Key Trends That Aren’t Going Anywhere… | B2Breakout 🚀
And How To Realign Your Business Around Them
It’s the end of the month. That means you’re probably concerned about sales.
Everything seems to be taking longer than expected.
What was working isn’t anywhere near as effective now.
The rejected proposals and cancellations just keep coming, everyone seems to be cutting costs.
The bad news seems constant, and you’re left sitting at your desk like:
It’s all too much, and it’s left you unsure what you should even be focusing on in this period.
Half of the stuff you’re reading seems to be irrelevant in the current situation, the other assumes you have far more money than you actually do.
Sound familiar? You’re going to want to keep reading.
I can’t predict everything, but I can explain the trends we’ve seen and what we’re doing about it.
Hopefully it’ll at least give you some perspective.
Warning: Build Your Resources According To The Situation We’re In
We had to completely realign our entire approach recently, which did mean making very difficult decisions.
But it had to be done, because what was working was no longer going to work in the current climate.
Everything below is done with a resource-light perspective, based on the business owner having to take the lead for bringing in new business or new initiatives.
That’s the first step: you need a smarter sales and marketing strategy to make better use of your resources.
I suggest reading through all the trends below and then rethinking your marketing strategy from this perspective.
Use it to think through what you need to move forward, with the expectation that the current economic climate may last for 2-3 years (or even more).
When you do that, you can get far more from this email.
Hope it helps!
So, let’s get into it…
Key Trends For B2B Sales And Marketing
Sales Cycles Are Taking Longer
When people are unsure about the future, their default will be the status quo.
This is because their appetite for risk is reduced.
That means you’re going to have to do more work to reassure someone that your product can help them, especially if what you are doing requires them to make a big change.
What to do about this
Break down process stages into smaller steps
Help people to trial an idea or service before they go ahead.
Have a content plan that always provides you a reason to naturally get in touch - you don’t want dead ends with your marketing
Decision Making Will Be More Collective
If you are pitching to me, and I need to get my boss on board who is already concerned about costs, I’m going to think twice about even telling them.
And when I do tell them, I have to be really sure this is going to work, as I’m risking looking stupid by raising it when we are saving costs.
And let’s be real - if it turns out to be a waste of money, it’s me that faces the consequences.
Consequences that may even look a little like this:
That’s why marketing in this context is about ensuring the person can easily get your message across to decision makers, without forcing them into a situation where they involve personal risk.
What to do about this
Only send across proposals when you really have to - if it’s early in the conversation then assume it might not be passed on.
Focus on getting people involved with the decision making and the reasons why others would also want to go ahead. The main contact needs to be able to easily justify why this will help other people too.
Shareability in your marketing is important, especially if you can bring in secondary audiences (e.g. a webinar talking about costs savings of your services, might be a really good way of pulling in the finance department)
Companies Will Have Reduced Costs… And Probably Staff
Most companies will have already gone through a process of reducing their costs.
Many will even have let some of their team go.
Marketing costs are often first for the chop in times like these, because they’re expecting customers will have less money to spend. They are also - probably rightly - expecting things to continue to get tighter.
Ultimately, growth is important, but not if it’s a major spending risk.
You are bringing something new to the table, so they need to be able to justify your spend within this context.
What to do about this
Align your marketing and sales conversations to this context - You need to be able to justify why someone should take something new on when they are cutting other costs
Providing case studies aligned to efficiencies, cost saving, or resource saving will be key - People will need to be able to justify you and your cost.
Build risk reduction into your marketing and sales process - a trial period, or a smaller initial project. You want somebody to say - let’s try this and see if it gets us to where we want (or along the right path).
Relationships, Expertise And Credibility Will Become More Important
One way to reduce risk is to invest in credibility, and not take a punt on a new person or product selling something.
That means thought leadership, networking & relationship building will become more important.
Invest in credibility activities to build this core around you and what you do.
What to do about this
Networking - The more you network the more you are seen. Building those relationships is key to long term growth.
Develop a way to be a thought leader in your space, build your marketing so it develops you as the expert in that space (this newsletter is an example), and align all your other marketing into it. E.g. telling people about your newsletter when you see them).
Focus on activities which boost credibility - get involved with talks, projects and focus groups, try to get mentioned in key publications, build a following - all of them are important in establishing credibility.
Go Deeper, Rather Than Wider
Some people will take a “spray and pray” approach.
That means more emails sent, more ads, more LinkedIn messages flying into random inboxes.
I can tell you from first hand experience, that is just noise.
And when everyone is doing it, they all just get ignored.
Whilst the approach I am suggesting is more thought out, it isn’t doing more marketing - it’s actually doing less.
But I’m not talking about cutting back on impact - I’m talking about realigning your marketing to be more effective by focusing on the things that matter and drastically scaling back all the fluff around it.
Because in times like these, doing a lot really doesn’t do much at all.
Until next time,
It can be a long process to get this all in place, but I’d love to hear if these insights work for you. Reply to this email with your thoughts or any questions you might have. Always happy to chat.