Getting a new client in the B2B industry is much more complicated than in the B2C. The B2B sales cycles are getting longer. In fact, according to the Aberdeen Group C-level executives, VPs, and Directors across several B2B industries provided the following reasons why:
- 77% agreed that they conduct a more detailed ROI analysis before making a purchase decision.
- 78% agreed that they “spend more time researching purchases.”
- 75% agreed that they “use more sources to research and evaluate purchases.”
Because more people are involved in making the buying decision in the B2B industry, it requires different customer acquisition techniques from the B2C. That’s why we’ve interviewed 15 B2B experts to share their tips that can let you know how to win new clients effectively.
15 B2B Customer Acquisition Strategies from the Experts
My top tip for how to win new clients is finding the right inbound marketing strategy for your B2B company. Inbound customers are often higher-intent and require less hours to close because they’ve done their research and are seeking your offerings out. For potential business customers, a developed video or content strategy on the industry and products or services you offer could draw great prospects to your website.
For example, if you’re Best Buy and are trying to sell more work computers to businesses, you could release a video series where you review the top computers of 2019 for different functions. Likewise, you could write a series of posts for your company publication on the top work computers for engineers or graphic designers.
Presenting your business as an expert in your space and offering a special discount or conversion funnel for the content you create will help you to acquire valuable customers through channels like YouTube or Google.
One of our main customer acquisition strategies is actually through referrals from our existing clients, as almost anyone working in a SaaS would know someone else in another company.
You would be surprised how many answers and leads you can get by asking your existing customers: Could you imagine someone you know that suffers the same pain as you did before you became our customer?
The big advantage is that our customers are even happy to make an introduction – this way the lead is not just cold, but it’s a warm introduction that you can work your way along. This is our number one tip to get great, non-expensive leads for new users to your B2B business!
Social Media Marketing
Don’t rule out Facebook Advertising for B2B. Many businesses, large and small, often rule out Facebook and Instagram advertising for B2B audiences purely because they see it as a ‘personal channel’ and not a place for business messages.
But they couldn’t be more wrong.
Facebook can cost-effectively generate highly targeted website traffic, awareness of your product or service and even deliver high-quality leads.
Using the various targeting options such as ‘where you work’ and ‘job title’, along with the Facebook marketing pixel to remarket website visitors you’d be surprised at the cost per leads you can achieve through this channel.
LinkedIn is the most ideal platform for any B2B business, as it’s a purely professional network. You can find everyone there you want to do business with. Therefore, leveraging this platform to find new clients is a great customer acquisition strategy to implement. Oktopost, a B2B social media marketing platform, did a detailed analysis of 100,000+ posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn and concluded:
Reach out to other experts and potential clients in your niche and try to develop an authentic relationship with them on LinkedIn. Get introduced to new people through referrals or common connections. Share useful content such as blog posts, videos, and infographics that can add value and is relevant to your potential clients. Keep your profile and business page optimized.
These LinkedIn marketing strategies will help you build a solid referral network that will bring in more clients. You can also try using ads and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns that have advanced audience targeting options. LinkedIn has also introduced Lead Gen Forms for sponsored InMail and sponsored content that helps you collect even more quality leads from your ads.
Search Engine Optimization
My tip for B2B businesses when it comes to developing a successful customer acquisition strategy is not to neglect longer-term marketing strategies like SEO. As a relatively young website, I’ve been able to grow my Domain Authority (Moz) by a few points per month by guest blogging on a handful of quality websites in my niche, and as a result, I’ve seen a steady uptick in site traffic and leads.
Additionally, I’ve noticed that leads from organic search are typically higher quality than leads from sources like business directories.
Find out what B2B keywords your potential customers are searching for on search engines and use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to target them
We run a logistics company renting and selling forklifts. Majority of our customers are B2B
and we get leads online from investing in SEO on our website. Finding the right keywords to target based on your B2B customers’ searching styles is the most important part.
For example, a B2B customer will search for leasing a forklift as compared to a B2C customer who will most likely search for where to take forklift classes instead. Once you are able to differentiate what the B2B and B2C customers are searching for, you will be on the right track to acquiring your targeted B2B customers.
Frankly speaking, for my own business, our best method for client acquisition is having high-quality content on our website & blog. We’re a marketing agency that focuses only on the Chinese market.
When we started out we had to do all the digging, researching, testing to make our business a success. Sharing this knowledge with others seeking to do the same has helped to establish ourselves as an authority in the field. It’s also incredibly valuable for our sales staff to both help them educate themselves and their clients.
Our blog and our content have been vital parts of our customer acquisition strategy as well as the main drivers of our business’s success and we’ll continue to invest as long as we continue seeing returns!
Engaging content works every time. Now, no one is saying content marketing is a fast game – far from it. Content marketing takes careful study of your customer avatar, putting time and energy into developing quality content, and then even more time and energy into promoting that content so that it reaches your ideal audience. However, if done properly, content marketing is incredibly effective.
You should be targeting individuals at the top, middle, and bottomof the content marketing funnel. For example, individuals at the top of the sales funnel need content which introduces them to the idea of your product or service, i.e. educational content which is not overly promotional.
People already aware of your product or service, and intrigued, are solidly in the middle of your funnel, and need something like a case study that convinces them of its efficacy. Finally, if you have prospects at the bottom of the sales funnel and are ready to pull the trigger, strong sales copy and incentivized offers can often do the trick to convert a visitor into a paying customer.
Of course, all of this must be followed up by top-notch customer service!
Don’t just sell. Instead, show clients that you’re trustworthy and knowledgeable. Then provide them with accessible avenues to buy your product if they want it.
