BankruptcyThis is the second half of a blog series giving three reasons for why you might be struggling with B2B sales in 2013. For the first half of the blog, click here.

2.  You aren’t reaching all of your decision makers.

In the 80s and 90s, closing a deal in the B2B world usually required selling to just one decision-maker. Since the early 2000s, it has been common to sell to both a business buyer and a technical buyer. Today, many companies are bringing even more people into the buying decision including CMOs, HR executives and non-IT personnel.

These new and varied types of decision-makers need new and varied types of marketing content to reach a buying decision.  For example, the head of HR is not likely too concerned with P&L figures, but the CEO definitely is. If you don’t have marketing content readily available for both types of decision-makers, one of them is going to feel that his/her needs were not met.

To reach all of your decision-makers effectively, you need to understand how each of them looks at the buying decision and what their main concerns or objectives are. You can then build segmented marketing campaigns for each type that speaks directly to their specific needs and concerns.

3.  You are the only one telling your story.

A recent industry report by the CMO Council found that the most valuable source of marketing content in shaping buying decisions is professional associations and online communities. The second most valuable is industry organizations and groups. So, if the only place online advocating your products or services is your website, you aren’t giving your prospects any reason to trust you.

Buyers today are easily turned off by messaging that is overtly sales-y or that tries to close the deal right away.  For this reason, many buyers are going to third-party or peer created communities to gather information about B2B product/services options.  Getting your content promoted by an online community or industry organization usually requires a connection of some kind, but connections are what B2B sales in 2013 is all about.  To start, join the communities or groups you would like to promote your company and become an active member; leave comments, answer questions, ask for advice.  Once you have established a reputation as a helpful and insightful thought-leader, these groups will likely be more than willing to publish something to help with your marketing objectives.

Another great option is to ask to post a guest article on an industry leader’s blog or ask an industry leader to write an article for your blog. The key here is to get people and mediums other than you and your website involved in telling your brand’s story.

In summary, what these three reasons for failure have in common is a lack of connection to the customer.  In order to succeed in today’s world of B2B digital content marketing, knowing everything possible about your customer and their online behavior is imperative. Once you know who your customer is, what your customer likes and doesn’t like, and what he/she needs to see to make a decision, the path forward is clear.

For more B2B sales tips, click here.