To gain new business-to-business customers, you must fulfill their needs, problems, objectives, interests, and purchasing behaviors. All of these factors have undergone considerable changes in the last several years. Companies know what they are looking for now and how to find it. For example, 70% of business customers perform their own research before contacting a sales representative from your company. With the help of B2B customer acquisition strategies, you will be prepared to handle all of these customer expectations.
Expectations of B2B buyers
Industrial B2B buyers now expect more from your organization’s products and solutions than just features and technology. They now anticipate that your organization will assist them in meeting a far more extensive range of needs, including the following:
• Identifying potential business possibilities
• Providing new viewpoints and ideas that both challenge and/or alter their way of thinking
• Solving problems
• Providing them with opportunities to communicate with peers and industry professionals
Thus, the B2B customer acquisition process focuses on co-creating value with your prospects based on their specific needs, objectives, and expectations.
What is B2B customer acquisition?
The process of acquiring new business customers for your company is the definition of B2B customer acquisition. The eventual goal of the acquisition strategy is to develop systematic, long-term acquisition plans that maintain pace with market dynamics.
Regardless of the size of your company, it is a critical aspect that assists in the operation of the company and allows for profit. Historically, new customer acquisition was thought to be entirely about using expensive, unsustainable techniques such as enormous advertising spending or extreme discounting strategies.
Customer acquisition, on the other hand, is much more than that. It enables you to increase customer retention after the initial purchase intentionally. According to researchers, the ultimate goal of a B2B customer acquisition plan should be to establish a long-term sustainable relationship. In other words, it is building customer loyalty.
This goal is critical for every B2B seller company to build a loyal customer base. However, loyalty cannot exist without initially acquiring customers.
B2B customer acquisition process
B2B client acquisition needs planning and strategy. While some customer acquisition approaches are more effective with specific customers, a typical B2B customer acquisition plan incorporates a few essential elements.
Any fundamental client acquisition strategy begins with identifying qualified prospective customers. One approach for client acquisition is to contact potential consumers via call centers and mailing lists. These customer acquisition methods enable you to ascertain whether business customers have expressed interest in or already use products similar to those offered by your organization.
Following that, organizations further qualify potential customers by researching to ascertain feasibility. Suppose the likelihood of acquiring this new potential customer appears to be high. In that case, its status is promoted to prospect and allocated to a salesperson for further contact.
Numerous B2B customer acquisition models then incorporate developing a relationship with prospects to ascertain their needs and the extent to which the products offered to meet those demands. Additionally, salespeople strive to discover hidden requests based on data gathered through ongoing talks and contacts with prospects.
B2B salespeople can uncover other prospects’ needs and offer complementary products to help prospects understand the value of their already considering products.
Strategic B2B customer acquisition objectives
No matter how many customers you have, B2B customer acquisition is a top priority for business-to-business organizations that want to grow. So, what are your customer acquisition objectives need to be to attract profitable industrial customers?
Cultivate your top ten percent of customers
There is no customer like your most profitable customer. Hence, the objective of the B2B customer acquisition strategy is to find more like them. First, use a “Profitable Customer Profile” to determine which characteristics identify profitable customers early in your lead funnel. Then, look to develop a sequential approach for cultivating your “top ten percent” customers to enhance your portfolio of buyers.
Use clear profit measures
Before you focus on your more profitable customers, your B2B customer acquisition strategy must have a clear definition of profit. For example, do you measure profit against transactional gains, customer lifetime value, or even revenue generated over a fixed period? Each of these measures means something different, so establish a clear and meaningful measure of profits before you get started. Work closely with your accounting department on this, but don’t let them dictate long-term strategy without looking at the facts.
Know your customer lifetime value
How much profit does a customer make from their first to their last purchase? When you know this number, you understand how much you can spend on new customers. While planning for future cash flow, the customer lifetime value benchmark identifies above- and below-par producers. Ideally, your B2B customer acquisition objective is to grow this number each year by cultivating your most profitable customers.
Generate leads for profits
Instead of just seeing how many leads you can produce, generate leads with profits in mind. This requires you to lower your overall cost per lead, track sales profits, and then feed this information into your lead generation strategy. By following lead sources against monetary measures, you’ll establish which marketing works and does not; use this information to focus on the most profitable leads first.
Use qualifying questions to focus efforts
Most companies collect business cards, follow up, and eventually give up before getting anywhere near a sale. Instead, use questions to qualify a prospect’s position in your lead funnel. These inquiries help uncover present opportunities, establish a purchasing timetable, and discover what clients want to acquire.
Seeking low-cost B2B customer acquisition
It’s your objective to gain new customers at the lowest cost possible, but that doesn’t mean you should spend as little as possible. A low-cost acquisition is more a ratio of cost versus potential gain. Even if you have to pay more upfront for a lead that closes today, you could be spending less than those unqualified prospects you have to wrestle for months to complete. Knowing where to discover “low-cost” leads with a high-profit potential reinforces the B2B customer acquisition target of creating profitable leads.
Know about and document best practices
If your other salespeople knew about it, there is something your top salesperson does that would double your production. An objective of a successful B2B customer acquisition program is to measure what works and what doesn’t.
Guessing doesn’t pay the bills, especially when measurements can be so easy with a well-designed sales funnel. So what really works today to acquire new customers?
Focus first on customer retention marketing
After all the effort you put into getting a customer, why do so many business-to-business organizations neglecting and abusing the customers they have? It’s more important to earn a customer than it is to make a sale. So focus everything about your B2B customer acquisition program on making “customers,” not just “sales.” Repeat customers are the foundation of any business success.
Conclusion for B2B customer acquisition
Even with each of these objectives addressed, you profit most when you remember that not all customers are equal. So regularly work through your existing customer lists, help customers buy more, help customers be more profitable. But most importantly, give customers a reason to purchase from you again. B2B customer acquisition is meaningless if you can’t keep most of the profitable customers you have.