The Business-to-Business (B2B) Sales Cycle
Search engine listings on the Internet are a major part of the Business-to-Business sales cycle. The Business-to-Business sales cycle can be described as follows:
There two myths that surround Search Engine Marketing:
Corporations with long sales cycles and big ticket products and services cannot benefit from Search Engine Marketing. This is not true. In fact, if Search Engine Marketing is done right, it can:
The second myth, If you build it, they will come, is not true. In reality, a Search Engine Marketer or Search Engine Optimization Specialist can drive a lot of qualified visitors to a corporate website. However, there is a lot of work involved:
There are two critical players who use search engines and directories during a typical Business-to-Business sales cycle. Each one of them search differently:
The influencers normally use specific searches, and they typically use three or more words. They are looking for the solution to a problem. They are also the most likely to respond to a “call to action”. They typically respond well to comparison matrixes, Webinars, trials and demos, and downloads. They are interested in getting spec sheets, white papers, product brochures, case studies, and newsletters.
The decision makers, on the other hand, use the Internet search engines to perform high level searches. They typically use two or three words when they perform a search. They may search for a company or a competitor name; or an industry segment.
The decision makers are less likely to respond to a “call to action”. They are more likely to pick up the phone and call; or delegate the research to someone else. They usually look at home pages, About Us pages, or a Comparison Matrix (market share). Ultimately, the decision maker uses the Internet search engines to validate his or her decision.
Corporations can benefit from Search Engine Marketing and hiring a Search Engine Marketing Specialist to work with the company’s Webmaster. More sales leads can be generated for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising. Corporations can associate its brand with its products and services. And corporations can tailor their message to the influencers and the decision makers.
Copyright 2003-2006 by Bill Hartzer. All rights reserved.