlier and is happening at scale in the weeds of “everybody-has-an-opinion” media.

What are your thoughts?

And what is your favorite buzzword?  I’ll write about it next time.

 


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