The year is off to a roaring start. The Pandemic is declining and business owners are trying to strike a balance between the old and new normal. So what’s on the horizon for 2022 and what challenges will B2B businesses be facing in the year ahead?

Virtual hybrids

If there was one upside of the pandemic, it was that the world harnessed technology and made online part of the norm. Now virtual events, conferences, meetings and workspaces are an everyday reality. Bringing convenience and flexibility into the workplace in unprecedented ways. In 2022, businesses will continue to utilize these online platforms and find hybrid ways of working both virtually and in person. In this way, B2B businesses can service their customers in a whole new way and reach markets they otherwise would not have had access to. 

Passing leads quickly

In the B2B space, time is money. As leads are generated, they need to be passed onto your sales team. In 2022, this will be a core focus of B2B businesses and they will be establishing important criteria for making contact with leads and serving them along the customer journey. These criteria must be seamless and will need to have smooth systems in place to enable frictionless lead handoff to sales teams. 

Strong lead-generating content

Getting leads is a full time affair. One of the best ways to earn leads is by creating strong organic content to drive organic leads directly to your website. This is a very inexpensive way for B2B businesses to use in their marketing strategies, as the cost is relatively low with a very high return on investment. This will continue to be a strong focus for B2B businesses in the year ahead.

Understanding your customer

This is a more challenging aspect for B2B businesses as you can’t necessarily glean info about your customer in the usual ways. So in 2022, B2B customers need to ask themselves how they can get to know their customer better in order to better serve their needs. When done well, this shows your customers that you care about them beyond the value of a single sale and that you want to see their businesses succeed via the value that your products bring. 

Guide don’t sell

Today’s buyers prefer a rep-free self-serving environment, where they can control their own research. This adaptation in the buyer’s behaviour needs to be incorporated into the B2B service model. So instead of telling and selling, the B2B rep needs to guide and empower their customer to choose themselves. This autonomy is supported gently with information and an easy user experience that then helps the customer make the right decision. This will promote confidence in the buyer and entice them to make more contact. This requires the B2B business to incorporate seller-assisted digital tech that will empower the buyer’s experience. The challenge here is that the B2B seller really needs to understand the buyer's needs and frustrations in order to anticipate their needs and guide them along the way towards the sale. In 2022, more research will be placed on this important area.

Aligning sales and marketing

Did you know that up to 70% of a customer’s journey happens online and occurs without human interaction. So how do you win a sale without in-person contact? A potential way could be to find clever ways to integrate sales and marketing to build lead generation. This is tricky territory as often sales and marketing are misaligned in a business. That said, most B2B businesses who get it right, quote this as being a leading source of lead generation, meaning it is an important focus in 2022.

Content and marketing globalization

The world has never been more global. This has an important effect on B2B businesses who now not only have to understand their own local market deeply, but also need to assess and plan for its impact and scale in lots of different environments. All the while remembering that what works in one market, may not work in another. So B2B businesses need to research the impact of their product on a multitude of local levels. As well as find appropriate ways to communicate their offering according to local preferences and needs. This is a massive undertaking and requires on the ground research and input. 

The bottom line

2022 is set to be a big year for B2B businesses. Some of the challenges identified are natural incremental progressions from previous years, while others have been as a result of massive shifts in the market. Remember that as an entrepreneur you are well versed in the language of hard work. So whether it's investing in research, technology or skilled staff, consider a Merchant Cash Advance to invest in your B2B business expansion plans and make 2022 really count.

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