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Marketing and sales, like every other aspect of our modern lives, has evolved due to the introduction of new technologies. Tactics that were once effective no longer produce results and can even be detrimental. Cold calls, pushy sales tactics, and manual work just don’t cut it anymore. In fact, they’re considered to be outdated and archaic sales strategies. In order to compete and stay relevant, business owners and marketers have to embrace change.

What does that mean? It means incorporating technology and applying the techniques that the new generation of buyers responds to. There are a lot of people offering advice about what to do, and it’s difficult to sort through the noise. Look no further, here are the top 5 marketing and sales strategies to focus on in 2019 and beyond:

Conversational Selling

Old school marketers and salespeople relied on one-on-one interactions with prospects and customers to determine what they could do to help them solve their problems. The problem with this approach is that it’s expensive, time-consuming and not scalable.  Conversational selling in the digital era revolves around technology like chatbots and messaging apps that automatically respond to customer inquiries. Unlike a human rep, these automated services are available every minute of every day without fail.

Personalization

Companies have been collecting data on customers for ages, but it’s been a struggle for them to figure out how to use that data to create the ideal user experience. A customer relationship management (CRM) system that collects, sorts, and disperses customer information is the answer. It allows companies to have personal conversations based on information collected about the buyer. That includes their personal profile, pain points, needs and desires, preferences, purchase history, and other relevant data.

Digital Word-of-Mouth

Customers have always been willing to share their experiences with a brand with others. The majority of buyers look for online reviews and use social media for product and service reviews and recommendations. B2B buyers are more apt to use LinkedIn than any other social media account. Wise marketers not only encourage this as one of their sales strategies, but also pay close attention to what’s being said so they can adjust their strategies accordingly.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Statistics show that nearly 90% of B2B research is completed online and almost 75% of researchers use Google. The majority of searchers won’t venture beyond the first page of Google to find what they’re looking for, however. It’s no surprise, then, that ranking high on the search engine results page (SERP) is imperative. Content that is relevant, contextual, and user-friendly is important, but it’s not the only Google ranking factor. A mobile-friendly design, local targeting (local SEO), and video are all also keys to achieving first-page rank.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

Marketing campaigns that don’t produce results are a waste of time, money, and resources. But, how do you ensure that you’re going to achieve a satisfactory return on investment (ROI)? You need accurate data to ensure your campaigns are reaching the right prospects and converting them. CRO involves evaluating your pages, offers, CTAs, and other marketing materials so you can see what’s working and what’s not. HotJarOptimizely, and Google Analytics are just a few examples of the CRO tools available to marketers.

Conclusion

Succeeding in the B2B marketplace in the coming years means focusing on providing a seamless, personalized customer experience at every stage of the buyer journey. Sticking to old, outdated ideas and techniques isn’t going to get you there. In fact, you’ll be left behind and it will be impossible to stay competitive and relevant. Incorporating technology to automate marketing campaigns, data collection, mastering SEO, and maximizing conversions are all imperative in modern sales strategies. In other words, you have to be willing to change in order to meet the demands of increasingly savvy, technologically advanced customers.