- March 8, 2017
- Posted by: Nanette Gregory
- Category: CEO/Executive, Creativity, Digital, LinkedIn, Marketing, Small Business
B2B executives still tell us they are not convinced that beyond having a simple website an online presence such as social media, blogs, video, etc. really contributes to the overall business strategy.
However, when we ask them how their team decides on a new product or service for their company —-most will admit they will spend lots of time ONLINE exploring and discovering everything they can find about potential partner before making the first inquiry.
Here are just a few different B2B business goals you can accomplish by improving your online presence:
Close More Business Earlier In The Sales Cycle
There is nothing better than having your team “trusted” before they walk in the first meeting with a potential new partner/ customer.
Because I am very active online, I find myself interacting with lots of people over the course of a couple of a year. Now, when I walk into any meeting with a new or old client, I find it really easy start a conversation about something or experience we shared online. Typically, these conversations led to a better atmosphere in the room— much better than that “awkward” one we often find ourselves in.
It is easy to start building relationships online—simply start to like some post. Then, after a couple of months—take the next step by making comments or writing articles. Online brand building not a job for only one person from your company – to do it well, it will take a village.
How do we know this works?
About a month ago I ran into one sales person who attended one of my LinkedIn training course. He told me how much easier it has been since my training to walk into any meeting because of his activity on LinkedIn. He stated that LinkedIn has really has been become an effective way to keep a customers trust when he is not in front of them day in and day out. He is now one of the leading sales people at the firm. I know his effective LinkedIn online activity helped him to rise to the top.
Increase Your Revenue With E-Commerce
Trust me—- when I say I haven’t talked to one B2B executive who regrets the day they started selling products online.
Starting small is best—try to offer only 10 products or accessories at first. Then increase until you find the sweet spot—enough products online to earn/ keep customers— but not so many that you become overwhelmed.
Plus, starting small gives you time to put all the right processes in place to handle the increase in sales— as you don’t want to frustrate customers right away, because just like in the restaurant business, they typically won’t come back.
Another option could be to sell your products on e- commerce sites like Amazon, Alibaba or other marketplaces instead of building traffic your own site.
Building traffic to an individual site is not for the weak— because it takes a lot time, blood, sweat and tears.
Take out a piece of paper and pen—make a short list of some accessories or products your company could sell online right now. Then set a date six months out. Attend a local tech Meetup to find a top quality web developer to help you build the site. Or get started with easy to set up e-commerce sites like WooCommerce or Shopify. One these sites you can experiment and work out the internal bugs, later on you have a developer something custom that really works for your company.
Get Your HR Recruiting Online To Recruit Top Talent
It is really competitive out there to get top talent. There is nothing worse than interviewing people that don’t fit.
HR managers are finding by posting more information online about the company it gives potential candidates a real opportunity to determine if this is where they want to work and not waste the interviewers time.
I worked with one HR manager to help improve the online presence for recruiting. They told me afterwards candidates often stated they applied because of one video we created of current employees talking about why they liked working there.
You can easily do the same. Simply start by using the asking your team why they like working for you. Then start sharing those stories on your website, social media and recruiting sites.
Sell Your Business Quickly
A really good online presence can also convince a potential buyer that your company is worth looking at compared to others.
Having your brand streamlined online offers idea’s in buyers heads that “this company looks professional, I won’t have to start from scratch.”
Or “Everything is in place for new customers to find me, I just need to fill in the blanks now.”
What happens when you’ve done the hard work of establishing a reputable online presence?
Your company has a higher chance of acquisition, merger, or even in a position to buy out a competitor, leaving them feel intimidated by your strong online image.
Is the online presence the only reason a company is sold nowadays?
But we’ve had clients that are convinced it helped.
Hopefully by now you realize that having a strong online presence for your business will contribute to many of your business goals.
But to be truly effective you need to be clear on what you want to accomplish. Then— create a written plan for the all of the places online you want people to find out about your business and the stories you want to tell.