B2B LEAD GENERATION IN PANDEMIC WORLD

B2B LEAD GENERATION IN PANDEMIC WORLD

 With the pandemic, companies have turned to technology tools in finding potential customers. E-commerce showed a different increase in 2020 compared to previous years. Although this is good for companies that work from business to consumer, the same is not true for companies that work from business to business.

 Business-to-business companies were only capturing meetings and marketing mostly with potential customer visits until 1 year ago. At this point, buyer behavior varied in parallel with the visiting sellers. Business-to-business trade, which is mostly based on bilateral relations, lost its effect with the pandemic. Firms sometimes had difficulty in communicating with their personnel, let alone establishing or maintaining strong relationships with their potential customers or existing customers. So what did this issue cause? Move towards online marketing. Companies have created plans for the following steps with their online marketing strategies:

1-Investing in the website and launching an online store module,

2-Using online remote communication tools,

3-Being visible by sharing content from social media platforms,

4-To advertise on social media platforms and search engines,

5-To open potential customer channels by becoming a member of B2B, B2C Marketplaces,

6-Increasing the number of cold calls and e-mails,

7-Using online potential customer finding tools,

8-Using tools such as CRM and ERP to follow all steps.

 So, can the issue be resolved by allocating sufficient financial resources only? How difficult would it have been to adapt sales and /or business development-oriented teams to this process, which were previously pursuing offline marketing logic? At this point, companies tried one or more of the above steps first or tried to plan all the steps while on the road. Since this situation also created a learning process, timeouts began in project planning. In addition to all these, companies that did not take any steps faced worse situations.

 So what to do? First of all, a long-term planning should be made for all steps. All staff in the company should be informed about this journey and their job descriptions should be revised. First of all, marketing should be removed from the logic of selling unsold or best-selling products more or not forced to progress in this logic. Trying to solve all items only with the software team or increasing the number of the software team with this in mind will not be the right strategy. This process can proceed with marketing-centric software, sales and / or business development coordination.

 According to the industry, the software and marketing team should make a long-term planning about the production of content and the channels where it will be shared, and the effects of the content on the website, social media channels and marketplaces should be analyzed. Marketing should analyze the effect of the product in the market during the pandemic process and form a strategist for the product, price, location, promotion cycle. In terms of content, product photos can be taken by agreeing with a professional photographer to increase the popularity of the products on online platforms. Product information forms can be prepared. By monitoring cold calling and e-mail activities, conversion rates should be analyzed in finding potential customers and potential customers should be directed to the sales team. The sales team should be put into the sales funnel of potential customers and action should be taken to try to close the sales. Must use CRM. The business development team should also call existing customers and question their status and needs in line with their marketing strategies. It should create long-term relationships suitable for pandemic conditions. Potential customers should be contacted for long-term relationships and online meetings should be arranged.

 In summary, in the online marketing process, marketing should not be in a position to sell the product that is not sold by only advertising. Marketing should coordinate sales and / or business development by taking steps with software support to create brand awareness, discover aspects that distinguish the product from competitors, and create channels of potential customers. Web address, social media tools and subscribed marketplace should be followed carefully.

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