As the use of SMS marketing flourishes, it’s necessary that B2B (Business-to-Business) companies tap into this communication method. Just as consumers have been conditioned to open each text message when it arrives, business contacts respond in the same manner. Leveraging this behavior results in nearly 100% open rates, dramatically increased response rates and improved synchronous communication. This has the potential to impact both your top and bottom line.
This article will highlight some key advantages to using SMS messaging for B2B communications:
1. Initial outreach
Use SMS as a non-intrusive method for initial contact from your sales team. Sending a brief, personalized message introducing yourself, your company, and the value you offer can be a more personal ‘in’ than flooding their email inbox. The secret to this method is to recognize the prospect by name, briefly introduce yourself, provide context for who you are, and explain why you are reaching out. For example, “Hi Sally, I’m Tim from Integrate IQ. We are hosting a webinar next week on leveraging SMS in financial practices like yours. Register here if you are interested in attending. Reply STOP to stop. HELP for help. MSG & data rates may apply.”
2. Appointment setting and reminders
With B2B, both parties run a tight schedule; nobody has time to waste. SMS is efficient for scheduling calls or meetings. You can provide options for available time slots, and let the prospect or client reply with their preference. Then, just like appointment reminders for a doctor visit, sending SMS reminders for business meetings can reduce no-show rates and improve overall punctuality. For example, “Hi Sally, I’m Tim from Integrate IQ. I’m happy to get our appointment scheduled. Would you prefer Tues sometime between 10 and 12 or Wed between 2 and 4? Reply STOP to stop. HELP for help. MSG & data rates may apply.” Alternatively, if you use a CRM like HubSpot, you can include a live link to your calendar, enabling your client to schedule themselves.
3. Updates on procurement and shipping
Staying informed in real-time on the status of procurement orders enables the role of purchasing managers to plan and manage inventory more effectively. This includes order confirmations, shipping status, delivery notifications, and any potential delays. This enhances your client’s experience and keeps stakeholders informed about their orders. If you play any role in their bottom line, you want to be certain you are providing top of the line service and that includes great communication. Using Message IQ and HubSpot, this communication can be automated to include live links to shipment tracking data or an order fulfillment platform like Status IQ.
4. Simplified reordering
SMS can be employed to simplify the reordering process. Imagine your clients being able to initiate reorder requests by sending a text message or tapping a live link in a reminder text, which can trigger automated workflows in your CRM to process the order efficiently.
5. Project and deal progress updates
Keep prospects informed about the progress of a project or deal that is in the works or remind them if the ball is in their court for moving forward.
6. Lead nurturing with personalization
You may be working B2B, but personalization still appeals. Communicating great, targeted offers that are specific to what you know a particular business is interested in based on past purchases or current needs can lead to increased sales and customer loyalty. Using Message IQ in conjunction with a CRM like HubSpot, you can insert personalization tokens into text messages, just like emails. Consider including your contact’s first name and company name in automated messages.
7. Instant communication for urgent updates
With a 90% open rate, SMS is a highly effective way to communicate time-sensitive information. Urgent updates and alerts get to business partners, clients, or employees instantly, and 83% of people respond to SMS in 30 minutes or less, best accomplishing the goal of your message.
8. Order approvals and authorization
Businesses can further streamline their processes by sending order approvals or authorization requests via SMS. With the high open rate, these pressing items can be advanced sooner rather than later. If you use an electronic signature platform like PandaDoc, Adobe Sign, or Docusign, consider including a live link in yoru text message, allowing your prospect to access the document immediately on their phone.
9. Internal communication
Don’t forget the importance of communication among your own employees. Internal updates, reminders, or emergency notifications can all be effectively delivered via SMS. Yes, most businesses have company-wide email lists, but for a quick, important reminder? A link to an important questionnaire needing answered? SMS is more likely to give you the quick results.
10. Information sharing
By segmenting your lists you can send targeted content, such as case studies, industry reports, or relevant blog posts via SMS to demonstrate your expertise and provide value to prospects and clients. Consider segmenting by vertical market, lead stage, geography, and/or product interest.
11. Gaining immediate client feedback
SMS is great for acquiring quick feedback. This can be utilized after a sales presentation, conference or meeting with department heads on your products, services, or business proposals. It provides a simple and convenient way for you to collect thoughts of others before too much time passes. Leveraging HubSpot forms and Message IQ, it’s easy to send post-engagement or post-visit satisfaction surveys. Want to augment your endorsements? SMS requests are a great way to go.
12. Event promotion and trade show networking
If a B2B company is hosting an event or participating in a conference, SMS messaging can be used to promote the event, send reminders to attendees, and even facilitate networking among participants. This can be especially useful at trade-shows and conferences where your clients and prospects rely heavily on their phones and won’t necessarily be sitting at their desk.
The business-customer relationship may be a little different with B2B, but at the end of the day, you are still working to establish a trusted relationship and create a raving fan client. Having a strong mobile presence that utilizes SMS can advance your relationship with timely, relevant and valuable communication.
Are you ready to set up SMS messaging for your B2B? We’re here to escalate your mobile presence. To learn more about how SMS marketing can help your business, contact us today.