Winning B2B deals: 3 tips to engage early buyers

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Most B2B deals are won or lost before sales teams even know they exist. This leaves marketing with an important question: How can we influence buyers when they’re still in research mode and haven’t engaged with sales?

The answer is in providing relevant experiences, not sales pitches in disguise. As buyers self-educate, marketing must meet their needs with meaningful content while highlighting true differentiators.

By maximizing existing content assets, securing customer validation, and participating strategically in events buyers already attend, marketing can raise awareness and shape decisions early.

This article explores three data-backed ways to refine your marketing strategy and engage buyers when there’s still ample opportunity to educate and influence.

1. Maximize your content strategy

B2B buyers directly contact vendors when they’re already 70% into the buying process, per 6sense research. This means buyers are researching on their own, searching the web to inform their decisions without your direct influence. 

Don’t feel pressured to produce hundreds of white papers or need a budget to pump out first-party data every month. Rather, focus on relevant, quality content that can be sliced and diced in multiple ways. For example, take a longer-form piece of content, then:

  • Shorten it to a listicle-type article.
  • Re-purpose insights for a webinar.
  • Record a 30-second highlight video.
  • Summarize the key points in a 1:1 email for direct customer outreach. 

It all ties back to the original longer-form content with the assets living on your website, amplified across multiple channels. Last week, I fed a one-hour webinar transcript to my company’s internal co-pilot, Qai. It extracted 104 insights in seconds. 104 nuggets can now fuel article ideas, social shorts, graphics with quotes, LinkedIn posts, audio snippets – and so on. 

The point: we’re sitting on goldmines of content. Let’s use that initial piece that likely took massive amounts of headspace and resources to stay top of mind while buyers are hunting – without marketing emails or a conversation with a sales rep. 

Dig deeper: A B2B marketer’s guide to long-form content

2. Hone in on your differentiator

Strong relationships, deep experience and a best-in-class approach are benefits, not differentiators. What truly makes your company special? This is hard; most companies haven’t nailed it yet. 

Sales needs a crisp talk track to break into new logos, while marketing tries to avoid a generic value proposition. One or two crisp data points specific to your brand are priceless. However, that only gets marketing so far. A wise CXO once told me, “The best marketing you can do is through customer stories.” 

No other brand can copy + paste their name over your customer references. They’re uniquely yours. And 90% of buyers who read positive customer success content claimed that it influenced their purchasing decisions (i.e., dimensional research). 

So, adding more to your marketing mix is easy, right? Not quite. 

Building a robust pipeline of customer stories takes skillful go-to-market coordination. Marketing cannot be on the receiving end, waiting to execute on promotion. Instead, marketing needs to advise sales and product on how this benefits their jobs while building it into the customer discussion. 

Not all customers are supportive, sometimes due to legal requirements, though there is no harm in asking. Yet the positioning to the client is critical. What’s in it for them? How does this help their brand? Are there any risks? This effort is a partnership that marketing and sales must be in lock step on. It then becomes ingrained into the sales strategy. 

The “reasons to believe” in your company become evident in the solid customer proof points. Nothing screams differentiator more than a slew of satisfied customers with quantifiable impact. 

Dig deeper: How to harness storytelling’s impact in B2B marketing

3. Leverage existing industry events

If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say, “let’s host our own event,” I would be penning this from Bali. Spoiler: I’m still stateside.

Marketers are competing for eyeballs every single minute. Buyers are inundated with irrelevant content, calls and texts. In 2025, it’s expected that 375 billion emails will be sent a day per Statista.

So before emailing buyers inviting them to a net-new event, consider piggybacking onto an existing industry event they’re already attending. Create an ancillary experience transcending the long sit-down dinner or typical happy hour. We’re all in the relationship business. And all the more reason to gut-check our marketing. 

  • Are we really considering our buyers’ needs versus our pipelines? 
  • What makes them feel seen? 
  • How can we make it easier and more efficient to engage with our brand? 

A few years back, I worked for a large consulting firm trying to break into the technology space. They wanted to reach buyers in a new, unexpected way. We had some tickets to the Super Bowl, but sponsorship was not feasible. 

Knowing most of our buyers would be willing to travel for the Super Bowl, and we hosted an immersive experience the day prior that was tailored to sports and technology. Not only was it convenient, but it was also an authentic experience that scaled across 10+ other events across two years. 

Capturing early-stage B2B buyers

Winning B2B deals requires influencing buyers early with relevant experiences, not sales pitches. By maximizing existing content assets, honing in on true differentiators, and strategically participating in industry events, you can engage buyers with ample opportunity to educate and shape decisions.

It’s about meeting buyer needs, fostering meaningful interactions, and ultimately building relationships that transcend traditional marketing tactics.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.


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About the author

Sarah C. Weiss

Contributor

Sarah leads Marketing for Qvest US, the world’s leading media-focused consultancy for Fortune 1000 companies. Fiercely focused on solving complex business challenges, Sarah elevates the relationship between marketing, sales and delivery through a deep understanding of professional services, product marketing, technology, branding, GTM strategy and demand generation. 

Sarah has held numerous marketing leadership roles at PwC working alongside Alliances like Microsoft, Salesforce, AWS, Google, Adobe and other technology partners to build brands, change perception and drive momentum with stakeholders and influencers while maximizing budget. 

Her work achievements have resulted in awards from Fast Company, Digiday, WebAwards, w3 and The American Advertising Awards (ADDY). 

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