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B2B Online Marketing – The Direct Pipeline to Off-line Sales: 5 simple steps

November 20, 2010

How to Use Online Marketing to Drive Off-line Sales

What is important now and in the future to small business B2B Online marketers is how to  grow brand awareness and client interest across moving and fickle (marketing) channels, where the ability to engage the audience grows thinner each day because of the millions of messages being pumped out every New York minute. One effort that will always remain a common thread is the act of creating real client relationships. And so, how do we use Online Marketing as our main vehicle and measure return in real off-line deals?

It is through leveraging online communities such as NING, LINKEDIN, TWITTER, BUSINESSEXCHANGE and more to supplement the “old” ways of making the B2B sale. These (online communities) make it possible for a B2B marketer to execute at all levels of the solution sale.

You will get off to a great start if you follow these 5 simple steps:

1. Develop a relationship through a warm connection. In Linked IN, you can gain a connect to someone who you want to know through someone you know. Further, you can research that person’s history and interests and so when you do get the chance to make your first impression, it is a great one.

2. Understand the company of your target customer. Company profiles on these social networks are filled with important information you need to know to create a real alliance with that company and the key decision makers. Further, you can see who you need to influence and how you need to sell by understanding the company and its employees’ online behaviors and who is a real force within a company page.

3. Follow up and communicate effectively with your target through the networks in which they are active.

4. Become a real resource. Provide necessary connections and valuable information to your target client at the community level.

5. Comment/become engaged in your target’s activity – this keeps you top of mind.

Of course, just like a normal 3-6 month sales cycle in the solution sales B2B world off-line, you need to stay visible through other efforts such as smart networking and personal branding and the like. Further, you need to stay pleasingly persistent as we used to say at IBM.

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