The Real Benefit of Branding and How to Achieve It Without Breaking the Bank

Posted by LinkedSelling in B2B Lead Generation & Sales Insights

Early on, LinkedSelling co-founder, Ben Kniffen sat in an office with a potential client. As it happened, the prospect had Ben’s email open and after months of reading our company content had finally invited him to his office to talk about how they could work together. Why?

Because he was ready to buy and he knew exactly who to turn to.

Was it because we had an incredible deal? A bottom of the barrel price? Was it that he was even that much better than the competition? 

No. It was the relationship between this prospect and Ben and our brand, LinkedSelling. It was the authority and expertise we had built online - the trust this prospect had in Ben and our company. The prospect respected not only that we could deliver what we promised, but also understood what we stood for - our values, our story, what we represented to the world. He accepted OUR brand.

Fast forward to today, we teach our clients how to not only create multi-channel outbound lead generation systems, and how to develop sales development strategies that contribute to more quality appointments for your sales team, but also how to create a trust-worthy brand that contributes to more frequent sales conversations and referrals alike.

In this article we discuss:

  • What branding really is for B2B companies
  • Why it’s not just a “soft” investment, but how it actually contributes to the bottom line
  • How branding makes things easier for your sales team
  • Four key ways to develop a brand that pulls its weight for your company

Branding Doesn’t Contribute to the Bottom Line - Or Does It?

Branding is often seen as a “soft”, indirect way to sales. Many direct response companies often tout that branding is not the best way to sales (feel free to include LinkedSelling in that bunch). They’re not wrong; on the surface, it’s clear that branding doesn’t contribute directly to the bottom line. When you don’t have extra funds to spend on branding, it may not be the right way to go.

It’s true that branding is definitely a long-game play, however, there is a case to be made that branding definitely affects sales - and is very much worth the time and investment. In fact, Gary Vaynerchuck, serial entrepreneur and owner of VaynerMedia , says, “when it’s done right, branding essentially does the selling for you.”

Branding is, in effect, a method of creating an image around your company, product, or service. It is your company’s identity - including all the many parts that make up your company.

This image is brilliant:

You’re familiar with many multi-billion dollar brands that have anchored themselves in your life. Coca-Cola, Facebook, Microsoft. But that’s the thing - these are companies with billions of dollars who can afford branding campaigns where they do nothing but put their name out there. 

Is it a viable way to go for the small and mid-sized companies as well? Our answer: When included in a multi-channel lead generation strategy, branding is an incredible support to sales. 

This is a good place to look at the data around how encouraging prospects to action, through content and branding, share an inherent relationship in sales. Neil Patel explains,

“These actions are ultimately intended to culminate in a sale. [...] A strong brand or “high brand value” can solve many common problems before they occur.

Therefore, linking brand value to ROI is a matter of showing a causal relationship between strong branding and the elimination of issues that can impact sales.”

This is why your brand messaging needs to be on point and why your content, and even your outreach, needs to be both consistent and focused on helping and educating your prospects about how they can address and fix their pain points and problems.

Interested in learning more?

Schedule a time to talk with our Director of Client Strategy to get more qualified
sales appointments on your teams calendar!

How Branding Contributes to Sales: A Look at Engagement and Customer Acquisition

ChaChing! You want sales yes, but simply looking at the number of sales can be short sighted because there are a number of contributing factors that each have an effect on how the sale takes place - or if it even has a chance to occur.

Two of which are: customer engagement and customer acquisition. 

Let’s start with the latter. Turning again to Neil Patel, 

“One of the biggest data points that links branding to B2B sales is customer acquisition.

If it’s possible to use your brand as a tool to help you gain clients, then it’s a logical conclusion that focusing on your brand can improve your marketing ROI.

And from the data I’ve compiled, there’s a compelling case that branding can indeed help improve customer acquisition.”

The idea is simple: branding helps to create authority leadership, something we talk about quite a bit. It creates trust in the market.

When you have authority in your industry, your clients are more likely to accept what you say. You have influence. They may even search you out for your advice. You become the go-to in your industry and because your strong brand and the weight of your influence gets you a foot in the door and opens up your prospects for real conversations - without much work, if any, from your sales team.

Branding does a lot of the work for you. Not only that, but studies have shown that great brands:

Lead people to make more purchases at higher price points - with less deliberation

Create loyal followers who tend to share their enthusiasm with others - creating advocates

Deliver a dream scenario for sales teams - more high quality leads

In fact, in a study of 1,800 brands, Havas Group found that those that were the most “meaningful” (Havas’s proprietary metric of brand strength) scored much higher on a variety of KPIs, including higher purchase prices, advocacy and more.

Speaking of brand advocates, a big factor in that is customer engagement. As Niel Patel explains, the data shows that fully-engaged customers share more and are indeed better brand advocates.

The bad news is that according to Gallup, B2B customers have an engagement rate coming in at only 29%.
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Interested in learning more?

Schedule a time to talk with our Director of Client Strategy to get more qualified
sales appointments on your teams calendar!

This is bad news because if you don’t have great engagement, you may be leaving money on the table - in terms of referrals. It’s a basic marketing principle that loyal customers refer business. That loyalty is cemented in the brand. Your brand. The experience that your customers and clients have when interacting with your company in any way. That’s why branding is actually an important part of building relationships, a crucial part of client acquisition.

This graphic from Accenture shows that more than half of consumers who have a good experience with a brand will recommend it to people that they know - and many of those referrals turn into loyal customers themselves. This likely refers to B2C consumers, however, in our experience the numbers are mirrored for B2B clients as well.

How to Make A Quality Brand For Increased Sales

1. Define Your Values

Branding expert David Tyreman recommends that companies focus on getting really clear about their values and the personality they want their brand to express. “We have to understand who we are and we have to own it,” he says. “We have to deliver it so that the customer’s experience is consistent with what we stand for.”

2. Build Trust

This means you need to be honest and transparent. Have a high quality product, follow-through. Over deliver. Serve your clients. A McKinsey study of B2B business practices found that purchasers based their buying decisions primarily on two things: a company’s honesty and its expertise.

3. Be Unique

A brand is a way to build trust and also to distinguish your company from others. Inherent in the brand is your value proposition… and is a reason why your clients will be proud to work with you - and to refer you. Your unique value is what will keep them coming back and is what encourages those referrals.

4. Focus on Relationships

Building relationships with key prospects one on one is essential to opening sales conversations and creating real sales opportunities. Your brand is a way to build relationships at scale. Show your true face. Share your stories. Share all of your brand… not just the logo. Take the time to be human and to share stories, something that people respond to and remember. Do this consistently and you’ll see that when the time comes, they’ll remember your brand - and your company. This is how you open the door to real sales conversations.

The Bottom Line Is Your Brand

At the end of the day, if you want to improve your bottom line and make your sales team’s job easier, invest in your brand. Your brand will inform every decision you make as a company and will help you build relationships with your audience so that when they’re ready to buy, they know exactly who they want to work with.

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