How do you identify your potential customers

10 tips for your customer acquisition in the B2B area

Customer acquisition tip 1: Define your target customer

Determine your target group as precisely as possible when acquiring customers. Do a target group analysis for this. In the B2B area, your potential customers are other companies or, as a rule, professional buyers. The number of possible new customers is significantly lower than in the B2C area. But the sales per customer are higher. For this target group, the quality of advice and service are important factors when placing an order. Define your customer benefits precisely.

In the B2B area in particular, it is important to know exactly what your competitors are offering. Use our product positioning tool to see where you stand compared to the competition.

Product positioning tool

Customer acquisition tip 2: Develop an acquisition strategy

Comprehensive planning is the basis for a successful acquisition strategy.

1. Create according to the target group definition and make it clear to yourself who exactly you are addressing and what specific needs you can meet with your offer.

2. Make a sales plan including targets for the fiscal year. These numbers should also be part of your customer acquisition strategy. Here you define the quantitative (measurable) goals such as

  • the increase in sales through new customers of XY% in the period Z.

3. Derive from this the acquisition measures tailored to your target group and also assign sub-goals to these individual instruments. Example:

  • With 20 calls to potential customers, we would like to generate 20,000 euros in sales over the next 6 months.

4. Improve your service quality and thereby stand out from the competition.

5. Keep it short: your customers have little time and a lot to do. Instead of sending mountains of documents, concentrate on your unique selling points and anchor them with your potential customers.

6. Concentrate on the specific needs of your customer and not on your product benefits.

7. Work with references and testimonials to convince doubters.

8. In the context of your customer acquisition, define realistic goals that can also be achieved. Everything else is demotivating and cannot be implemented in a target-oriented manner. Define your goals right from the start and answer at least the following strategy questions:

  • What is my goal and who is my target group?
  • How many new customers should be won in a certain period of time?
  • What acquisition measures can I use to reach my target group?
  • How should potential customers be addressed?

Customer acquisition tip 3: Check your time resources

As a young entrepreneur, day-to-day business will likely involve you a lot. This is likely to leave you little time to acquire new customers. Basically, depending on the industry, up to 20% of your time should be spent on acquisition. After the founding and in difficult times even more.

Good preparation for sales calls takes a lot of time when it comes to customer acquisition. Likewise, the pre- and post-processing of the discussions, the analysis and the optimization. CRM software can help you to optimize your time resources for customer acquisition.

Customer acquisition tip 4: Use the digital world as an advantage for your customer acquisition

Many companies only rely on cold calling when acquiring new customers. In the course of digitization, the Internet and social networks have contributed to changing customer behavior in the B2B sector. Potential customers research online for potential providers. What does that mean for you? You should be easy to find in the digital media!

The implementation of your own company website is relatively cheap and is part of today's standard for companies. The success of the acquisition depends heavily on the products offered and the online strategy. Regardless of company size, industry and product, a positive image of your company can be created here. With strategic search engine optimization (SEO) and on the basis of other search engine marketing (SEM) measures such as Google Ads or banner placements, you can also draw potential customers' attention to your website.

Social media now also plays an important role in customer acquisition in the B2B sector. The social network Facebook and the business and corporate portals XING and LinkedIn are increasingly becoming acquisition spaces where customers and providers meet.

Customer acquisition tip 5: Use a CRM system

CRM software (CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management) simplifies the documentation and management of all customer relationships for you. The CRM serves as the center for customer acquisition; all information and data are stored here and can be viewed by all colleagues in the team. B2B customers are significantly more demanding than B2C customers. They react negatively to inquiries, long waiting times and incorrect offers. If possible, you should install suitable CRM software when you set up your company in order to collect and save the researched data of your customers right from the start.

Record all conversation and result content in the database of your CRM system, because customer acquisition in the B2B area is usually not completed with a single conversation, but requires a lot of time and several attempts. In the case of follow-up actions, it can then be very helpful to be able to view the previous recordings at any time.

Email marketing software with which you can send targeted and automated emails to your customers may also be worthwhile for your customer acquisition.

