The Importance of Relationship Generation in B2B Sales
It all starts with a conversation. No B2B sale has ever been made without some collaboration and discussion. To get your foot in the door with potential clients and customers, you need to start talking.
Meaningful conversations are arguably more valuable than leads. Building relationships lays the groundwork for future collaboration as well as for referrals. It helps speed the flywheel of your company, whether you see the results overnight or not.
The best place to start your relationship generation is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the easiest platform to start conversations with people. People go on there every day ready and willing to answer their messages and read content.
What is Relationship Generation?
Relationship Generation is all about creating trust and starting meaningful conversations with people in your ideal target audience. It helps you to build a network of real people you actually know.
Rather than looking at all conversations as transactional, it allows for the pressure to be off, and therefore allows you to present as less “salesly.” Relationship generation is more in line with demand generation, but relationship generation on LinkedIn will always be your most efficient source of keeping your pipeline full.
What is Demand Generation?
Demand generation is a marketing strategy that focuses specifically on building brand awareness which results in high-quality leads. It goes hand-in-hand with relationship generation due to the aligned content that results from both strategies.
What is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is the process of pinpointing your business’s ideal audience, and then attempting to convert them to clients and customers. It is much more transactional.
Good lead generation is rooted in relationship building. Without meaningful conversations, most ideal clients won’t realize what you have to offer and therefore won’t convert to leads.
LinkedIn for Relationship Generation
Although LinkedIn is a platform created to build your professional network, it is first and foremost a social media site.
The more content you read on LinkedIn, the more you will realize that not everything that is posted is “professional.” By all means, everything should be appropriate, but every post does not need to be about what your company does. When relationship building, you want to post things that show that your company is well-rounded.
LinkedIn is the best place to prioritize relationship generation campaigns because you can post and direct message people all on the same platform. With a constant flow of relatable content and messages being sent to your target audience, you have the relationship generation recipe for success.
The Content you Share on LinkedIn
When you stop focusing on finding leads and shift your focus to building relationships on LinkedIn, your content will go through a transformation.
When you switch your goal from getting more clients to building more relationships, you will notice your content on the LinkedIn platform will become more relatable. The more your content resonates with your audience, the more likely they are to engage with it.
The Importance of Storytelling
To have successful B2B business success, you need to humanize everything you post on LinkedIn. A great way to humanize your content is to put an emphasis on storytelling.
People like to buy from people, not businesses, even in the B2B world. Shedding light on the people behind your business is a great way to humanize your business. Here are some different approaches to take when it comes to storytelling with your LinkedIn content.
Highlight your Services with a Story
When posting on LinkedIn, make sure not to just list your services in bullet points. If people want to see a list of your services, they can look on your website!
Instead, tell a story about how your service helped someone, or how your services are evolving. Whether it’s a story about one of your employees taking on a new project that can help your clients out, or if it’s a story about the success of one of your clients, you will be showing emotion, and engaging your readers without forcing them to read a pitch.
Showcase your Employees
Telling the stories of your employees is another great way to raise brand and culture awareness. Companies that value their employees are some of the most successful - in fact, companies with good work cultures have seen their revenue growth quadruple.
When you showcase your employees by sharing what they’re working on, their past experiences, and what brought them to your company, you have a higher chance of someone relating to your content and wanting to engage. Your employees will feel valued and your relatable content builds awareness of your company culture. It’s a win-win!
Post about what your Company does Outside of the Office
If your company does anything as a team outside the workplace, let your audience know! Whether it’s volunteering, a happy hour, or playing trivia, it shows that your employees are more than just the company they work for.
It shows that you are a business with real people who do real things. Not robots who work their jobs and then go to sleep.
What else will help enhance my relationship generation?
Connecting with and growing your network are two equally important actions. Relatable content is necessary, but without an active outreach campaign, you’ll have a harder time seeing relationships grow.
At HyperSocial, we utilize our platform, The HyperSphere, to help you create a relationship-building LinkedIn outreach campaign. You can send connections and direct messages to people in your desired audience without having to think about it every day.
We have specific ways of humanizing our automation. A person writes every message that gets sent, and once someone answers, the automation turns off so that no one receives a message that seems robotic.
As connections and messages send, you need only answer once a response comes in. You will be growing your network by making personal touch bases with these people.
Relatable content and an outreach campaign are powerful together to build your network in a personal and intimate way.
Long-term Goals vs. Short-term Goals
When you prioritize long-term goals and plan for the future with LinkedIn relationship building, you will be helping the longevity of your company. The future can arrive at any moment, and we all know that the sales pipeline is longer than it says it is within our CRM.
You never know who has a brother whose company needs a hand with what you offer in 5 months from now. You never know who needs exactly what your company offers but needs it next quarter. The more people you know, the more trust you build.
By building relationships rather than just selling, your pipeline is more likely to be full of referrals from friends who want you to succeed and who will in turn trust you and possibly use your services down the line.
HyperSocial can help your business to growHyperSocial’s goal is to change the game on how businesses do B2B marketing and sales. We help B2B businesses to humanize their outreach while keeping a positive presence on LinkedIn.
Learn more about how our amazing team can help you here.
Liked this article? Here are three more!
1. Eight Simple Ways to Stand Out From the Crowd on LinkedIn
2. HyperSocial’s Favorite Things: Businesses that Help your Business Grow
3. Why Who You Target Is More Important Than What You Sell