The current shutdown of meeting in-person and travel has forced companies to modify and reevaluate the way they interact with their customers during the B2B sales process.
Zig Ziglar famously said:
If people like you they’ll listen to you, but if they TRUST you, they’ll do business with you.
While still a truism, it is more challenging to establish like and trust in a global environment where global cultures determine each customer’s norm of what makes someone likable and trustworthy. According to recent Harvard research by Jeanne Brett and Tyree Mitchell, there are 2 criteria that can guide understanding on how to create business trust:
The researchers went on to breakdown the study results into general regions and cultures.
McKinsey surveyed companies, in 11 countries, on how COVID was having an impact on B2B sales. The survey showed a shift in mindset and modified methods of communicating with customers:
Wellington uses IoT technologies to help leading brands and retailers engage their customers in ways that create engaging experiences and develop powerful customer insights.
We build long-term, strategic relationships with Marketing and Brand Management teams within organizations. We also work with IT and Asset Management teams to efficiently and effectively deploy a program anywhere in the world.
Creating human-like interactions with customers in today’s world requires tight integration and goal alignment between the Marketing and Sales teams where each understands their company’s value, the customer’s unique needs, and how their company meets them better than anyone else.
From a Marketing perspective, the days of automatically providing drip marketing pieces to prospects, when “content was king” are long gone. Today, context is King and Queen. Marketing needs to understand the customer’s situation, their particular problems, and the why’s behind them looking for a solution. Then, they need to quickly pivot existing content and share it to meet the customer’s needs in a culturally acceptable way. This establishes Expertise, Authority, and generates Trust with customers (“EAT”). Doing this at scale requires micro-segmentation and advanced software to execute and create high-quality leads rapidly.
From a Sales perspective, the team must quickly engage the lead – usually within 24 hours. This could be via text bots, Business Development Rep’s video conferencing or webinars. Since different channels are popular with different people, don’t be afraid to engage beyond email or LinkedIn, such as via WhatsApp, text, Facebook, 1:1 video messaging, and more to see what works with each customer. When engaging, try to leverage available personality insights like those offered by CrystalKnows, IBM Watson Personality Insights, or others to maximize the efficacy of your communications.
However, not everything about engaging leads today is new and high tech. Like always, Sales must stay focused on the customer’s need (which may change throughout an engagement), the company’s value, and whether they are continuing to generate EAT in a way that helps the customer, or whether they are just gushing and pushing the lead away.
By working together to maintain relevance and using technology to engage and communicate in the way that a customer wants, Marketing & Sales teams create business interactions that drive revenue in a touchless, virtual business world
The pandemic has catapulted businesses everywhere into the digital-first world. This digital transformation includes the Hospitality Industry. Those who do not pivot quickly and adapt even more technology will be left behind in this very competitive industry.
The pandemic has caused a shift in customer behavior and has opened business opportunities for products and services, addressing the current customer needs focused on social distancing.