B2B buyers today are nothing if not savvy. Many of them, for instance, are actively researching solutions online and are already 57% of the way to a buying decision before they engage with your sales teams. Does that mean companies simply need to provide the best material to aid in that research to stand out from the pack and get the sale? Not exactly. But given the often-complex nature of technology products and services, B2B tech companies do need to take a few extra steps to win over customers.
At the heart of it, the B2B buyer’s journey is all about finding the right solutions to their (or their organization’s) pain points. When it comes to technology—especially SaaS solutions—customers have a ton of options when looking for a new product. That means vendors need to figure out how to stand out in the overcrowded market, and really focus on their buyers. Here are some of the ways we’ve learned that B2B technology buyers need you to market to them.
They want their needs and pain points front and center
Your typical, educated, discerning B2B customer does not need or want a laundry list of so-called amazing features. Unless you are offering something that is truly unique, which is unlikely, your prospects have plenty of product options available in the market. However, most of them would probably like nothing more than to deal with a company that truly understands what they need and can clarify how your products or services can address that need.
Focusing on how you can solve their pain points will do two things: For one, it will clarify any confusion that might arise from the complexity of your products. Two, it will help the buyer you’re talking to explain the purchase to the other company stakeholders involved in the purchasing decision. The average tech purchase will involve around 14-23 people, so there’s a lot of buy-in that needs to happen before a purchase is made. With that in mind, it’s important to contextualize a discussion of your features with the specific business pain points they address.
They want to know you’re the authority
Trust is a big thing when it comes to B2B tech purchases—partly because of how expensive they are. Unfortunately, building trust can be a challenge, considering that only 32% of people see sales as a “trustworthy” profession. In fact, you need to establish credibility well before your sales teams engage the lead. It should begin with how you market to them. What your B2B buyers need from you is to establish that you’re an authority about the tech you’re offering.
This is, of course, closely tied to the previous point—your authority needs to be established in the context of their needs and pain points. In-depth and carefully researched white papers are valuable to savvy B2B tech buyers because they simplify the research process for them. They should cover the key questions someone might be asking regarding your products and should manage their expectations of the solutions you offer. The key, however, is to make it less a sales pitch and more an exercise in true thought leadership.
They want to see how you’ve helped others win
Once you’ve focused on your customers’ needs and pain points and shown yourself to be a true authority in your space, B2B tech buyers want to see demonstrable value. They want to see your product in action and what results they can expect. Case studies are one powerful way to communicate this. A case study is really a story about why another company sought you out, what product or service they received, how they implemented it within their organization, and the results they achieved.
The key word here is “story.” Yes, you should strive for a well-structured problem and solution format and include practical insights your potential customers can apply to their own situations. But the narrative should be about the company rather than your products or services. The story should have a beginning, middle and end, all framed from the customer’s perspective. You should also reinforce the narrative with hard data and real numbers—include charts, graphs, and tables as necessary. And finally, case studies are far more effective if you get buy-in and input from the company you’re highlighting and can mention them by name rather than having to anonymize the study. All these elements will not only make a convincing argument for your products and services, but also allow your buyer to visualize their own success with you.
They want to see why you’re better
This might not apply to all B2B tech companies and their products and services, but if you have sufficient enough competition and a long-enough list of features, you should provide your prospective B2B buyers with a vendor comparison chart. Some companies are hesitant to provide this because they worry it might give their competitors exposure. But your prospective buyers are going to do comparisons anyway during their own research—it would be far better if it came from you, where you can control the narrative.
If you create a comparison chart, you get to choose which features to highlight versus your competition. This lets you showcase where you have an advantage. Just make sure any information you present is up-to-date and honest. While that last bit might not seem like it’s in your favor, it does paint you as being professional and dependable, as well as further establishing that trust, which we’ve already discussed the importance of.
B2B tech buyers want to be treated like partners
Because information is readily accessible to B2B tech buyers hunting for products and solutions, they’re more aware of—and wary of—pure sales pitches. They want to retain control over their journey and come to their own conclusions. This presents a big opportunity for B2B tech companies to become partners on that journey by providing information that’s authoritative, relevant, and demonstrative. This, in turn, engenders trust that will aid you in closing a sale. Of course, it’s equally as effective if you’re marketing to the right people to begin with. If you’re looking to start off with qualified leads, talk to us today. That’s something we can definitely help you with!
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