We’ve already touched on how worthwhile it is to think about a company through the lens of the people that make it run behind the scenes, including considering which of them will play a role in deciding whether to purchase your product or service.
Bearing the various key players in mind when attempting to market your product or service is pretty important.
But on top of that, it’s equally important to remember that there’s a procedure behind all of this.
Paying attention to how your target companies operate can be the difference between punching the air with joy and scratching your head in confusion.
The first thing to consider is that there are probably multiple steps in their procurement process.
Put simply, the process of an organisation buying your offering is not always merely a case of ‘A to B’.
Sometimes, particularly in larger organisations, it can feel more like ‘A to Z’, with various hurdles and hoops that need to be jumped through before a purchase can be given the green light.
If you can get to grips with your target company’s ‘hoops’, then you can tweak your marketing and sales strategies to suit their internal processes.
Here’s an example… If you know that your target company has an annual budget review on a particular month of the year, you can amend the timing of your marketing campaign to have the greatest impact.
There would be little point in pitching your product or service to the company a few weeks after they have already locked in their spending plan for the year, now would there?
Timing is everything. You need to be present in the minds of the people making the decisions at the time that counts.
You also want to find out as much as you can about who will be involved in the purchasing process, in what order and what weight in the decision each of those people (or groups of people!) will have.
It’s possible that multiple departments will have a say in whether or not to proceed with a purchase, so you need to ensure your positioning will appeal to their varying needs.
Getting under the skin of the process and the people involved means you are most likely to impress from the off.
Ask yourself… how does your target business go about looking for solutions to their problems? Where do they start?
Do they lay out their needs in a purchase order so suppliers can bid for the work? And if so, where, when and how? How can you make sure you get the chance to throw your hat in the ring!?
Perhaps they seek recommendations from other companies or maybe they go straight to Google?
If you know where your target company will be looking and what key questions they will be considering as part of their purchasing process for a product or service like yours, you can make sure that these are answered front and centre in your marketing and messaging.
Here’s a shocker for you… Did you know that only around 37% of B2B buyers who research a supplier’s website feel that it is the most useful tool for answering their questions!? (1)
It’s very likely that part of the purchasing process for your target client will be to do their research into you and what you offer (and to compare you to others offering the same thing!).
So having your website, messaging and branding in order is essential to reassuring your target client that you are the right choice for them.
And their purchasing process will likely take into account more than just the service and product but who you are as a company.
Think about the things that will matter to them when they consider you for a partner…
- Will certain guarantees that you offer (like next day delivery, for instance) be of particular value to the buyer?
- What characteristics and values does your company have that will resonate with their own?
For example, if you’re pitching to an organisation that is proud of the diversity of its employee base, it’s not a bad idea to highlight how your own efforts mirror their objectives.
So, to sum it up, when building a marketing strategy that’s designed to resonate with your target business, it’s critical that you really dig into every aspect of the procedure in question.
And we mean every part of it!
Think about every step, from the initial purchase requisition to the authorisation of payment for your offering, as a little check box with several sub-boxes underneath.
It’s not just about making sure that you meet any needs on a surface level – you need to see how you can make them feel comfortable purchasing from you at every stage in the process.
If you can make every step as easy as possible for the business you’re targeting - you’ll be putting yourself in a good position to tick all their boxes and complete that all-important sale.