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In the world of Business to Business (B2B) sales, peer recommendations are king. Buyers trust the opinions of their peers more than any search engine or vendor out there. This phenomenon is known as “Obscure Networks”, a digital realm where B2B buyers convene to connect and learn from one another.
These obscure networks exist across a variety of channels, each with its unique features and characteristics. Social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram serve as hubs for B2B buyers to discover new opportunities and connect with like-minded professionals. Content platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube provide a wealth of information and resources for B2B buyers to learn and grow from.
Communities and groups, such as Facebook groups, Slack and Discord channels, offer a space for B2B buyers to connect with others in their industry, share insights, and collaborate on projects. Even internal company communications, like Google Meet and Zoom calls, also play a critical role in B2B buying decisions.
But the most powerful of these channels is direct word of mouth, including phone calls, text messages, Signal or Telegram chats, and DMs. Through these intimate channels, B2B buyers share valuable information and insights with their peers, shaping each other’s decisions and driving the direction of the market.
Unfortunately, these obscure networks are often overlooked by CRM and attribution software, leaving B2B companies unable to capitalize on these critical business opportunities as the space where these dicussions occur changes quite often. Outdated software-based attribution models fail to capture the full scope of these channels, leaving marketing teams unable to engage with buyers where they spend the most time.
Simpler and more custom solutions may be a better fit in a world where each customer may communicate with your team in a different way or means. Whether you use a Notion speradsheet that can be more easily modified and can feel like more of an web application than Excel or Google Sheets, the point here should be to try and simplify how you enter or store your data in order to make it as dynamic to changes as possible.
To succeed in today’s B2B market, marketing teams must put the needs and insights of their customers first, not just listening to their feedback but adapting to their communication strategies accordingly. Obscure Networks may not fit neatly into software-based attribution models in Salesforce and other enterprise platforms, but they represent some of the most critical channels for B2B buyers to connect, learn, and make important decisions.