What are the top two challenges that B2B businesses are facing in the wake of the events 2020? According to a Renegade survey of 110 B2B CMOs, 81% were scrambling to find replacements for physical events, and 58% had already faced budget cuts. This unique combination of challenges calls for unique solutions.
Lucky for us, we’ve been able to talk to some of the best CMOs in the biz about how to turn these daunting problems into demand generation opportunities. So, if you’ve ever thought, “Quality leads? Yuck! I don’t want those,” then this isn’t the post for you. In the video below, Drew shares two tips from our recent B2B Demand Generation Strategy Guide, but if you just so happen to be playing the quiet game with the kids at home, you can keep on reading.
Embrace Virtual Events
Physical events are so last year. And, for the foreseeable future, virtual events are here to stay. It’s been a hard adjustment, especially since in-person events were a massive source of leads—nothing beats inspiring speakers, cool swag, and networking galore for building relationships with customers and prospects. Even though physical events are gone, you can still create meaningful experiences. In fact, many successful brands like Skillsoft and Talend have been able to reach more people via virtual events—with high registration and attendance numbers and great feedback.
Now, a virtual event should not directly replicate a physical one. We’ve seen those happen and they haven’t been pretty. Instead, you need to always keep empathy in the back of your mind—people are burnt out from Zoom, so transitions need to be smooth and their content needs to be really engaging. After the event, be sure to follow through by giving participants on-demand access to videos and even a free trial offer. For Skillsoft CMO Michelle BB’s 13 ways to make virtual events effective, check out tip #4 on the report.
Get Customer Quid Pro Quos
There’s been a lot of budget-cutting going on these days. Your prospect’s CFOs aren’t carefully scrutinizing every purchasing decision, only approving services that provide immediate value. And even though you don’t want to hear it, your customer’s CFOs are ready to cancel a paid service for the same reasons. If a customer approaches you asking for a discount, don’t be afraid—this is an opportunity to ask for case histories, video testimonials, or referrals in exchange for helping them out in a tough time.
Your willingness to help them save in exchange for a quick video or referral will show them that you’re empathetic and ready to fulfill their needs no matter what it takes, setting you up for future collaborations when budgets grow back. How does this translate to sales leads, you ask? Well, they’ll see how you put the customer first, for one. More importantly, you can use customer testimonials as enduring evidence of your value that might just turn that CF-NO into a CF-YES.