People don’t buy the way they used to. They don’t have to. They don’t have to sign up to a vendors process to learn about a product. This is especially true in B2B HR technology. Today the buyer completes 70% of their process before they contact a vendor. They read reviews, find customers to talk to, and consume vast amounts of third party information. They have their mind pretty much made up about what and who you are before they hit that demo web form.
This happened quickly. Every single vendor I talk to is struggling with how to get themselves properly represented during that 70% of the process. They’re also struggling with how to engage sales people into the process.
The conversation we’re having with prospects is different now. At all stages.
Context is everything.
What does that mean to the B2B HR technology marketer?
Throw your funnel out the window. It’s time to rethink your approach to engaging prospects. You need to look at how they’re engaging and with what content. This is what drives the definition of qualified or active now.
Your customers are selling, or not selling you, whether you like it or not. You just don’t control the conversation any more. Buyers are finding your customers and getting insight long before they contact you. You have got to focus on customer success, and then mobilize your advocates to be the customers that are getting found.
You need data. You need to be able to evaluate what the right next content or interaction is for a customer or prospect based on their behavior with your assets.
You need a better understanding of your buyer. “Director and above in the Human Resources, located in a particular vertical industry” is NOT a target buyer definition. You need to dig deeper into your buyer personas and really understand what makes them tick so that you can build your marketing and sales messaging in such an ultra-focused fashion that you polarize the market. Only real research or insight derived from it can help you here. No more anecdotal BS.
Context. The right message for the right buyer at the right time. Based upon what information they’ve already consumed and what we know about them.
If you’re not driving this kind of focus in your efforts, you’re just perpetuating your lack of differentiation.
We’ll be talking about this and more at InfluenceHR on October 6 in Las Vegas. That’s the day before the HR Tech Conference. We’ll be just a few blocks away until we join them that evening to hand out the InfluenceHR Marketing Awards. Check it out. Space is limited and tickets are going fast.