Uber has disrupted and transformed the transportation business because they focused on being easy to do business with. They’ve eliminated as much friction in the sales process as possible. No more standing in line to hail a cab. No more stumbling for a credit card or scrounging for cash. No more stuffing hard-to-read receipts in your wallet. And because Uber is easy to engage and easy to work with, they have experienced dramatic growth.
B2B marketers can learn from Uber’s example. The perception of “being easy to do business with” starts before your sales team ever engages the prospect or has their first meeting. It starts with how you market your business. Below are six ways inbound marketing tactics can help reduce the friction in the sales process and band your business as “easy to work with.”
- Be a learning resource. According to HubSpot, only 19% of buyers want to connect with salespeople when they are early in their buying journey. The reason? They don’t want to be sold. Instead, they want to be educated. Marketers can help facilitate this desire by providing resources and content online that informs and educates. This content can be in the form of blogs, eBooks, whitepapers, case studies, videos, buyer guides, etc.
- Be easy to access and connect with. A lot of organizations have great information online, but it’s buried deep in the bowels of their website. You must scroll through multiple web pages and click several times before you find what you’re looking for. Unfortunately, most prospects aren’t that patient. They’ll give your website a quick look and then move on if they don’t see what they’re looking for. This leads to high abandon rates and low conversion percentages. Put your best TOFU (top-of-the-funnel) content “above the fold” on your homepage. Your prospects will appreciate it and your visitor to lead conversion rate will soar.
- Don’t hide your “Contact Us” button or phone number. If a prospect wants to connect with you, make it as easy as possible. Adding a chat feature to your website, setting up cloud phone systems, and being active and visible on social media will help as well.
- Content should be relevant and easy to consume. Make sure that the content you’re publishing online is relevant to your target persona. Don’t clog your blog or resource library up with a bunch of fluff. Before publishing any content ask yourself, “Why should my target persona care? Is this meaningful to them? If I’m them, would I want to read this?” One way to ensure that your published content is read, make it easy to digest. Publish content that is short, sweet and to the point. Bite-sized nuggets of information. Remember, 500 words is better than 500 pages.
- Anticipate questions and answer them before their asked. DemandGen Report research indicates that 95% of buyers chose a solution provider the provided them with ample content to help navigate through each stage of the buying process. Early in the buying process, most prospects have a lot of similar basic questions. Anticipate their questions and provide answers in the content you publish and promote online. If you’re not sure what their questions might be, then just ask your sales team.
- Align commitment to trust. Trust is established with prospects when expectations are consistently met. Say what you intend to do and then do what you said. This can start with your marketing as well. Provide prospects with information they request in a timely fashion and give them an easy to find and navigate opt-in and opt-out function. Then respect their request.
The sales process never ends. Keep delighting your customer even after they’ve signed on the bottom line. The biggest factor of this is delivering what you promised, when you promised it, during the sales process. But this can be supported by continuing to offer your customer your unique perspective. Their learning shouldn’t stop once they become a customer. Provide content that continues to educate, inform, and help them continue to build a relationship/partnership with your firm.
Reducing friction in the early stages of engaging the market will increase conversion rates and accelerate deals through the sales process. Implementing these ideas on a consistent basis will help cement your brand as “easy to work with.”