Steve Jobs. Bill Hewlitt and Dave Packard. Some of the biggest names in B2B business. Aside from wild fame and success, what do these famous entrepreneurs have in common? While their brands may be household names by now, they all started as small businesses. After early success, they quickly became adept at scaling up their operations.
For any B2B organization looking to succeed, there is no metric greater than profitable growth. However, it’s not always an easy goal to achieve. In today’s post, we work to streamline this effort for you. Continue reading for five simple strategies to scale your B2B organization’s success.
1. Prioritize your data.
Customer and prospect data is the key to profitable growth—and the best part? You already have everything you need to utilize it.
Deep within the thousands of contact records in your CRM and marketing automation tools is a treasure trove of data about the people who interact with your brand, and more importantly those who buy. This data can help you generate more leads, shorten the sales cycle, and increase revenue.
But, before you can reap these rewards, you must first prioritize data hygiene and maintenance. Consider the following statistics (source):
- 62% of organizations rely on marketing and prospect data that’s up to 40% inaccurate
- Up to 25% of B2B database contacts contain critical errors
- 40% of business objectives fail due to inaccurate data
So what’s a small B2B organization to do?
Perform a data audit: Partner with a market intelligence solution to analyze your existing database and highlight inaccurate and incomplete prospect data.
Append your data: Work with the same market intelligence solution or an alternate vendor to fix any holes or inconsistencies in your sales database.
Assess existing data collection methods: Take a look at your web forms. Do you require certain fields but not others? Do you ask unnecessary questions? Are the labels confusing? Try to see your forms from your customers’ perspective and fix any issues that could be impacting data quality.
Invest in better data: Research and select a B2B data provider that allows you to search for prospects based on criteria that match your best buyers. Stop reaching out to prospects that don’t care about your products and services.
Audit again: Data decays at a rapid pace. Maintain database cleanliness by repeating this process every few months.
For more information about data hygiene, check out the following articles:
- 4 Signs Your B2B Database Needs Help
- A Guide to B2B Data Sources
- How to Get More Value from Your B2B Data Purchase
- The B2B Database Maintenance Glossary
2. Outsource when you can.
If you find yourself wishing for more hours in the day, take a step back and take a hard look at your to-do list. Are there any tasks that don’t necessarily need your human input? The answer for most is probably a resounding yes. So, what’s the solution? Outsourcing of course.
Whether it’s human or technological aid, outsourcing daily tasks is a simple and often cost effective way to free your teams to prioritize more important, revenue-driving goals. Here are two areas where outsourcing can benefit your organization:
If you’re spending your time dealing with your eCommerce store, stop. This is a simple way to cross off several tasks at once. A full-stack eCommerce platform, like FastSpring, will not only maintain your storefront, but also assist with:
- Customer acquisition
- Subscription management
- Customer relations
- Taxes and remittance
- Back office administration
With the help of a full-stack eCommerce platform, your team can focus on what really matters— growing your business.
For more information on full-stack eCommerce platforms, check out these two blog posts:
- Why An All Inclusive eCommerce Solution is Your Best Option
- Pros & Cons of an In-House or Outsourced eCommerce Solution
Content creation can be an effective way to expand your brand. However, creating good content is not only time consuming, but doesn’t fit everyone’s skillset. However, that’s not to say you should skip it altogether.
Instead, hire an expert marketing firm to assist you with these duties. In addition to handling the day-to-day tasks associated with content creation, they can also help you build an actionable strategy to take your brand marketing to the next level.
3. Put marketing to work.
Dust Off Your Blog
If done successfully, B2B blogging can be enormously effective at driving organic traffic to your website, engaging potential buyers, and generating high-quality leads for your sales team. Don’t believe us? Consider these statistics:
- Inbound marketing methods, such as business blogging, generate leads that cost an average of 62% less than leads generated via outbound methods (such as cold calling) (source).
- 57% of companies with a blog have acquired a customer from their blog (source).
- B2B marketers that blog get 67% more leads than those that do not (source).
In short, if your B2B organization isn’t blogging, you’re missing out. Here are a few simple tips for a great B2B blog:
Publish on a schedule: If weeks (or months) go by between posts, your readers will lose interest and will stop checking for new content. A HubSpot study shows that successful B2B companies publish roughly 4x/week, or 16 posts per month— they get 3.5 times the traffic that companies that post once a week do.
Create attention-worthy headlines: A shocking 80% of visitors will read your headline without reading the body of your blog post (source). In other words, if your headline’s not compelling, your readers won’t bother with the rest.
Make it worth their while: It’s easy to lose focus while blogging. Remember to write for your readers. Create thought-provoking and valuable content, not salesy text that attempts to push readers toward your product. Seek to educate your readers and the sales will follow.
