Growth is both a sign of your company’s success and the key to its long-term survival. To be competitive and stay relevant, your business must grow. If you’re not growing, you are giving away too much of your market to more ambitious competitors. According to Gartner’s 2019 CEO and Senior Executive Survey, growth remains the top strategic priority for CEOs in 2020.
While growth is a top priority, many small-to-medium businesses struggle because they aren’t sure how to grow. It’s difficult to build trust with prospects and to then turn them into paying customers. If your 2020 goal is to grow your business, here are a few growth strategies to help you be successful this year, and beyond.
Security and Privacy
CMO Council, a peer-powered network for senior marketing decision makers, has found that data security, privacy and accountability are the top demands from the modern, digitally connected buyer. Unfortunately, only 57% of B2B companies are confident that they meet those demands.
High profile data breaches dominate the news. Your potential customers need to be convinced that they can trust you with their personal information. From initial contact, details like name, email, and phone number are all potentially at risk when they hit that “sign up” or “contact” button. If your business has ecommerce, buyers need to feel confident that their financial information is stored safely and used correctly.
To grow your B2B business, you must prove to your customers that their information is secure. Here’s what you can do to improve your security and be ready for 2020:
- Invest in a GDPR-ready CRM (Customer Relations Management) system
- Switch your website to a HTTPS certificate
- Purge any personal contact information you don’t need
- Assign a Data Protection Officer and make sure you comply with the GDPR regulations
To attract and keep customers, assure them that their information is safe with you.
You love your customers, but do they love you? According Cisco research, consumers would not care if 74% of the brands they use vanished.
B2B sales are no longer about budget-heavy, mass-marketing campaigns designed to attract droves of new customers. Today, it’s about focusing on the people you already have—your current customers—and making sure you delight them with a positive customer experience every time they interact with you.
Here’s what you can do to ensure they have a positive experience with your business.
- Resolve customer complaints quickly.
- Be flexible on refunds and cancellation policies.
- Deliver personalized and relevant customer marketing campaigns.
- Surprise your customers with free upgrades and event invitation.
- Provide real time customer service.
When existing customers are happy, they purchase more, and they bring new clients to you.
Real-time Customer Service
With younger business decision makers who have grown up in the digital age, real-time customer service is necessary to compete and grow. If a potential customer is ready to buy, but has a question about an order, they will go with the company who can answer their question the fastest.
The average B2B customer support response time is over 12 hours. Today’s customers expect responses to their questions within an hour, if not sooner. You can satisfy their need for real-time support without hiring a multitude of customer support resources. The simplest option is to start using live chat.
Live chat is a web-based support tool that you can use to “chat” in real time with your customers. It’s like Skype, Google Hangouts, or Webex Teams, except it’s on your website and used for external communication.
When used correctly, chat has been proven to shorten response times, increase sales and improve customer satisfaction. It’s a win-win situation: Your customers receive support in real time and your customer service team can handle multiple chats at once (compared with only 1 email or phone call at a time).
There are dozens of chat tools available that you can start using to respond faster and prevent losing your customers to a competitor. If you are unfamiliar with chat tools, start with an overview of the top 10 tools.
During the last decade, personalization has gone from “Ah, they know my name.” to “How do they know I need that!?” When done right, personalization is an effective way to find new customers and retain existing customers.
Personalization is not only what your customer wants, data shows 69% of buyers are willing to pay more for a personalized experience. It’s clear why personalization is a big B2B growth trend for 2020.
Here are a few tactics you can use to enhance personalization:
- Send exclusive one-to-one offers, only available to an individual customer.
- Know a customer’s purchase history and all about their previous correspondence each time they contact you.
- Recommend new products or services based on a customer’s interest or behavior.
- Allow the customer to choose when, how often, and what type of communication they receive from you.
Personalization makes your customer believe that you really know them and care about their needs.
Today’s businesses are experiencing a full-scale digital revolution. Internet-enabled technologies emerge daily to seamlessly fit into our daily lives and meet your business needs. Riding this wave of technology advancements will put your company in front of your competition to help you grow.
In the business world, the digital transformation is all about improving business processes and efficiency, for example, using cloud-based tools or SaaS (Software as A Service) systems.
Examples of how going digital can transform your business are:
- Accounting: Use artificial intelligence to predict revenue, compare historical performance, and piece together accurate forecasts.
- Sales: Use CRM software to keep track of your leads and to send scheduled follow-up emails to those you haven’t heard from for a while.
- Marketing: Use email marketing to send personalized, one-to-one emails with exclusive offers based on the purchase history stored in your CRM.
- Human Resources: Use business apps like Skype or Webex Teams to manage overtime and sick leave, open private lines of communication with staff, and create a sense of community within your business.
Keeping up with B2B business trends will help you grow your business. As you grow, expect greater financial needs. Allied Financial Corporation is here to provide financing to small-to-medium B2B companies in the Greater Atlanta area. Call us to learn more about how we can help you.