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4 B2B Marketing Mistakes that Can Instantly Kill Your Sales

“Finding new ways, more clever ways to interrupt people doesn’t work.”

– Seth Godin

Yet, that’s what marketers do all the time. We try to squirm out way into our customer’s day, in the hopes they will miraculously listen to us. And it’s very easy to tune B2B marketers out, especially since we constantly interrupt people when they are simply trying to do their jobs.

B2B marketing isn’t easy. It’s challenging and time-consuming, and the right way to connect with potential customers is always changing. Yet, there are some basic mistakes that are seen over and over. These types of mistakes can kill your sales before you get a chance to deliver your message.

4 B2B Marketing Mistakes that Can Instantly Kill Your Sales

Here’re a few to watch out for:

#1. You’re Writing Generic Content

B2B decision makers don’t have a lot of time. Sending generic content is a waste of time, as it will never be read. It’s just spam.

Leads that are nurtured with targeted messaging can increase sales opportunity by 20%. Instead of sending out cookie-cutter email content to nurture your leads, take the time to personalize every message. This is true no matter what types of materials you’re sending out – from larger pieces of content, like links to white papers and podcasts, to simple, friendly notes just to keep in touch with prospects.

If your sales prospect is in the health industry, for example, then personalize your messaging to speak to needs that are specific to a health organization. Sure, it may take longer to write specific messages and find hyper-targeted third-party content to share, but your ROI will increase. This isn’t a waste of time – it’s spending your time wisely.

#2. You Still Use a “Brochure” Website

I started my business over 20 years ago. The internet was just a blip on our radar. The majority of our marketing was in print: newspaper ads, posters, coupon books, and brochures.

Here’s the exact advice I received from an “expert” marketer all those years ago: “No one reads brochures. But they think they will, so you have to make them.”

And it’s still true today. No one reads brochures! Not in print and not as a website.

You spend hours writing the exact right content to showcase your business and talents. Yet, that’s time you could be using to create engaging content. Try creating a resource-based website that lights up a clear “value path” for any B2B visitor. Include downloadable material, helpful how-to’s and guides, and specific calls to action.

Think about how you research a new B2B company. You were probably drawn in by an ad or stumbled upon an interesting article. Change the way you structure your website – make it a platform that’s designed to draw customers into your sales funnel. Not be put to sleep by your beautiful brochure pictures.

#3. You’re on the Wrong Social Media Platforms

I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I love connecting with customers and getting out our message. But I hate the perception that social media is the best thing to ever happen in the marketing industry.

I’m just not a true believer.

However, I’d be a fool to dismiss the power of social media altogether. It can be a powerhouse tool to draw in new B2B customers and showcase your brand. Yet, unless you’re on the right social media platforms for your particular market, you’re simply wasting your time.

Facebook is the king of social media, with 1.64 billion active users and an astounding 66% of users logging in every day. Every industry has its own unique characteristics, and every local town has its favorite social media platform (probably Facebook). But what works with one B2B business should never be assumed to work for another.

Do your homework. Find out where the decision makers in your specific B2B market spend their time online. And don’t make any assumptions about where you can find a large social following. For example, Intel has a strong following on Pinterest. In fact, Intel’s Pinterest strategy has increased their monthly engaged viewers by 48% and increased their average monthly views by an astonishing 364%!

#4. You Treat B2B Customers Like B2C Customers

Simply put, one of the biggest mistakes that kill B2B sales is treating prospects the same way you handle B2C audience members.

Neha Jewalikar from Demandbase, says: “Unlike B2C buyers, who can be driven to make a purchase by a promotional ad campaign in a short period of time, B2B buyers require engagement for an extended period of time.”

Major mistakes include launching short-term ad campaigns and trying to entice a B2B decision maker into making an impulse buy. Instead, choose to extend marketing campaigns with a focus on a longer sales funnel and growing personal connections.

B2C customers also make purchases from an emotional standpoint, while B2B consumers want the bottom line. It’s all about how your product can increase revenue, save time and money, and help them achieve their goals. If your marketing doesn’t quickly connect these dots, your product will simply be seen as irrelevant.

This may seem like a rookie mistake, but in the quest to stand out from competitors, many marketers take risks. What may seem edgy or provocative may not translate to the B2B market. Never lose focus on who your target market is and how to best communicate with them.

Break Away from the “Comfortable” Trap

As a long time business owner, I can tell you it’s very easy to fall into the comfortable trap. That’s when you’re doing okay. Okay is good, it’s comfortable. But okay isn’t where we want to be. We want to be great.

It’s easy to get complacent in our marketing efforts or do things the same way because that’s how it’s always been done. If you want to increase your B2B sales, start with taking a look at your marketing strategy.

Just making a few minor tweaks can be the difference between okay sales and amazing sales.

Image: Shutterstock


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Liesha Petrovich, co-founder of Startup University and founder of Micro Business Essentials, a blog dedicated to helping the smallest businesses make more money. In her free time, she’s working on a Doctorate in Entrepreneurship. If you're thinking about starting your own business, pick up Liesha's free course: The 7 Deadly Startup Sins And How You Can Avoid Them and follow her on Twitter http://microbusinessessentials.com

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Comments
  • Speaking as someone concerned about her older age as it very quickly approaches I wish I had started a pension when I first started work. Thanks for sharing this excellent post with us Sarah.

  • Nice post! Such an informative post.
    Liesha, You have mentioned some great points. In B2B sales we need to first implement the correct marketing strategy. All above points need to be taken care while we are promoting our B2B solutions. We need to approach to the right customers. Some more points need to be taken care of the mobile website, products videos, client testimonials. We need to take care of this points also.




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