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Advice

3 steps to help B2B businesses adapt to change

Alice Allen

Alice AllenJune 25, 2020

Adapting to change has never been more important. Situations that we have seen in recent months raise countless questions about the right actions to take. The changes to business operations that we saw were sudden, which meant that not many businesses were ready.

The standard way businesses work is changing, more people working are from home, more businesses are purchasing online, and therefore, there is a lack of “normal” business activity. So, we should get creative and brainstorm different ways you can promote your products or service.

Every business will have “essential services” that cannot be stopped – eg. marketing. Social Media marketing can be greatly utilised, content marketing can be improved, and website development and maintenance can be carried out. Despite the concerns, here are measures business owners can take to keep their businesses running smoothly throughout changing times.

Carry out essential maintenance & updates

Firstly, businesses much establish what changes are required. Are your marketing tools out of date? Do you need more leads? Do you need to add new technology to your website to save you time and money? The functionality is available, as business owners you must alter this functionality to and make it work for your business.

Website maintenance is the act of checking your website for issues and keeping it up to date. This process needs to be carried out regularly to keep your website secure and optimised. Maintenance can include:

  • Moving your site to a high-quality hosting service
  • Keeping plug-in licenses up to date
  • Uptime monitoring
  • Updating anti-spam filters
  • Check & block IPs
  • Ensuring the site is kept secure
  • Optimising site speed

Carrying out necessary maintenance on your website will ensure that the functionality and usability of your website is top-quality. It’s an investment into safety, quality, and perception of your business. Website maintenance will help you discover what areas need improvement within your business so that you can continuously evolve.

Invest in content

Possibly one of the easiest ways to improve business performance long-term is to invest in content. With an overall low cost, it’s the only form of marketing that gets more valuable over time. If you keep creating content, you’ll keep adding value to your brand, which will help your business thrive throughout changing times.

Content marketing is one area that will always stay relevant to your business, this is because:

  • It will improve your SEO
  • It can increase website traffic
  • It can generate more leads and potentially more sales
  • It will encourage engagement
  • It adds value to your product or service

Due to customer demand, many offline businesses have closed their doors, yet online businesses are thriving. The online content you share now will make a huge difference to your customers’ perception of you for years to come. So why not use your time wisely and invest in the future?

Take advantage of automation

Many businesses have come to us to talk about automation. Why? Because it saves you time when completing repetitive tasks.

Automation comes in many different forms, meaning it could benefit your business in more ways than one. If you look for any repetitive tasks within your business, there is likely to be a time-saving solution through automation. A few examples of how automation could help you are:

  • Automatic quotation tools
  • e-commerce websites
  • Automatic email campaigns

Automatic quotes

Online quotations are not a new concept, with many businesses automating this process over the last few years. When a customer is interested in a product or service that you offer, the process allows them to input their details online and receive a quote instantly.

Quotation software is often overlooked, but it can help boost the perception of your brand by streamlining your sales process and improving customer relationships. This is an area that can be executed more efficiently by a system, through automating quotations you can reduce human error within your sales process and reduce the time spent by an employee on developing quotes.

e-commerce websites

Have you noticed that everyone is moving to online? With continuously advancing technology, more and more businesses are moving to online ordering, meaning e-commerce sites are more important than ever.

People and businesses will always need to make purchases, some of which would normally be carried out face-to-face or over the phone. Instead of relying on that personal interaction that many customers are aiming to avoid, businesses can create e-commerce sites that can automate every interaction.

To put this in perspective, businesses like Amazon automate almost all their systems, from browsing, to ordering, to dispatch and delivery. These businesses are the ones that are thriving throughout changing environments, as they are prepared for technological changes.

e-commerce solutions do not have to involve physical purchases, particularly within the B2B environment. B2B businesses can take advantage of customer account functionality, creating a customised experience for each of your customers.

Customer account functionality can vary depending on your business; a key example would be online pricing. This is when a customer logs into their account, which alters all the prices on the website to show the customers’ personalised pricing. This account functionality can also allow your customers to reorder repetitive orders directly through your website, which can direct the order to your system without the need for manual input.

Automatic email campaigns

Email campaigns are something all businesses can and should make the most of. Email automation is a process that automatically sends an email to an individual once a trigger is met, instead of sending a newsletter or one-off campaign to a full list of people in one go. These will help you save time as you only need to set up the series of emails once. Once you have created the email, you create rules, and click go. Some great ways you can use email automation are:

  • When customers abandon baskets on your site
  • For welcome emails (when customers sign up to your email list)
  • Thank you emails after an order has been processed
  • When customers have viewed a product/service
  • For requesting feedback from past customers
  • For reminders, for example when service products need updating

If you’re a marketer yourself, you’ll know that these are email ideas that businesses should be sending out anyway, but it would take time to send each of these emails out individually. The beauty of email automation is that you can set up each email once, then as more people continue to meet the triggers, the email will continue to be sent to them without you ever having to lift a finger.

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Alice Allen

Alice AllenJune 25, 2020

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