Successful B2B Marketing in Singapore
B2B lead generation in Singapore isn’t easy. Companies here are very sophisticated and always source new vendors with an unwavering eye on the bottom line. But, even if you provide the right mix of quality solution, effective service and good pricing how do you market your services? Being great at what you do doesn’t mean you’ll generate lots of sales leads.
Effective lead generation happens when you get the right people to see your message at a time that they are predisposed to respond by taking an action.
This article will address the second half of the B2B marketing equation. How can you get someone to respond to your offer?
It’s a bit basic, but we need to first acknowledge that clients always have options. You may be the only provider of your specific services, but there are always other ways your prospect can satisfy their needs. And depending on how they feel about your offering, they will vote with their wallet.
This inescapable fact means that honing your copywriting and A/B split testing your collateral shouldn’t need to be your starting point.
Ultimately your B2B marketing success will be determined by the fundamentals of your offering and the strength of your business plan.
Yes, a good business plan seems obvious. But for new companies without a proven business plan generating leads without a rock solid offering just wastes precious resources. In fact, newer businesses should consider starting as small as possible with their B2B lead generation. This will give them time to validate and improve their offering based on the feedback they get from early meetings.
So once you have a strong B2B business plan, how do you compel buyers to take action? You can’t. You can only present your offering at the right time, and in a way that makes them disposed to reaching out to you for more information.
So Why Aren’t They Contacting You?
Lead generation can mean a lot of things (a phone call for example), but we usually think of a lead as being full name and contact information from someone who is actively looking for your service. And since the potential client is actively looking for your service you would think that there should be little resistance to signing up on your website for more information about your services.
But ask yourself, do you like handing out your name, phone number and email address to anyone that wants it? Probably not. Most people are wary of sharing their particulars to ‘just anyone’. And despite your assurances of privacy, they have no way of knowing what will happen to their information once the ‘Contact Us’ button is clicked.
So fear of what happens next is a point of friction that needs to be overcome.
Also, why should the prospective client give out their contact information to YOU? In almost any industry there is an alternative available to what you are offering. Why not fill out their contact form instead? How are you sufficiently differentiated that the prospect should contact you instead of an alternate solution?
This is the problem facing B2B marketers. The offer presented isn’t strong or urgent enough to make the prospective visitor want to take action when weighed against possible negatives. These include fear of what will happen when they share their information and a lack of differentiation between companies.
Lead Generation in Singapore:
Meet clients actively looking for your business solutions
Another Reason Lead Generation Fails
When a shopper makes a physical purchase the quality of their experience is partially guaranteed by the manufacturer or seller. If you buy a set of plates and when you get home you discover one of them is cracked, the store will replace the broken plate at no charge.
But services aren’t the same, are they? Imagine you hire a programmer and they do a poor (but barely adequate) job. Most of the time you have no way of getting your money back. The programmer has already put in the time and created a (barely) functional version of the product. Just because you don’t like it isn’t cause for them to provide a refund.
When businesses buy services from new vendors they know that they have little recourse if they don’t like the end result. The buyer perceives themselves as taking all the risk for ensuring a good purchase. This may automatically translate into a lack of engagement in your B2B marketing material. And yes, that means no lead sign up!
The Irresistible Offer
Getting people to provide their contact information your site means you need to make an offer that is many magnitudes better than the potential ‘cost’ of filling in the form for more information. Your offer has to be way better than the cost of speaking with a sales person, and it needs to be better than the fear that your work will reflect badly on them.
So how does it work?
An Irresistible Offer is NOT a temporary deal or something that is unsustainable for your business model.
Ideally, an Irresistible Offer is simply your business model or point of differentiation shared with the public.
B2B marketing becomes incredibly easy when your entire company is based on something that everyone needs or wants.
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
There are a lot of ways to integrate your business plan and B2B marketing plan. One easy way is to eliminate the risk of hiring your company. When online retailing started, the idea of ordering something on the internet was completely foreign. Companies like Amazon had to guarantee hassle free returns for consumers to even consider buying from them. There was just too much buyer resistance otherwise. The same principle can be applied to B2B services.
You are (hopefully) great at what you do. But with all the risk of hiring you on the side of the buyer, getting business isn’t easy.
If you really believe that you can do a great job then one way to craft an irresistible offer is to put your money where your mouth is. You can do this by transferring some (or all) of the risk of hiring you to your side of the purchase equation.
This may sound radical, but you may already be doing it as part of your business processes. The problem is that buyers don’t know it because this information isn’t integrated into your B2B marketing.
Consider the example of a programming company that does large scale projects. Depending on the scope of the project, functionality may be built into different modules. A core module controls the main functions, and add-on modules expand the capabilities of the program.
If the client only pays for each fully-functional module as it goes live then their risk is somewhat limited. After the completion of the first module the buyer can choose whether to build another module, or they can cancel the project, or hire someone else to build the next module. The flexibility and lack of commitment is appealing for buyers. As the seller you are only asking for a small commitment that will (almost always) become the entire project.
Lead Generation in Singapore:
Meet clients actively looking for your business solutions
Shout It Out Loud
If your business model includes a major point of differentiation then make sure your potential buyers know it. And if you aren’t doing anything different than your competitors, find out what your clients like about your business processes. Integrate those into your B2B lead generation.
Using the programming example above:
“You Pay Nothing Until We Deliver A Fully-Functional Module”
is a more compelling call to action than
“Fill Out The Form Because We Are Good Programmers”
So summing up, if you want prospective clients to fill out your lead form remember the following:
- Integrate your B2B marketing with your business plan. They aren’t separate and distinct.
- Buyers need reasons to contact you. Look at what your clients like about your business practices. Shout those points as loud as you can.
Going Back To That Transfer of Risk Thing…
Transferring some (or all) of the buyer risk back to the seller sounds great in theory, but what if it doesn’t apply to YOUR service industry?
The chances are, it does.
Once concern companies have is that guaranteeing a specific outcome for the client could lead to unreasonable requirements for services rendered. Yes, that is a real concern. Just make sure the client has very clear (and well documented) expectations to guide them.
Guaranteeing client outcomes means that you have insured their risk, and insurance always costs a premium. By adopting all the risk for the project outcome you get to collect that premium on top of your standard fees. You’ve also eliminated most of the reasons why they shouldn’t fill out the lead form.
A second concern is that risk transfer doesn’t really work in your specific industry. It’s true that some businesses lend themselves to a risk transfer better than others. But a little creativity and tweaking of the business plan can create some astounding results.
Some simple service industry examples include:
At Notable you pay NOTHING for B2B marketing unless we generate GUARANTEED leads from clients who are looking for your services, now. Our clients LOVE this.
A wedding photographer takes the booking for free. She then puts her photos of the big day on her website and invites ALL the guests to buy the ones that are most meaningful to them. The cost to the wedding couple is derisked by spreading the photographer’s fees across the entire guest list. Best of all, the photographer gets a HUGE list of guests to whom she can market in the future.
Many web designers break larger projects into multiple design stages. And they only charge a fee when each stage is completed. Even though this is fairly standard, few designers communicate it as a low risk benefit to prospective buyers.
For new executive search firms getting their foot in the door at established companies can be hard. One firm offers a guaranteed outcome by a specific date or they slash their contingency fee by half. Employers love it because they win either way. And the search firm gets their foot in the door at a new company.
Integrating B2B marketing with your internal best practices or business plan just makes sense. Find the ways that you are different or better than your competitors, and make sure people know it. And even if you are the exact same as your competitors (which happens), highlight the things that your clients most love about working with you.