• November 4, 2022
  • By Mike Monroe, digital strategy manager, Vector Marketing

How to Pitch Your Company to Today’s Digital-First B2B Buyers

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Pitching to B2B buyers has always taken nuance and skill. Now, it’s much more difficult thanks to virtual meetings. Salespeople thrived and depended on relationships that involved in-person interactions, but the pandemic changed that, making Zoom a primary connection tool. The problem is that talking to someone via a device dilutes valuable social cues.

You’ve likely heard that words make up only 20 percent of communication; the rest is a combination of tone and body language. On video calls, you can only see floating heads. You don’t know whether prospects are shuffling their feet or crossing their arms. Instead, you have to guess about the other 80 percent of their communication.

In an ideal world, this problem would be resolved by Zoom-savvy managers. Unfortunately, most sales managers are still navigating virtual conferencing. They aren’t always at the level of talent and granularity to ask, “Hey, how are you creating engagement on your video calls?” So everyone’s in the same boat.

Luckily, there are ways to combat the change and successfully pitch your company. You just need to consider new strategies and embrace the changing sales landscape.

The Changing Landscape of Modern B2B Pitches

Even though 43 percent of B2B customers say they don’t want to work with sales representatives, they aren’t necessarily opposed to dealing with people. B2B buyers will go through whatever channels they need to get their desired solutions. What they don’t want is a sales experience that feels like a pointless to-do item. They want meaningful and personalized interactions, especially in the era of virtual conferencing.

For example, a generic presentation that doesn’t answer any questions can drive away even the most qualified prospects. Without as many meetings, remote workers have grown more impatient. They want to get to the point. Why should they sit on an hour-long call when a quick email would suffice? On the other hand, a custom-created Zoom pitch designed to meet a potential customer at the right time can land big time.

Not sure how to accomplish this and successfully pitch to prospects via video? That’s OK. Here are some tips to help you figure out digital communication and woo over today’s B2B buyers:

  1. Incorporate a variety of modalities into your pitching.

Did you use to rely mainly on emails and face-to-face meetings? Resist the urge to simply replace traditional meetings with Zoom ones. What you need to do is spice up your pitching efforts with a variety of communication modalities.

Take video selling, for example. Video selling has many attributes that can help you achieve your sales goals. First, videos allow you to show your personality and say what you want. Plus, they can be shared with others. If you send a B2B prospect a recording, then they can send the video to their colleagues or boss. It’s an easy way to pass along just enough information and details without requiring everyone to jump onto one more call.

Another modality you might have overlooked: handwritten notes. Yes, this might sound old-fashioned or even quaint. It might be, but it’s effective. A handwritten thank-you note can be incredibly powerful and set you apart as a salesperson.

  1. Send meaningful gifts to leads.

A lot of salespeople have resorted to sending cheap swag to B2B leads. The strategy makes sense, but the approach is flawed. What’s the problem? A gift only counts if it creates some kind of relational connection.

Case in point: One vendor I work with heard me complaining about the headphones I was using. They were giving me so much grief that I couldn’t hold back my frustration. Eight days later, I got a package. It was Sunday, and I wasn’t expecting a package, but I opened it anyway. The package contained a pair of AirPods. Guess who sent them?

To be honest, I was planning to continue working with this vendor no matter what. However, you better believe that the AirPods forged a stronger bond. The moral of the story is that when you hear a need—and it might be a silly one—meet it with a gift. It’s a bold move that’ll have a lasting impact.

  1. Hold on to your persistence.

When you were starting out as a salesperson, you were likely told that you needed to be persistent to land sales. Guess what? Nothing’s changed. Persistence will forever be part of the B2B selling formula, no matter how high-tech your sales tools are.

But here’s the thing: You have to manifest sincere persistence, not pretend persistence. The salesperson who automates every email blast is just skimming the surface for customers. That’s not persistence. Sure, it’ll net some low-hanging fruit. But it won’t help you achieve your full potential as a salesperson.

One of the best pitches I received as a corporate decision maker involved committed persistence. The salesperson started with one of my direct reports. He pitched the direct report and then went the extra mile by creating a video. The video contained answers to all the objections he knew I would have (or at least suspected I would have). It was a short, savvy video based on our organization. It wasn’t automated. It was precise and individualized. I actually watched it twice, and then I hired him. His persistence paid dividends.

If you’re in sales, the time is now to evolve. So, roll up your sleeves and try something new. You have some B2B selling to do.

Mike Monroe is the digital strategy manager at Vector Marketing, the domestic sales arm of Cutco Corp., an Olean, New York-based cutlery manufacturer.

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