B2B marketing requires a different approach in the way you execute things. There are usually multiple stakeholders involved in the B2B buying and in this article, we discuss why you should start engaging everyone that’s involved in the decision-making process.
Here are the reasons why it is important to engage every relevant decision maker in B2B lead gen marketing:
1. It will save you time.
B2B sales can be a complex experience because you know all too well that there are multiple stakeholders involved. This would mean that engaging them for a potential business transaction will be subjecting you to a lengthy waiting game. Decision-making, you can imagine, will not be easy.
Getting the message to multiple stakeholders will allow you to make your presence felt and possibly save some time. Instead of waiting for all of them to make the time to discuss with you as a group, make the time to reach out to them individually.
2. You can make a sound assessment of their decision-making process.
Taking the initiative to reach out to the stakeholders allows you to more or less assess who are the decision-makers, the business sponsors, the economic buyers, the influencers, and the technical buyers.
This move will also allow you to identify who among them are aggressive, laid back, agreeable, easy to work with, difficult to convince, and skeptical. You can make sound improvements to your gameplay when you have a grasp of how these stakeholders operate.
3. You get to connect with everyone.
Making the connection always matters. Whether you decide to build a relationship with one, two, or all of them eventually, it also helps to have a network in the B2B industry. You can never tell who will come in handy for your business in the future.
Related: How to Sell to Match the 3 Types of IT Decision Makers
Identifying the Stakeholders
If you want to be able to successfully engage stakeholders in B2B marketing, you have to learn how to identify which ones function in a certain way. Start out by identifying as many as you can. Categorize them based on your initial encounters and do your background check thereafter. Whatever information you get about their line of business, remember to classify them as well.
Your ultimate goal would be to find out who is the big-time decision-maker among all of them. Naturally, when you do identify this person, you would want to work closely with him. This is not saying that the others will no longer matter. Maintaining engagements across multiple decision-makers promotes discussion amongst them and moves the sales process forward faster.
In the meantime, stick with the ones who are primary movers in the business. This is not about taking a shortcut, this is about being strategic every step of the way.
Related: Savvy Ways to Identify and Qualify B2B Decision Makers
Here comes the tricky part. Once you have engaged these stakeholders, you need to be able to specifically assess certain things about them. This may require a bit of practice if you are doing this for the first time. You have to be able to make mental notes about the contents of your conversation, body language, gestures, expressions, etc.
The assessment process will include identifying the following:
1. What their role is in the decision-making process?
You need to be able to tell the difference between a negotiator, an information gatherer and a key contributor. You can look for hints. Be mindful of how your conversations go. Ask around about the person you are talking to.
2. What is the key deciding factor for them?
What is the key element that influences their decision? When they do decide, how does this decision affect or relate to the other stakeholders? Are they influenced by a certain principle? Do they have an internal agreement?
3. How strong is their influence over a decision?
Are the stakeholders able to steer the decision towards what they want? Are they dominant in the decision-making process? Are they quiet? Do they submit easily? Do they put up a good defense? Do they appear weak to the rest?
4. Their attitude towards you
Were they accommodating? Were they evasive about some questions? Did they look like they were interested in what you were saying? Their attitude toward you will say a lot about how they do business.
5. Your key value to their business
Try to ask yourself about what would be the biggest contribution of your product to their business. Try to determine whether your product will be a solution to a long-running problem in their business. Or will it be a deterrent to their development?
Conclusion: By applying just a few of these steps you’ll find out how you can really get things going for your customized B2B campaigns. The added revenue and the connections are more than worth the effort you’ll put in the beginning.
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