When was the last time you bought something instantaneously? Probably recently. With the advent of Amazon’s one-click ordering, the rise of mobile payments, and the ease of Apple’s App Store, it’s easier than ever to instantly gain access to services. Click a button, and a purchase is made.
Today’s consumers expect personalized, instantaneous buying experiences. B2C companies are stepping up with personalized recommendations, easy checkout processes, and stellar customer support. As a result, they’re prospering.
However, B2B companies lag behind. Yes, the sales cycle for many B2B products is longer, but prospective customers still want access to information as quickly as possible. Many B2B companies rely on leads filling out forms. Unfortunately, once a form is filled out and responded to, that lead may have moved on.
Many B2B companies can improve their sales processes to meet (and exceed) buyer expectations in this landscape. For inspiration, they can turn to B2C companies that are engaging customers with instant gratification.
Popular B2C brands like Lyft, Spotify, Netflix and Amazon give customers exactly what they want, when they want it. As a result, modern buyers expect things to be immediate, personalized, and easy. Shouldn’t B2B deliver that type of experience?
As marketers, we like to separate B2B from B2C, as though they’re completely different animals. But every purchase requires individuals to make decisions. That’s true whether they’re making a personal buying decision or one on behalf of their company.
When it comes to today’s buyers, attention spans are short. Whether they’re buying a new software solution for their company or a coffee maker for their family, they want answers fast. Today’s buyers don’t want to jump through hoops.
A lot of B2B marketers and salespeople lament that their products aren’t sexy. However, great B2B products and services can still garner fans. Just look at Salesforce, which has more than 450,000 followers on Twitter. Our B2B Buyer Trends shows us that there's significant potential for growth, we just have to consider how buyers have changed. To learn more, we turn to B2C companies.
B2C companies know how to cultivate die-hard fans, and they do so using the following tactics. All of these can be emulated and copied by B2B companies:
Can you imagine trying to order a sweater and being asked to fill out a form? The idea is prosperous and outdated, but B2B companies are still using this tactic to capture leads.
Many B2B websites function in the following manner:
Forms work in theory. However, once someone has filled out a form, they’re immediately free to surf the internet to find other possible solutions. As a marketer or sales rep, you want to capture leads when their interest has piqued.
Another problem with forms is the painfully slow followup process. A study from Harvard Business Review showed that the average time it took a sales team to respond to an inbound B2B lead was 42 hours, which is quite a long wait. Our research indicates that we need to reduce lead response time dramatically, which is where Qualified's conversational marketing platform comes in.
Rather than using forms, B2B companies can use B2B live chat marketing software and instant phone calls to support their most qualified website visitors. This way, you can offer immediate support to the people who are serious buyers. This is known as Conversational Marketing, and it allows sales reps to answer questions and discuss options right away.
A Conversational Marketing Solution can help you have real-time conversations with your most qualified visitors. But it’s easily scalable, as well. You can also use bots to engage website visitors, ask questions, and capture leads.
Real-time sales conversations aren’t just a nice idea. They actually result in higher conversion rates. That’s true for both B2B and B2C companies.
A study by LeadResponseManagement.org found that when B2B sales teams respond to leads in under 5 minutes, they are 100X more likely to make initial contact with that prospect compared to waiting just one hour.
B2B companies that want to remain competitive should focus on giving prospects the opportunity to engage in real-time sales conversations.
In a world where attention spans are short, B2B companies need to step up. They can no longer rely on the old ways of capturing leads via forms and responding hours later. They can look to B2C companies for inspiration, as many are offering instantaneous experiences to customers.
B2B companies can offer real-time engagement, starting conversations with prospective customers as soon as they land on the website. As a result, they’ll stand apart in the B2B landscape and be able to convert more leads into customers.
Are you ready to deliver a more modern, B2C-like buying experience? Watch our demo video to see how you can do this with Qualified's Conversational Marketing solution ⬇️
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