B2B sales in the COVID-19 period

10 minutes read

How your business compensates for the lack of B2B face-to-face sales or the prospects that you usually get from an expo or trade show?  

If you’re wondering what you can do or how you can pivot to keep your business afloat while maintaining your competitive edge, you’re not alone. 

One think is for sure, B2B turns to digital marketing in the wake of coronavirus outbreak. 

Because the majority of our clients are B2B, we created this read to share our insights on how we believe B2B firms should be thinking about marketing and sales at this unique moment in time. What you will get in by the end of this article is a basic strategy and a lot of free tools at your disposal in order your sales team to utilize based to the current conditions. 

Table of contents

  1. Strategy
  2. Adjust your advertising
  3. Optimize your website
  4. B2B platforms
  5. Google Analytics
  6. Social Media
  7. Newsletters
  8. Google my Business
  9. SEO
  10. You Tube SEO


Having a plan-Survival versus Growth: It’s hard for all business owners and managers to plan for growth right now. With the uncertainties we all face in light of coronavirus, our main focus is how to limit the impact on our businesses, hoping that when regular activities resume, to emerge as much unimpacted as possible. The importance of having a plan in “times of uncertainty” is crucial and certainly will make a difference between successful and unsuccessful companies 6 months from today.

Get Digital & Stay visible: Whereas full-scale digitization is at the forefront of many such plans, (including manufacturers in all industries) there is one basic element your business needs to consider if you want to set yourself up for success in the post Covid-19 area and that is to stay visible. Going off the radar during this period will result to your existing & prospective clients to not remember you when everything is over plus the last thing you want to create is an image of a falling business. In practical terms, if your customers are accustomed to your social media updates, newsletters etc, don’t stop now.

Build Relationships: If you are a B2B company that needs to nurture leads or “warm up” potential customers use this time wisely to build real relationships with your potential customers and convert them later down the road. For upsales to existing customers although it might not be appropriate to start reaching out to your customers at this time, think of how you can connect with them and offer genuine assistance, reaffirming yourself as an authoritative industry leader if that is the case. In other words, for potential clients keep nurturing your business leads with the long view in mind even if the situation feels uncertain, whereas for existing ones swift your sales efforts to customer support and reputation management, and not acquisition. Keep in mind that your efforts between the two should don’t be split 50-50 but it is better to invest in your existing clients as acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing one.[The success rate of selling to existing customers is 50-60%, whereas for new customers it’s 5-10%.]

Playing the long game: Without downplaying the seriousness and the uncertainty of this crisis, we believe that companies can put some good steps in place today to be positioned better than their competition tomorrow. Anything you do now that your competitors are not doing is putting you ahead. Even these are some low budget actions (as they will be analysed below) is a big step against those companies that are sitting on the couch and do nothing! In the end, any amount of time spent on strategizing and optimizing your digital strategy will be fruitful, as the overall results you accrue will far outlast the coronavirus.

2. Adjust your advertising

During the last weeks you have seen many promotions on the social media from digital marketing agencies arguing that not only you should not stop your advertising but also to increase it as most of the people are home and online. We strongly disagree with that approach as not only it does not apply to B2B sales but even to B2C there are so many factors to consider [such as industry, consumer behavior etc]. Consider this. Right now, how willing is your business to buy something that isn’t helping your team to work from home or keeping the basic functions of the business running? Probably not very. That’s why your advertising efforts should probably be put on pause until business’ buying confidence returns.

When the economy slows down, conventional wisdom says to batten down the hatches and reduce expenses at all costs and the first thing you must cut is your marketing expenses.
On the other hand, taking this approach can have a major impact to your b2b sales. It’s not rocket science. When you reduce your marketing, you reduce your exposure, and consequently your sales. 

Our position and advice for b2b companies when it comes to sales during the Covid-19 period is 

  • To review their existing marketing strategies and eliminate ineffective channels, campaigns, and tactics
  • To cut their advertising cost with a scalpet and not with a chainsaw, meaning reviewing each channel as to whether are ROI-positive
  • Use the funds allocated to participation in exhibitions, trade shows and expos in online marketing and more important to SEO which we strongly believe is the ultimate tool for b2b sales.

