Many leading companies are already utilizing digital technologies to revolutionize the way they are working with procurement. But we still see many companies struggling with how to apply these digital concepts to their own way of doing business.
Technology enables us to collect more data. The amount of data you can collect, track, and monitor is growing daily. And in the business world, good data – complete and accurate – is a key prerequisite to any analysis or decision. But the difficulty some companies are finding, is how to use this data, especially smaller companies with limited resources.
In our previous blogs we’ve talked about the benefits of creating and expanding your business network and how you can stand out from your competition using compelling content marketing.
Your business network isn’t as private as you think it is. As a competitor I can easily click on your Social Media pages and see who is following you, posting on your wall, commenting on your posts and engaging with you. This information I can then use to contact these companies and target them to become my client, taking away business from you.
In the Marketing world, competition is brutal. No matter what industry you’re in or how long you’ve been in business, we can almost guarantee that one of your competitors is seemingly streets ahead when it comes to promoting their brand to their audience.
But how do you really stand out?
In order to grow your company, developing your business network is essential. 21st Century technology has changed the way we all network. Instead of cold calling or sending out unsolicited email, we’re now seeking out connections on social media and obtaining referrals to help build our networks – and ultimately business.
In other words, networking is more than just throwing your name out there and hoping you get remembered, it’s about creating meaningful relationships in your industry and proving that you’re a trusted resource.
I was recently forwarded a Techcrunch article which talked about how search engine optimization could be next in line for software-powered automation, potentially putting hundreds of thousands of ‘SEO consultants’ out of a job. The article states:
“At least that’s the scenario sketched by RankScience, whose software-as-a-service automates the process of running thousands of A/B tests in order to identify which changes will improve the Google ranking of customer webpages in organic search results.”
The article got me thinking…. Will Automated software eventually replace humans in B2B purchasing?
Even though Account-Based Marketing has been around for over a decade, it’s still seen as being under-utilized when comes to a B2B Marketing Strategy. Traction is starting to pick up with the general marketing audience though, as you can see from this Google Trends graph from the last decade:
Source: Google Trends 2007-2017
So, here’s 5 reasons why ABM should be a focus for your B2B Marketing:
How many times have you read a post claiming that ”email is dead”? A quick online search shows hundreds of articles all claiming this over the last few years, but email is still here. Will 2017 herald the sound of emails death knell?
An article on Forbes¹ looked into the founders of Tinder’s next ideas. In the article they talked about matching business networks in a similar way to people who use their app. Here’s a quote from Tinder founder Sean Rad from the article:
“LinkedIn provides a helpful way of organizing existing business contacts, but it’s not effective for sparking new relationships. Connection requests from strangers on the network are just as unwanted as those on Facebook…. The benefits of eliminating spam and saving face are just as valuable.”
Tinder never fully went forward with their idea, but coincidentally at that same time the seeds of Koble were born. While we’ve been out on the road visiting companies and presenting Koble at conferences, we often get called a “Tinder for business”, which works for us in a way as it’s simple to understand and memorable.
According to a survey of over 500 Procurement professionals , one of the biggest supplier-related issues that Procurement professionals face is actually finding new innovative suppliers.
When sourcing, you have many options: You could go to a major player such as Accenture who will do all the hard work for you, but then this may not be financially feasible for companies who don’t have the budget. You could also sign up for an E-sourcing solution, accessing a list of suppliers that have to pay to be there. You also have to train your employees to use this Software.
Or you can go it alone and jump into the world of online search.
According to World Bank numbers, there are 42 million¹ registered companies globally. However, less than 2,000² publicly listed companies have a revenue of $2 billion and over. This concentration of wealth offers these giants considerable power. Their sheer size and bargaining strengths can determine competition and expected outcome. For the rest of us, battling against these behemoths is daunting and often demoralizing, especially for SME’s.Read More…
Although they’re often overlooked, your employees are a huge marketing asset for your brand. By reinforcing your company’s messages on their social media profiles, they can exponentially expand your brand’s reach and influence.
In order to have an impact, companies should create an environment that encourages and inspires sharing. Here are a few tips to get started:
Finding the right supplier for your business isn’t just about managing your spend and finding the best deal. With increasingly complicated supply chains and a wide variety of suppliers, B2B companies need to take a controlled, systematic approach to souring if they want to be successful.
