B2B marketers are having trouble getting prospects to engage, according to recent research. So what helps influence decision-makers to make an initial engagement with a vendor? As it turns out, a strong professional brand will do the trick, according to a new study from LinkedIn.
The survey asked more than 500 business decision-makers in the US with influence over purchasing decisions at B2B companies which factors most influence them to make an initial engagement with sales.
The top factor was the salesperson representing a well-know company with a strong professional brand, as cited by a slight majority (52%) of decision-makers, representing a large increase from a similar prior study. The importance of branding to B2B companies has also been seen in other research: last year, a study found that the vast majority (87%) of B2B companies had increased their brand investments over the previous 5 years, with most (82%) of those seeing those investments pay off, most commonly in the form of increased sales and customer acquisition.
Close behind, almost half (47%) of decision-makers pointed to the importance of the salesperson providing specific information relevant to their current job. This result aligns with others in the report supporting the importance of personalized experiences: virtually all decision-makers said that they were more likely to consider a vendor’s products or services if the sales professional has a clear understanding of their business needs (96%) or role (94%) and shares content relevant to their role (93%). It’s also highly important that salespeople target the appropriate people for initial discussions, as 92% of decision-makers said that would increase the likelihood of consideration. Read the rest at Marketing Charts.