Branding plays an increasingly critical role in the B2B sales process. Here’s what you need to know for the year ahead.
According to one study, 57% of the sales process is completed before a B2B buyer ever talks to a sales rep. As a result, your brand and content have to do a significant amount of the heavy lifting of making a sale, from engaging prospects to educating them about your products and services. What areas should you focus on in terms of branding?
Create a Strong Core Brand
It’s critical that you think about your company’s brand at a few different levels. First, a company’s brand helps signal that it’s established and a good choice within its space. A strong brand communicates value signals about the experience that consumers can anticipate, such as luxury vs. budget, high-touch concierge vs. respecting your independence, or something completely different.
Establish your company brand throughout your marketing material and customer journey by ensuring that there’s a consistent look and feel—as well as messaging—to all your materials. The more strongly your brand resonates with the customers, the more you’re likely to win their trust and their business.
Deliver Cross-Channel Consistency
For marketing and sales professionals, the complexity of branding has only increased. Today, customer touch points exist both online and offline. There are more points of contact with customers than ever before, which requires a bigger and more innovative way of thinking about how you communicate your brand. Consumers are watching your activities online, on social media channels, at conferences, and much more.
Your branded presentations and materials should have a consistent look and feel, as well as overarching message. When every touch point that customers encounter has a similar look and feel, messaging, and visual experience, then your brand experience reinforces your larger objectives no matter where customers are finding you. If you’re not sure how you’re doing on this point, a channel-by-channel audit can give you fast insights into what’s working and where there’s room for improvement.
Don’t Overlook Bottom-of-the-Funnel Solutions
For many companies, top-of-the-funnel activities (like content marketing and social media outreach) are clearly branded. A consistent visual look and feel is paired with a style of communicating that customers recognize. Does that same style guide translate to your bottom-of-the-funnel activities? It’s important to think about whether that’s the case; if not, customers and prospects may be experiencing some dissonance in their experience between marketing and sales. Some places to consider include sales proposals, presentations, and the follow-up and service materials customer receive.
The most successful brands have tight, aligned branding that takes a deep dive into what value a company offers. Make sure customers have a consistent experience across touch points, and you’ll be well on your way to building relationships that never waver.