When did you last buy something from a cold call?

Yet, if you’re like most companies, even as you’ve transformed your manufacturing operations, you’re still selling the old way - with direct sales, cold calling, and attending trade shows.

This isn’t news.  That’s why companies have websites, use email marketing and hire SEO consultants.

B2B Marketing Conslting

You sense, though, that today there’s very little selling. It’s too easy to avoid the calls, emails, direct mail, etc.  You do it yourself.  Instead, B2B transactions are bought. Buyers research their problems and desired business outcomes online. More than 90% of all B2B purchases start with an internet search - and then buyers hide from reps until their buying process is >70% complete.

The structure and role of marketing and sales are changing. Today ‘marketing’ is the virtual sales team which must attract prospects, educate them, nurture them into leads and then transition them gracefully to sales reps. Sales still needs to bring application expertise to projects and always has to close them.

Because leads are often much earlier in the sales process, they’re poorly suited to direct sales interaction but are the seeds for tomorrow's sales and can’t be disregarded.

That’s why most websites, email marketing, and SEO consulting (along with many other marketing tactics) yield disappointing results.  They are tactics executed in silos against a strategic challenge.

Those conditions create the need for an entirely new range of capabilities - a range which sounds much more like dot.com fluff than traditional B2B business develoment.

AKA inbound marketing & digital marketing.  Very few products are bought the first time by a part number or even spec.  Rather, industrial buyers research solutions using the internet.
Content Marketing - Social Media

Google (and other search engines) serve results based on complex algorithms which are constantly changing. Basically, they look for resources that have lots of information specifically about that problem & solution. That information is in the form of content such as articles, web pages, eBooks and slide decks.

While “content” gives Google the juice to pick the most authoritative results (which is not based only on a selection of potentially irrelevant words anymore) it serves another role.  As people careen about between tabs and sites they make rapid decisions about the capability of vendors.  Great content establishes your credibility virtually - what your sales rep used to do in person, now your content marketing does silently.

Buyers make snap decisions between hundreds of suppliers today - and often a superior product with a static and stale website with limited content is bypassed in favor of a company with the answers to the problems through effective content.

There are many more companies that need the value your product creates than know of your company. And, while trade shows are important for B2B sales, the fact is that the internet drives activity.

Getting found by the right prospect companies, and the right people in those companies depends on a sophisticated understanding of their compelling business challenges and the artful use of digital tools to establish your company’s preeminence as a thought leader that can help them.

Sure, metrics like traffic and techniques like SEO are important here.  And we do them well.  But a computer jockey doing SEO without understanding manufacturing won’t drive results.  Ultimately, traffic that isn’t converted to a lead is of minimal value.
Business Strategy

Converting traffic to leads requires tools, science, and art - in addition to relentless improvement against performance metrics.

Consilium helps companies with all phases including:

  • Strategy.
  • Product/customer profitability analysis.
  • Buyer research and profiling.
  • Sophisticated key word research.
  • Market identification.
  • Substantive SEO.
  • Creation of thought leadership content including whitepapers, eBooks, graphics, videos, webinars, etc.
  • PR.
  • Social media for results - focused on tools that prospects use rather than what’s sexy.
Today’s typical leads aren’t sales qualified - they’re folks doing research, in private, with no intention of speaking to a sales rep. Yet they're on your site, interacting with your thoughtful, valuable content, and clearly they have some challenge which they think you might have some insight into.
Marketing Automation

If you can’t turn the hounds loose on them, but you’ve invested to bring them in and they might be a customer in some months, what do you do?

Smart companies leverage processes to automate and deliver consistent high quality efficiently. Your B2B marketing is no different.

In exchange for some of your content which will help them, prospects will normally share an email address and name. And with that, you begin a respectful virtual dialog - sharing additional, high quality relevant content with them periodically. You do this automatically using sophisticated tools which respond to their behaviors and interests.

Without wasting your sales reps’ time on leads that aren’t ready to buy, you instead gradually build a relationship, credibility, and authority with prospects who will value both your expertise and your considerate approach.

Based on how they react and respond, you can automatically identify leads at different stages in the sales process - including those that are ready (based on their opinion not yours) to speak to a rep.
Traditional direct reps rely on techniques which have been honed over years. While the techniques are often poorly suited to today’s buying process, the business knowledge and industry expertise is an invaluable asset.

So good B2B marketing consulting isn’t just about marketing - even the ‘marketing’ piece that’s now a virtual sales process. Today, B2B business development for manufacturers also has to help direct sales reps adapt in order to close deals successfully.