One of my favorite tips on how to win new clients is to provide them with educational materials. This helps me gain a client’s trust and respect before I try to sell them something.
As just one example, consider a detailed guide about voice-over-IP (VoIP) I wrote for my company’s blog. It’s several thousand words worth of information that’s relevant to our industry. The guide is free and always available, and I don’t explicitly ask my readers
within the text to please buy my product.
By creating that in-depth document, I demonstrate that my company is knowledgeable about phone system specifics. I also suggest that, because we’re willing to put in the work of creating it and similar guides (how-to’s, support docs, training information, industry information), that clients will be in good hands if they choose to work with us.
This isn’t a marketing trick. It simply turns the sales equation upside down. Traditionally, you would need to buy my product before finding out if you could trust me. This pressures the sales department to impress the customer, and it pressures the customer into taking a chance with a business it might not fully know.
By providing high-quality information before the sale, I can remove those pressures. I show you that you can trust me. Then I make my product available through accessible menus and other links on my company’s website. Is that not a great customer acquisition strategy or what?
Short answer? Pre-sales surveys – but only if they’re personalized and inclusive of all types of site visitors. Here’s our take on it:
As a feedback collection software company, we use our own tool not only to run customer satisfaction questionnaires but also to qualify leads and move them down the funnel in a natural, unobtrusive manner.
First and foremost, you must find out what your website visitors are looking for when they visit your website. What landing pages do they visit? Is it blog content, comparison to competition pages, or pricing? You can learn a lot about how you should pitch your services to specific lead segments from a whole array of tools – Google Analytics data, session recordings, heatmaps, and CRM and chat communication history, to name a few.
For instance, if your leads are visiting blog pages via organic search and had no previous interaction with your site, you might ask them in a website survey: What information are you looking for? or encourage them to subscribe to your newsletter. It’s a subtle way to develop brand awareness and make sure you’re not selling your products to a lead who’s not even aware of what you offer (at least, yet).
Respectively, if you notice leads visiting your pricing or product pages, you can start engaging your sales team. For instance, you can display a contact form on your website, inviting your leads to a demo call.
All in all, if you run on-site surveys as part of your customer acquisition strategy, you should make sure you do not pitch your product too early in the buyer’s journey. Otherwise, you run the risk of coming across as pushy and losing a lead who might’ve just needed more time to realize you’re a service worth paying for.
Play to Your Advantages. Know what it is that gives your brand an advantage over your competitors and what reasons your customers choose to go for it over others. Knowing your own strengths and weaknesses as a business is key when it comes to wooing prospects in the B2B industries and trying to win new customers.
It goes without saying that differentiating yourself from your competitors is essential when it comes to convincing potential customers to choose your brand over others.
My one tip on how to win new clients for a B2B business is to make sure include as much information you can on your website about your service. I can’t tell you the number of B2B sites I see that have barely any information on them about the products and services they offer let alone prices.
Today’s B2B customers, on the whole, want to research and buy in a very similar way to B2C consumers, yet business has been very slow to catch on to this fact.
With each passing day, business-to-business customer acquisition strategies are evolving more than ever now. In order to win new clients, you need to know all of their information beforehand.
Many businesses do an amazing job of explaining what they do but fail when it comes to showing how they can help. This can only be done when you know your client’s needs and preferences.
My Go-To tips on how to win new clients for our B2B business are:
Improve Your B2B Lead Generation Activities
Implement various lead generation activities for an effective sales funnel process. The rise of new marketing tools and methods, video contents and podcasts have reached a whole new level. Show your potential clients how you can help them in the following ways.
- Content Marketing For B2B Lead Generation (Blog posts, Infographics, Podcasts,
- Email Marketing ( The right kind of marketing using relevant content)
- B2B Social Media Marketing (Promoting relevant and valuable content)
Check how many subscribers are actually opening your emails and reading it. Target only those who fail to open, by sending a completely different email.
Interact and talk to your current and past customers on a regular basis. Come with different ideas, possibly outside of your company’s expertise, that will help your clients to solve their issues and grow their business.
Reach out directly to the person who can make the final decision. Depending on the size of the company you are approaching, look out for the CEO who runs the business, directors who have high authority in the company or even procurement managers who are in charge of buying or engaging your product or service.
Related: How to Do Email Outreach Like a Pro
We run a freight forwarding company that does mainly B2B business. In order to reach out to new potential clients effectively, we spend a substantial amount of effort to brainstorm creative ways to clinch these deals.
To connect with small business owners, we contact them through their company’s Facebook page. Usually, the personnel with a higher position in the company will be managing the Facebook page because as a small business, they do not have a dedicated social media team to manage it.
On the contrary, to connect with larger companies, LinkedIn is a great platform to reach out to your potential customers. LinkedIn solves your problem of guessing who is in charge by letting you know which position each employee holds in the company of interest and whether they will be the right person to connect with.
Reach out to ‘Shoulder Businesses’ related to your business but not a direct competitor and set up a referral system. For example: Let’s say you run an Accounting firm helping businesses manage their books and you’re looking for more customers. You can reach out to other B2B business like IT service companies or commercial law firms and discuss the idea of a referral system where you recommend each other to your customers.
These ‘shoulder businesses’ often get asked by customers for recommendations and because you’re not a direct competitor, your partners will be happy to recommend you, it’s a win-win for everyone involved. You could even take it a step further by offering 10% referral fees to really get the ball moving with your new partnerships.
Get More Customers Using Inbound Marketing
Building different types of content would increase the engagement for different users and allow for maintaining different brand accounts in an equalized manner. We offer services that could be purchased as a monthly package that would strengthen your brand, improve your online presence, increase your visibility and build an audience of dedicated customers.