Email tools in comparison

Customer acquisition tip 6: Prepare your sales pitches

Intensive preparation for a sales pitch must be your top priority. Because due to the acute lack of time, nobody can afford unproductive talks today. Not only are the costs of customer contact too high for that, the time of both conversation partners is too valuable for that.

So what does it mean to be well prepared? You need to know about your prospect's industry and company. Likewise, if possible, you need to know about the person you will be dealing with in the sales pitch. You should be clear about your chances, possibilities and goals and have developed a strategy for the conversation.

Customer acquisition tip 7: Don't forget your existing customers

You can already enjoy a leap of faith with any existing customers you may already have. Look after your existing customers and keep in touch with them on a regular basis. The reason does not always have to be the intention to sell. Happy birthday or a reference to a new service can be the start of an acquisition-related informational meeting. Always consider existing customer care in your customer relationship management and create long-term customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. This always results in potential for new orders. On B2B platforms such as LinkedIn or XING, you can always remind yourself of your contacts by sharing exciting business-relevant information.

Customer acquisition tip 8: Make your customer acquisition measurable

You can only find out whether your customer acquisition is working on the basis of measurable data. Of course, this presupposes the definition of plan values. Determine exactly what you want to achieve with the individual acquisition measures. Use an acquisition strategy to define the planned results for each individual measure and process in your customer acquisition. Make target agreements. Make sure you also declare the relevant period within which these results are to be achieved. Based on the planned results, there is now, for the first time, the possibility of monitoring success on the basis of key figures using a target / actual analysis. This is the only way to recognize optimization potential in your customer acquisition.

Customer acquisition tip 9: Use recommendations

Use customers from your network by actively addressing them. Inquire about whether your customer might know someone from their customer or supplier portfolio who might be looking for a provider with exactly your range of services. Use this technology and you will be amazed that qualified contacts can be made with it.

Another alternative: In the course of digitization, the Internet and social networks have contributed to changing customer behavior in the B2B area. Potential customers research providers online. Be visible here as part of your customer acquisition and let yourself be rated by satisfied customers in order to convince new customers of the quality of your products or services.

Customer acquisition tip 10: Experience acquisition in everyday company life

Customer acquisition must be an integral part of your daily workflow and not just a task that you do and check off in between. Of course, it depends on the size of your company who takes care of customer acquisition and to what extent. As a founder, this will likely be part of your area of ​​responsibility. Establish contacts with potential customers continuously, even if you don't always achieve success and the acquisition process in the B2B area takes a long breath.

Over a long period of time there will always be a natural "customer death" in the B2B area. Change contacts, companies merge or give up their business, which can lead to a shrinking customer base. The permanent integration of customer acquisition into your daily business protects you from this development .

Conclusion - Systematic customer acquisition is the basis of your success

Customer acquisition in B2B is complex and time-consuming. You should proceed appropriately structured and strategically with the acquisition. Define your goals and, along with them, your acquisition strategy. Make sure to check your time resources and plan accordingly in everyday life. Customer acquisition should take place continuously and not just when sales are falling or capacities are underutilized.

Use the digital media, which should now be standard in the B2B sector, as well as referral marketing. Set up a CRM system right from the start, not only for the necessary preparation of your sales talks, but also for the entire documentation of your customer acquisition. Include your existing customers as well, because every existing customer is also a potential new customer, as they may have other business areas in which you could support them.

Make your acquisition results measurable on the basis of target targets and key figures, this is the only way you can react to deviations and register success or failure. Live the customer acquisition in everyday company life. All of these factors will contribute to the economic success of your company. When acquiring customers in the B2B environment, telephone acquisition is often the method of choice. We have put together a guide for telephone acquisition for you. A checklist for your sales pitch is also available for download free of charge.

Author: Für-Grü editors

As editor-in-chief, René Klein has been responsible for the content of the portal and all publications by Für-Grü for over 10 years. He is a regular interlocutor in other media and writes numerous external specialist articles on start-up topics. Before his time as editor-in-chief and co-founder of Für-Grü, he advised listed companies in the field of financial market communication.