With the industrial world spanning the globe, with technologies and networking platforms constantly evolving, and with B2B brands merging or acquiring an increasing number of specialized services, the sales game is undeniably complicated.
Companies like Acuity Brands for example, which is shifting from being known as a lighting company to a technology company, have to make a conscientious transition as they grow or even switch markets with each new brand they add. There’s a constant, battling pendulum that switches between the desire to focus on the company as a whole, versus focusing on each unique brand that makes up the whole connected solution.
How can sales teams and marketing departments unite with each other–– and unite the multiple brands they may represent?
1. REDIRECT MARKETING FROM SALES ENABLEMENT AND INTO DEMAND GENERATION
For a long time, many industrial companies have treated product marketing as simply a means to sales. It’s highly transactional flyers, spec sheets, and merchandising campaigns all designed as tools for internal sales teams to sell to suppliers and agencies, who can then sell to distributors and contractors and designers.
But now, sometimes manufacturers are selling directly to end users with corporate accounts teams–– or selling through distributor networks. Some buyers are stocking up on SKUs, but others are also searching for new and innovative solutions to try out.
Now marketing departments can (and need to) do more than just brochure-printing. They need to provide training and education… and they need to dive headfirst into account-based marketing.
2. TRAIN YOUR TEAMS TO PICK TARGET CLIENTS AND PLAN AROUND THEM
While servicing existing clients is by no means a bad practice, generating growth requires a pursuit of goals–– and that may involve clambering out of a marketer’s or sales rep’s usual routine.
In other words, account-based marketing means going after a small number of the top-tier dream clients you wish you had, rather than a generalized group of the easier, smaller fish you might usually pursue.
More than that, account-based marketing can also refer to specializing different selling points based on multiple individual departments within a single account. Take retail, for example: a major vertical that Acuity Brands pursues. For a single retail customer, Acuity might target ads toward that client’s marketing team; their IoT team; their financial team; and of course their facility managers.
Each of these individuals will have a different focus and a different reason for leaning towards particular products, so it’s vital that each of their own value propositions are addressed.
3. LEVERAGE CO-MARKETING WITH YOUR DISTRIBUTORS & RESELLERS
Unlike B2C vendors who sell directly from their own websites, many B2B manufacturers (especially multi-brand organizations such as Acuity Brands) may not actually distribute product out of their own stores. So, beyond just targeting key accounts with the brand or proposal that works best for them, your next step is to keep making the customer’s experience easier.
Don’t just educate these major accounts on the products and services you offer. Make sure to then provide them with quick and easy access to your vendors or distributors who are actually selling product! Not only will your buyers appreciate the ease of purchase, but your agencies will appreciate the referrals. The more you drive leads to them, the more they’ll love you and lean into selling your products!
Processes like these can help multi-brand companies to not only get a foot in the door with general clientele, but actually pursue major contracts with the dream clients they’ve been hoping for. Just make sure to focus specific messages on specific accounts, so you can provide a fantastic experience to everybody from your prospect’s CFO to your own distributors.
Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!
If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you.