Small business owners always face a double whammy: keeping the business going at a rapid-fire pace, yet always on the hunt for new sales. To kick off 2022, take on some big corporate ideas to spark sales faster this year.
⚠️Turn the sales funnel on its head
It used to be that the inverse pyramid reigned supreme. No longer. Prospects are pinging all over the place before making a purchase—whether a content search, clicking an ad, or reading reviews—before even contacting the company. That means the middle funnel, where lead nurturing happens, is fuzzier and difficult to pin down. Big B2B literally turns that pyramid right-side up with the Account-Based Marketing (ABM) sales funnel. Focusing on specific accounts, the emphasis becomes building relationships with potential customers, speaking to them directly as a brand, and getting to a sales "yes." B2B companies using this strategy saw a 71% increase in return.
Small business hack: Do a deep dive on sales and other analytics to see where your “soft spots” are and where you’re thriving. You’ll find trends that can help narrow your target audience, marketing to them much sooner and efficiently.
🤖Put artificial intelligence (AI) to work for you
AI has become so embedded in our daily digital interactions we don’t even realize it, and that’s the whole point. Behind the scenes, AI is the secret sauce to get customers to the next best step, solve support issues, and deliver invaluable insights that can lead to a sale. Two-thirds of B2B marketers use AI in their marketing toolbox, jumping from just 29% in 2018 to a whopping 84% in 2020. AI is now integral to marketing and data analytics, from chatbots to hyper-personalization to predictive lead scoring or even content creation (Yikes, will I be out of a job soon? Nah, AI doesn't have that human touch—yet anyway).
Small business hack: You don’t need the big bucks to get in on the uber-intelligence that big B2B uses. Across the marketing spectrum, you’ll find a range of free and low-cost tools to help.
💸Level the playing field with social shopping
A survey of 10K users found that almost 60% are more apt to buy from a small brand while shopping on social media than by online browsing. Even better, 44% are willing to buy from a brand they’ve never heard of, which is stunning for big B2C trying to grab their share of the market. Features like tagging and in-app purchasing on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and other social platforms make it super easy and fast to buy (who doesn't love that?). This trend is set to explode in the next few years, with social commerce poised to hit $1.2T market share by 2025 (not a typo). This new ecosystem is huge: social media platforms, marketplaces, brands, resellers, creators, and influencers. Look for livestream shopping to lean into this trend, too.
Small business hack: If your store already has a presence on social media, you’re a step ahead. If not, pull double duty: build your social profiles, grow your community, and test out social shopping strategies.
🍾Start putting these big ideas to work smarter for your small business and generate more sales in '22.