B2B Customer Lifecycle Event Highlights

Monday 30th October 2017 10:43am
By Lachlan Kirkwood

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Does your organisation have an effective strategy for acquiring B2B clients? The Networx Brisbane B2B customer lifecycle event, aimed to discuss what it takes to build successful B2B relationships. With the all female panel featuring the likes of McCullough Robertson’s Kate Chaundy, Dr Emily Verstege, and Genuine George’s Kathryn Koch, there were so many valuable insights shared on the evening. 

Opening the evening’s discussions was Emily, who highlighted the important role that relationships play in B2B marketing.

“B2B relationships are often directly based on emotional connections”.

When it comes to marketing to another business, Emily mentioned that it’s important to understand your clients brand and how their organisation operates. By showing a genuine interest in their work, it allows you to tailor the best solution for their needs and clearly identify what value you can bring to their organisation. 

Kathryn also discussed the importance of actively nurturing B2B relationships over time, even once work is concluded. This is a process that is often best done manually, and can be as simple as sending a client an article you’ve read that’s relevant to their industry. Small gestures like this can go a long way in continually developing B2B relationships.

So what are the stages of a B2B lifecycle? And how can your organisation prepare for each one? Kathryn discussed the three likely stages of a B2B client;

  • Attraction: This stage focusses on how exactly you’ll attract a B2B prospect to your brand. This could be through a piece of inbound content, showcasing your work in an enticing manner on your website, or even a referral. 

     
  • Acquisition: How you’ll make contact with the prospect and explain what value your organisation can deliver, as well as manage ongoing communications.

     
  • Follow up: This can also be known as lead nurturing and can be done through client follow ups, or even automation platforms.

Below is a list of tools and platforms Kathryn uses throughout each stage of the B2B lifecycle:

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After identifying the process of a B2B user, conversations shifted towards what it takes to attract new B2B clients, and how to best prepare for B2B engagements. Kate from McCullough Robertson touched base on some useful ways to develop an internal strategy for client meetings. Kate recommended that:

  • Your organisation should never send one individual to a client meeting, but instead, should have them accompanied by another colleague. This is a good practice as it can prevent any personality clashes between an individual employee and a client. 
     
  • Don’t hesitate to ask questions. This can not only show your interest and engagement with a clients brand, but can also lead to identifying new areas of opportunity in which your brand can cater a solution for.
     
  • Evaluate your meeting performance: After a client meeting, its good practice to evaluate each members individual performance and identify areas in which they could improve for future client engagements.

In summarising ways to continually meet client expectations throughout engagements, Emily highlighted the importance of frequently asking for client feedback. Unlike B2C relationships, B2B partnerships shouldn’t leave client feedback until the completion of work. Your organisation should instead cater for ongoing feedback to ensure that all parties are satisfied. Ongoing feedback is a positive way to even to turn negative B2B relationships around.

The panel wrapped up the event by highlighting once again that B2B partnerships are something that are based on the premises of genuine relationships. You can catch the panels final top tips below.

Are you heading along to our next event? Join us at The Loft West End on the 22nd of November to explore your digital strategy for 2018. You can find out more about the event here.

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