One of the most impactful effects the coronavirus pandemic has had on businesses is the cancellation of large in-person events such as tradeshows, conferences. Places where most of the b2b sale leads and prospects begin are now off the table, with result a growing number of businesses to change into digital campaigns and turn it into their key source of lead generation.

Even if b2b companies put a portion of their budget from attending an expo to online efforts, they’re likely to see productive growth of their web presence, especially if they’re quicker to react than their competitors. Despite the fact that online marketing is such a big topic, with this post we try to present you with the most powerful (free and to low budget) tools that every company sales team/department should utilize to support their b2b sales.

3.Optimize your website

First but not least, before we dive into specifics the cornerstone of all, your corporate website!

  • When was the last time since you updated your website?
  • Have you checked how your website looks/ performs from your mobile phone?
  • Does your website appears in the google results?
  • Are you getting any leads from your website?

Usually due to the work overload there is no time to update and make tweaks to your website, now’s the time to give your website a facelift and make sure your company is well presented. To find inspiration check out the websites from competitors national or abroad and see what they are doing that you are not. Make notes of the layout, what kind of language they use and the angle they are using to sell their products/services. 

The coronavirus lockdown is the ideal time to update your content such as blog posts, presentations, brochures, case studies, technical sheets and other materials. Make sure that you rank in SERPS for the right keywords and re-optimising blogs and landing pages that rank in search but not in positions that drive traffic. In all, take advantage of that time to really optimize your website’s content and to increase your traffic and engagement rate.

4. B2B platforms

Although we have implemented projects developing B2B websites, for the purpose of this article we are not going to analyse it as it is a huge topic. What you need to take is that B2B eCommerce now is more important than ever and it will become a very important channel. Some B2B’s are positioned to adapt and take advantage of investments they have made in eCommerce. However, if you are a B2B that delayed investments in the past or shying away from eCommerce, now is the time to address this issue as digital commerce channels will be critical moving forward. Hopefully technology has moved a lot in comparison with 2-5 years ago, and there are so many options-vendors available today to choose from. Feel free to reach out to us for any consultation in case you want to set up a b2b platform or upgrade your existing website to B2B. 

5.Google Analytics

When was the last time you have checked your Google Analytics Report?

It won’t cost you a dime and even if you have no experience and the first time you see the dashboard you feel that you entered a spaceship, using just youtube it will take you a couple of hours to figure out how it works and more important key metrics that you can utilize for your b2b sales such as pages that are performing the best and those that underperform and aren’t getting much traffic.

Moreover is a great free tool to learn about the demographics of your audience. The more you know and understand about this metrics, the more strategic you can be in creating content that converts into customers. Taking this time to learn more about the visitors in your site as it will allow you to be strategic in the language and imagery you use in your content moving forward.

Our advise is that you need to deep dive into website analytics, take a close look of what’s working and what’s now, which pages rank well in SERPs, and take an in-depth look into the performance of past efforts.

6.Social Media

Social media right now is more active than ever given the fact that a ton of people are working from home. It’s time to brush up on new techniques and find the right posts to really get in front of your potential clients. Now is the time to make the most out of your business social media influence and is a lot easier to engage and connect with prospects. 

The key here is 

  • Show your audience that you’re open for business
  • Be genuine and not opportunistic. 
  • Without being salesy discover efficient ways to nurture existing and new relationships
  • Even when you are not making a sale, genuine connections will help your brand stand out

Although your business might be operating at much lower capacity at the moment, you should not change the consistency of posting on social. Your followers, customers and potential clients will see you as still there! 


Do you already have a list of subscribers? If yes, time to make a email campaign to follow up on them, see how they are doing and offer them comfort in times of need. Whether you’re B2B or B2C, email marketing can be a great way to connect with your prospective and existing clients. For B2B businesses, there are plenty newsletter tools starting from 10$ per month that your team can use to nurture existing leads or send professional looking emails to your existing clients for any new b2b products and upsells. 

8.Google my Business [GMB]

It is important to keep your GMB listing accurate & updated during Covid-19 pandemic. It is misleading to think that GMB as a simple tool to just update your contact details, opening hours and attract local b2b customers. It is a very powerful (and free) tool when it comes to SEO in order to generate b2b sales and increase brand awareness and trust. 

