Working for a strictly B2B sales company (caveat: many of our clients sell direct to consumers, but we ourselves really only target businesses), I’m constantly evaluating the differences between B2B and B2C selling — as well as the similarities as they arise.
Branding, connecting with the customer, sales approaches, creating demand, and so on, all have some crossover between the B2B and B2C worlds.
But I’ll admit I’ve had a hard time justifying investing lots of money into social media. In the B2B space, it just always seemed relatively unimportant in the scale of things, compared to other means of business development.
So I was interested to see a post on No More Cold Calling that affirmed my suspicions.
Author Joanne Black states,
- Search engine optimization — use your key words and raise your presence on the web.
- Find out who people are — learn about a person’s background and your connections.
- Find out who people know — look for close connections that you can leverage.
Some salespeople tell me they actually get clients through social media. Well, maybe if you have a commodity business. Could it happen? Yes. Do I rely on it? Absolutely not. I only count on what I bring about-through a proactive, intentional, referral strategy with personal introductions.”
As Joanne says, are there absolutely zero direct marketing opportunities in B2B using social media? No, but the very nature of B2B demands working with multiple decision-makers, multiple levels of needs to address, and multiple tiers of implementation. The simple fact is, the “reach” necessary to make large scale B2B sales happen through social media is incredibly thin.