BtoB acquisition: think beyond the business plan to achieve your objectives

Every year we are set new objectives! And because we worked so hard last year, the expectations are even greater! However, your business plan is tried and tested, and you don't know where to invest to improve your results. Before beginning the search for new tools or increasing budgets unnecessarily, have you really explored the full potential of the various acquisition tools currently at your disposal?  


1 - Simply increasing the number of tools is not enough

The first question BtoB acquisition managers ask us is always the same: where can I find new leads? Depending on the company's level of maturity, the business plan has often been the same for years, offering satisfactory performance but limited growth. Teams often feel a little bit discouraged, feeling that they have explored all of the tools and do not know what to do to get things moving again. Test new tools? While it can always be interesting to diversify your media mix, investment alone is not enough. When we look closely at the acquisition strategy of BtoB players, we often discover a lack of subtlety and a desire to increase volumes, to the detriment of quality. A very good example of this is the retargeting of website visitors. While it is essential to work on prospects that have already been in touch with your brand and are, therefore, more likely to engage with you, it has to be done intelligently. At the least, you have to send them specific messages and, above all, limit the number of sends in order to avoid coming across as spam. Beyond the tool, you need to think about the message you want to get across to your audience.  

2- What is the promise? Ask your teams!

It is not enough to be visible to boost acquisition. Your business plan will ensure that you have a presence in the right channels in order to reach prospects, but how do you convince website visitors to make the leap? BtoB is a highly competitive environment, and it is therefore important to tell the right story to your visitors to convert them. Put yourself in the shoes of your prospects, who don't always have much time to give you: avoid overly complex and time-consuming registration or request processes. Create a variety of landing pages to make sure they land on the page that is most relevant to them. You will not want to approach the purchasing manager of a major group in the same way as you do the owner of a small business. Their needs and the time they have available are different. Beware of empty words and promises that are not really promises. Do not highlight points that go without saying (such as "14-day cooling-off period", which is a legal requirement, not a promise). Instead, highlight what it is about you that your clients really like. And to identify your strengths, talk to your sales teams! These teams are in close contact with clients and they not only gather their impressions, but also know what drove them to switch service provider. Some of the fastest conversions are often due to a client that had a poor experience with one of your competitors! Listen to these complaints, as well as feedback from your clients, in order to identify your strengths and highlight them on the landing page. Also, do not hesitate to feature a few client testimonials, because people think twice before committing in BtoB commerce. Providing reassurance is key to success.  

3- Beware of automation

Digital acquisition makes it possible to create a communication campaign in a few clicks. With SEA, social networks, affiliation, programmatic marketing and more, it is relatively easy to address a very wide audience. And this is often where the mistake lies. While leads will be created as you are sending out large volumes, the desired performance may not be achieved. Ask yourself the question 'who is your target'? Not just 'SMEs', but who exactly within these organisations is interested in your product? Who will be likely to fill in that form? If your target is too wide, you will be spending part of your budget on people who are not in a position to recommend or decide, and will not be transformed into leads. Before sending out your advertisements to a wide audience, think carefully: who are you addressing and, above all, what is the message you want to get across to them?  

4 - Understand where you perform well and poorly

The temptation is often to invest all resources in tried-and-tested tools and rapidly abandon tools that offer little or no transformations. Before turning your back on a potential source of leads because it has not met its targets after a few months, ask yourself the question: have you really worked on it correctly? Was the message engaging? Was it well targeted to the audience and environment? For example, native ads can be a very interesting source of leads, but it is a format that requires a lot of work on the message. Pay close attention to your rate of leads per visitor and per tool. The lower the rate is, the more you should pay attention to it: why were the visitors not transformed? Was it simply to get information, or is there a real obstacle to navigation? Poor targeting?  

5- What does all this mean in practice?

Before increasing the number of acquisition tools at your disposal, review the basics:

  • Who are your buyers?
  • Which sales pitches are they receptive to?
  • What are their needs beyond the purchase (such as simplicity, speed and reliability)?
  • How to simplify the process as much as possible to avoid losing them during a visit? For example, is the quote request form immediately accessible? Are there too many fields to fill in?
  • Analyse your performance by talking to your sales teams. Which tool brings in the most qualified leads? Which stumbling blocks can be removed?
  • Talk regularly with your teams as certain opportunities can come up by surprise. For example: a competitor that increases their rates, leading to discontent among their clients. This information will be known by your sales teams as a prospect who is already engaged elsewhere will not fail to talk about it.

Do not forget that, while BtoB commerce means business-to-business, your prospects are individuals who will be particularly attentive to their choice of service provider. By effectively adapting your acquisition content to the right targets and by refocussing your campaigns, your results will improve without necessarily having to invest in new tools.


Take a look at our white paper on B2B e-Commerce