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How to Use Sales Incentives to Leverage Your B2B Marketing Efforts
If you haven’t already integrated a sales incentives program with your B2B marketing efforts, you could be missing some important opportunities for sales. To find out more, read on.
What Is B2B Marketing?
B2B marketing, or business-to-business marketing, differs from B2C, or business-to-consumer marketing, in a few notable ways.
For example, if you’re marketing to consumers, your sales quite often come about because your product appeals to your customers’ emotions. They either like your product or they don’t. Therefore, if a customer likes something your small business offers and you make it easily available, they’re likely to purchase it right then and there. You might offer sales incentives at this level. For instance, think about the product loyalty card your local coffee shop offers.
With B2B marketing, the sales process generally takes longer, and buyers’ emotions hardly figure in at all. The focus here is on trust and dependability. For these reasons, sales incentives are all the more important at this level.
B2B Marketing Can Be Complex
The sales process for B2B marketing takes place on several levels. For example, your sales person might start by talking with a department head. If the department head likes your product, he or she will discuss it with their manager. However, if the product you offer is an expensive one, the purchase may need approval from someone on the C-suite.
What makes B2B marketing even more complex, though, is that companies are made up of individual people. Not only do you need to get to know the company’s culture, but you also need to nurture your relationships with each of the individuals with whom you interact.
When all is said and done, you might need to nurture a particular lead for months or even years before you finally land that sale.
How Do Sales Incentives Factor In?
Because of the complexity of B2B sales, sales incentive programs are genuinely important in B2B marketing. In order to have a sales incentive program that actually works, though, you need to know your customer.
What does your customer need? How does their company culture affect the way they view your business and your product? And, perhaps most importantly, what problem does your B2B customer have that your product will solve for their business?
And once you’ve done your research, you’ll know more about what your B2B customer needs and what sales incentives will lead them to make their decision sooner—and in your favor.
RELATED ARTICLE: THIS 3-STEP B2B MARKETING PLAN WILL BRING YOU MORE SALES
Sales Incentive Programs: Some Good Ideas
So now, you’re ready to come up with a sales incentive program that will boost your bottom line. What are some sales incentives that you can use in your B2B marketing efforts? The answer to that question depends on what your customers need.
For example, let’s say your product will require training and support. In that case, one sales incentive you could offer might be an add-on package that gives your customer full support throughout their company, as well as ongoing product management. Customizing your product for your B2B customer’s precise needs can be another way to go.
Keep in mind that your B2B contact person will be duty-bound to ask you for a discount. Counter with an add-on package that gives them more value instead.
On the other hand, a channel incentives program based on value or loyalty could push a recalcitrant customer over the line. The returns on your investment in these programs have been proven to be significant. Therefore, it will be worth your time to investigate them.
In simple terms, what happens with a program like this one is that you get to install a customizable catalog of merchandise and rewards on your own website. However, you don’t have to deal with suppliers or distribution. Nor will you have any overhead.
In other words, you can point your B2B customers toward a catalog on your website that’s full of shiny things that will surely appeal to them. And all they have to do in order to shop from your catalog is complete their purchase with you.
Start today to fully integrate a sales incentive program with your B2B marketing efforts. When you do, you’re going to get more sales.
But in order to come up with a sales incentive program that will actually work with your B2B customers, first get to know your customers. Then check out the new opportunities in sales incentive programs for B2B marketing that abound all around the Internet.
About the Author
Carrol Strain is a Top Rated Premium copywriter on Upwork. She is also editor and on-call writer for the Business Opportunities blog.