Putting aside the tweaks we do in our client’s GMB to increase their seo rankings, just think of the following scenario. You are a B2B company that wants to purchase a product let’s say a piece of machinery from another company located in another city or even in another country. How comfortable you will feel placing that order if you looked in their GMB profile and saw a few,negative or even unanswered reviews. It would be justifiable to think that after you buy this machinery how the company will support you if you need some part replaced or fixed in the future.    

We’re not suggesting that you go back to reviews  that were posted ten years ago. But you should post thoughtful responses to all (both positive and negative) recently posted reviews (i.e., the reviews that prospects might actually read). Moreover, now you have the time to train one of your employees on how to respond to reviews quickly and efficient.

9. SEO

For many businesses, in times like this, it’s about survival. Survival means leads and leads equals sales.  And what provides leads and sales is SEARCH.

Search traffic has gone up in the last couple of weeks and it’s only going to go up from now on. As we mentioned above, you have to ensure your business is visible. And the best way to be visible, is to be positioned at the top of search engines’ results page (SERPs).

If you have experience with PPC or running PPC ads to get on top of the SERPs, our advise is to place this money in SEO as is the best investment you can make at the moment and capitalized it a few months down the road.

If you’re not working with an agency and handling marketing in-house, these are five basic tasks you can get your team to work on in order to improve the quality and quantity of your web traffic [Note: for b2b is more about the quality rather than the quantity]

  1. Get a SEO AUDIT and find out what is holding back in your website from showing in the 1st page of search engines’ results.
    2. Using Google Analytics and Google Search Console (only and without any paid tools) you can check your current website organic search rankings and identify those pages that are performing well and those that underperform and aren’t getting much traffic.
    3. Create an inventory of all your content assets such as old blog posts, presentations, articles, technical sheets, photographs, videos, etc.
    4. Using Google Keyword Planner you can research relevant keywords, search volume and competition. Optimize your content for search engines should be on your top priority.
    5. Now you can go and either update your existing content pages or create new, make improvements to your CTAs and keywords and add internal links to relevant blogs and service pages. Use this opportunity to generate ideas for new blog posts and to start writing professional articles and the next newsletter for your customers.

Using a SEO AUDIT you can tackle all the basic and potentially impactful SEO aspects of your B2B website and you will be surprised of how some small changes and some basic optimization can yield very positive results and how a little SEO can go a long way!

Feel free to contact us to discuss your requirements in depth for any seo related service that your organization might be interested, such as technical and content improvement or seo coaching and training for your sales team.

When it comes to learning SEO, a little work means a lot of value. Use your time wisely, both for yourself and for your business, and start investing into search engine optimization today in order to be ready to bounce back in full force when the pandemic is over.

10. Youtube SEO

Do you know what a long tailed keyword is? Do you have a youtube channel? If both the answers is yes, try to combine it together and increase your visibility and leads.

With regards to SEO, videos can help you:

  • Target long-tail keywords that often have high conversion rates
  • Get your website into a featured snippet
  • Appear in YouTube searches

Dive into video and disregard the notion that youtube does not apply to b2b or does not suit your products or services. Feel free to reach out to us to present you our case studies of how we used youtube seo to increase conversions in b2b applications.


Traditional channels where most of the b2b sale leads and prospects began such as exhibitions and trade shows will be out of reach for a long time. Moreover, in times of uncertainty like this, nobody wants to do any deals until the uncertainty clears up. 

As these are uncertain times, more and more organizations have turned to digital channels cause they understand that in order to remain competitive, they need to launch or update websites, establish b2b platforms, engage in social media, strengthen their SEO strategies, and use many digital tools and strategies to build relationships and leads now that will bring sales once confidence and demand returns. 

Strengthening your brand online will enable you to maintain normality and will give you a competitive edge over competitors who are slow to react. By taking proactive steps now, you can put your business in a more secure position to stay strong and recover faster once the crisis subsides. In the end, any amount of time spent on strategizing and optimizing your digital strategy will be fruitful, as the overall results you accrue will far outlast the coronavirus.

Although you might decide that B2B sales have to take a backseat at the moment, we would be happy if you use some of our strategies and tools mentioned above, and in any case we’re here to help. Feel free to send us a message or chat with us in facebook, in twitter, or instagram if you feel you want someone to consult.