B2B sales and marketing teams often get a bad rap for being rivals instead of teammates. Although they’re ultimately working towards the same goal—growing your business—the two departments often focus on different tasks and metrics, use different tools and have a hard time seeing the value in what the other department is doing.
Live chat software allows vendors and B2B buyers to directly communicate with each other in real time.
Instead of sending an email to an unattended firstname.lastname@example.org or calling and waiting in a long cue, potential buyers can use live chat to speak directly with vendors. This real time communication is powerful—not only for the overall customer experience, but also for generating leads and even closing deals. In fact according to emarketer.com survey, 62% of internet shoppers admit that they would finish an online purchase if live customer support was available and 38% said they have made a purchase due to a chat session itself.
Let’s face it, it’s not practical to make 6,264 cold calls to close four deals.
Today’s B2B buyers are extremely connected, informed and socially empowered. To sell to them, you need to be personable, responsive and socially aware. You need to take advantage of social selling.
Let’s face it, no one likes filling out a long form to get to unlock a piece of content. When buyers are in the middle of researching a product or service, they don’t want to stop what they’re doing to give away their personal information, especially if they know what this will likely mean (continuous phone calls interrupting their day and constant emails filling up their inbox).
The B2B audience is conditioned to complete forms to gain access to eBooks, webinars, white papers, etc. But there is a better way.
Networking is a powerful tool for business. It can expand your knowledge, connect you with new customers, create partnerships and raise your profile. But while it’s certainly an indispensable method for boosting your business, networking also has its awkward moments.
A salesperson calls a lead only to hear “He doesn’t work here anymore,” “You have the wrong number,” or “The number you’ve reached is no longer in service.” A marketer pulls a list from the CRM, only to have their emails bounce and performance rates plunge due to undeliverable emails addresses.
You’re dealing with dirty data.
Today’s acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft marks a historical turn for the future of professional networking. The underpinning synergies of the deal suggest the inevitable merger of enterprise cloud software and business networking.Read More…
Koble is the only platform that lets you compete for more business, easily, transparently and without incurring huge costs. Through posting content, and letting the software do all the work to find the right, interested parties for your content, you will be in position to grow your presence as far as you see fit.Read More…
The World Trade Organization in its latst report on International Trade Statistics 2015, tells us that in 2013, B2B global e-commerce was valued at about US$ 15 trillion and B2C e-commerce at more than US$ 1 trillion, with these figures forecast to rise steadily.Read More…
The Twitter world has been on fire in the last couple of weeks with news of Stephen Fry suspending his account. Fry, the British author, actor, national treasure, TV personality and all round cleverest guy in the country, was upset after people criticised his comment when presenting the Bafta Awards – he was apparently rude to the winner of the best costume design, but it turned out she was an old friend and his remarks were simply humorous banter between friends.Read More…
The new year has started with very dramatic movements on the world’s stock markets. Concerns about an economic slowdown in China, and what looked like a “bubble” in share prices in that country, have driven the Shanghai market down by over 20% in 2016 already.Read More…
The first known use of the noun “company” dates back to the 13th century according to Merriam Webster. It’s origin can be traced back to the word “companion” and a company often refers to an association of people.Read More…
So you are sick and tired of sending out thousands of flyers, making unwanted and ill-received phone calls, listening to the sigh as you hear “I’ll talk to my boss and get back to you,”Read More…
Why do procurement people always feel like they are on the back foot when it comes to the world of suppliers? Is that why they stick to the same ones year in, year out? Read More…
“Let’s just stick to what we know”.
In many ways, that is one of the most dispiriting sentences in the English language. Let’s go back to that same resort we’ve holidayed in for the last 20 years, the restaurant or pub we use every last Saturday of the month, the same old TV programmes.
Let’s imagine I’m the procurement manager at a mid-sized UK firm. We have a couple of factories, a warehouse and two offices around Birmingham. We’re not huge, so the procurement function is just me and one assistant. Read More…
Online matchmaking works incredibly well: more than a third of all marriages are now between couples who met on a dating site. Yet in B2B sales, buyers and vendors are having a harder and harder time getting together – online or off.