For more tips and tricks for successful B2B blogging, check out these articles:
- 6 Steps to B2B Blogging Success
- 33 Statistics The Prove Your B2B Needs to Be Blogging
- The Marketer’s Guide to B2B Blogging Success [Infographic]
Did you know, more than 5 billion people searched Google today (source)? SEO is more important than ever before, especially within the competitive B2B landscape. Here’s why:
- Organic search leads have an average 14.6% close rate, compared to a 1.7% for outbound marketing leads (source).
- Organic search drives 51% of traffic to websites (source).
- Search drives more than 300% more website traffic than social (source).
It pays to have your site to rank highly within Google search results. So, how do you do it? Here are a few quick tips:
Conduct keyword research— A tool like Google Keyword Planner will help you determine the most frequently searched terms for your industry and location. Look for terms that have low usage among your competitors but a high number of searches. These are great opportunities to exploit a niche.
Speed up your site— If your site isn’t performing at top speed, you’re likely to lose visitors. 40% of users abandon a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load (source), not to mention Google punishes slow-moving websites (source).
Make it mobile-friendly— If you haven’t already made your website mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on a big audience. As of late 2016, mobile web browsing has overtaken desktop browsing— 51.3% of all website visits were traced to mobile devices, compared to 48.7% from desktop devices (source). Failure to create a mobile experience that imitates the desktop viewing will result in fewer visits and dissatisfied customers.
B2B marketers have long been skeptical of the benefits of social media marketing. However, research shows that when utilized effectively, social media can take your B2B marketing results to the next level. Check it out:
- Social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing (source)
- 67% of Twitter uses are more likely to purchase from companies they follow (source)
- 40% of B2B buyers say LinkedIn is important when researching technologies (source)
- 84% of C-Level Decision makers use social to buy (source)
- Linkedin accounts for 64% of all social referrals to corporate homepages (source)
- 85% of B2B marketers reported that the number one benefit of social marketing is generating more business exposure (source)
Aside from organic strategies, most of the major social media platforms also provide highly targeted paid advertising opportunities. Targeted social media advertising works much like PPC. You pay when users click your ad— better yet, you can target your ad to your specific buyers.
4. Evaluate and automate your processes.
In order to scale your business, it’s important to consider your processes. Have you documented them? Have you made them as efficient as possible? Did you implement automation where you could? If the answer is no, it’s going to be challenging to maximize your growth potential.
Define and Automate Billing Processes
Subscriptions and recurring billing offer many benefits to you and your customers. For example, they boost customer retention and bring in steady revenue that will enable your growth, and they’re more convenient for your customers. Instead of more cumbersome, traditional practices like direct mail, customers can simply go online to make a payment before their service is cut off.
Automate Marketing Processes
When you automate marketing processes, you save time and resources. An automated email workflow will allow you to “set and forget” your emails. When a user triggers a workflow, pertinent emails will be sent at different points in the buyer’s journey or onboarding process.
For example, if a visitor to your site downloads a content offer, an email will be sent thanking them for checking out the content. A few days later, another email will be sent, offering related content or the opportunity to meet with a member of your sales team. Every action triggers a response, without any additional effort from you after you’ve initially designed them.
5. Eliminate cart abandonment
For small B2B organizations, cart abandonment is a frequent and sobering reality. When a customer changes their mind at the last minute it’s not only a missed opportunity, but missed revenue. Luckily, there are a few simple actions you can take today to start increasing your shopping cart conversion rates.
Step up your security: Trust is the number one priority for online shoppers. In fact, Twenty-five percent of U.S online shoppers feel that financial and personal data security are barriers to shopping online (source). Be sure to clearly communicate security features to establish trust with your buyers.
Include more payment options: There is nothing more frustrating than getting to the end of a purchase, only to discover that the site on which you are attempting to make a transaction, doesn’t accept your primary payment method.
Be upfront with pricing: No one likes spending more money than anticipated. Be upfront with pricing, and your prospects will be more likely to stay on board with their purchase.
For more information and solutions to combat cart abandonment, check out the following blog post: 4 Causes of SaaS eCommerce Cart Abandonment
While admirable, profitable growth isn’t achieved overnight. Success takes patience, strategic planning and thoughtful execution. Don’t forget to re-examine and refine your overall business plan frequently. For a fast-growing business, we recommend a monthly strategy review.
For more information about business growth, contact ZoomInfo today!
Contributed by Stacey Bekas, Manager of Demand Generation at FastSpring— a full-stack digital commerce platform that can increase your conversion rates and make back office headaches a thing of the past.