Connecting the dots
The process of buying and selling is about understanding the problem, assessing the options and implementing a solution. Often the problem is more complex than appreciated, or even rather different as in the case of a focus on symptoms rather than causes.
Similarly the range of potential solutions, including your product or service, can involve various approaches which each has its pros, cons and implications.
And implementation isn't simple. It takes contingency planning and requires that you account for various factors which your customer may not anticipate.
To complicate it further, most B2B buying decisions involve various departments and multiple individuals. Each has priorities and objectives, not to mention preference and opinion. That ads an element of moving dots to the stationary project ones.
Selling is the ultimate connect the dots exercise - often the dots are obscure, unfamiliar and not intuitive. Traditionally experienced sales people have managed this expertly.
Pushing the dots closer together
Here's the rub. Buyers don't want your expert sales rep helping them connect the dots! In fact they are generally >70% of the way through their buying process before they're willing to talk to a rep. That means the role of B2B inbound marketing is to put those dots in close proximity...and even provide hints (kind of like lighting them up in sequence) to help buyers connect them. That's where an internet marketing consultant comes in.
Your expertise is making stuff. You've been traditionally pretty good at selling it. And let's be honest here, you've never done much marketing. You may not even have a marketing budget to speak of. You're not a digital dot pusher.
That's understandable - but it's also a problem. Since 93% of all B2B buying starts with an internet search, and buyers expect self-service buying support, your success requires digital dot pushing!
Understanding which dots matter
This is where the industrial marketing rubber meets the road - and it's where an exceptional internet marketing consultant will distinguish themselves from the rest.
And the most important early insight may be which dots DON'T matter. You'll probably be uncomfortable with the answer because they may be your most precious dots - the product dots.
A really solid internet marketing consultant with actual industrial experience and a P&L perspective will focus on those dots of the business challenge and value which your product addresses - and even pull together other operational and finance dots which will resonate with prospects but might not be part of your traditional approach.
So it's a compound process - picking the right dots (and excluding the irrelevant ones) and putting them close enough together that really busy, preoccupied, harried and overworked prospects will successfully navigate the buying process on their own.
Wondering what the process looks like to consolidate your dots? Check out our free eBook on Manufacturing Revenue Growth.