b2b demand generation

B2B Messaging: How to Market When You’re Selling to a Group

b2b demand generation

Is Your B2B Marketing Message Costing You Sales?

It’s common practice in way too many firms. Marketers focus on the target message while salesmen focus on converting leads into buyers. They are two separate departments with two separate functions.

Makes sense, right? Not really.

No matter how incredible your product might be, if the message isn’t clear, people won’t knock on your door with interest to buy. Those that do express interest and get shuffled on to the sales team might not be a great fit, making your top salesmen work even harder to convert buyers.

Without a solid understanding of who your buyer is and what your buyer needs, wants or doesn’t want, you cannot boost conversion rates and grow.

Traditional Marketing Messages Don’t Work in the B2B Market

Look around at blogs, white papers, and reports from marketing experts and you’ll see an abundance of this advice:

  • People buy from people. Humanize your brand to increase sales.
  • It’s a noisy world out there. To break through you need plenty of high-quality content.
  • Your content must be personal. It must appeal to specific pain points to resonate with your audience.

It all seems to make sense until you take a closer look.

Common Messaging Mistakes in B2B Demand Generation Marketing

There’s a difference between book smarts and street smarts.

Book smarts say that appealing to emotions and tapping into the psychology of the buyer works. That’s true to a certain extent, but when it comes to messaging and real-world sales processes, tapping into the mindset of one, exclusive buyer doesn’t always work.

In a survey conducted by CEB, personalized messaging boosted the intent to purchase among individuals by 40%. Sounds pretty amazing until you look at the bigger picture.

It’s incredibly rare that one person exclusively makes a B2B buying decision. The same survey showed that the average number of people in a B2B buying group was 5.4. As soon as you add in one other person to the mix, the purchase intent plummets.

b2b demand generation marketing messages must balance risk and rewardAt least that’s the case in the B2B industry. Instead of targeting one person’s pain point, your marketing message must target a group dynamic in order to resonate and succeed.

Collectively, groups have a greater fear of making the wrong decision. They consider whether reward overshadows the risk of changing from one solution to another. This resistance to change and fear of risk requires support from people within the group who can champion your brand.

How to Craft a Message That Shines in Your Market

The best way to craft a message that drives sales is to understand the different stages in the buying process. This will allow you to tackle any objections up front and maintain a helpful reputation throughout your target’s decision-making conversations.

  • This is the stage where your lead or prospect first experiences and identifies a problem. During this stage, your buyer is researching solutions like yours and gaining a better understanding of what’s needed to combat their problem or take advantage of an opportunity.
  • Once the problem is identified, your prospect continues researching and digging into the details. It’s here that your marketing message must provide true help and value to stand out among the competition.
  • When it’s time to make a decision, and your company is one of the vendors being considered, the buyer is going through their list of must-haves, wants, and needs. Answering each item on this list to mitigate their risk and ease the fear of change will make their purchase decision easier.

To identify the questions, problems, and solutions your buyers have and need to see at each of these stages, map out the buying experience.

  1. Outline what type of content the buyer will use to research their needs. This can be a blog post, eBook, Whitepaper, checklist or any other piece of material.
  2. Decide how to present the content. Will you provide your lead with a list? Will you offer a descriptive how-to article? Will an opinion piece resonate better?
  3. Come up with the relevant terms that your prospect is looking for in their process. Examples of terms include “resolution,” “solve,” or “software.”

With this in mind, you can come up with a strong model of what type of content you need, the problems you must address, and the keywords you’ll use to get found.


To bridge the gap between sales and marketing, you need to get your messaging right! This involves understanding the group dynamic, addressing objections in the marketing message, and making the sales process as seamless as possible.

One final note: When you’re ready to share your refined message with the world, try LinkedIn. It is hands down the best social network for B2B Lead Generation. Learn more by downloading our free report, “The Complete Guide to Leveraging LinkedIn for B2B Lead Generation.”

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