Professional sport: How to develop B2B revenues in 2022?

How to develop B2B revenues in 2022?

Acquisition, retention, upsell. This is the virtuous business cycle offered to the companies we attract into our business network, with satisfaction as the common denominator. Organisations are beginning to adopt this approach, moving from a team of account managers to a hunter/breeder structure, which is better suited to revenue development. However, this revenue development process does not happen without a profound evolution of the offer, more flexible, more ROI. In this article, you will find some tips on how to evolve effectively in this cycle.

Acquisition - more leads for more sales

With the internet boom, buyer habits have changed dramatically. According to some studies, 65-90% of B2B buyers make their own purchasing decisions and 90% of decision-makers say they never answer a telephone prospecting call. Our commercial playing field has therefore shifted significantly to digital. Emailing, SEO, social media, digital advertising... There are many lead acquisition levers but without strategy and consistency, the investment can be counterproductive. Here are some tips: 

  • Set business objectives and determine with maximum precision its target to develop a relevant offer and convincing arguments,
  • Expand your prospect bases by scrapping the sites hosting the data of your targets for example,
  • Thinking through the conversion with effective call-to-actions and landing pages,
  • Maintaining the relationship with the leads. In B2B, digital does not make all the sales. Make sure that the leads come to the right place and are quickly handled by a sales person,
  • Analyse the impacts. Among the most relevant indicators are the conversion rate, the cost per lead (amount invested in marketing actions/total number of leads generated) and the transformation rate (number of customers/total number of leads generated).

There must be no gaps in your value chain if you want to slide the prospect into your conversion funnel and turn them into a customer.

Loyalty - diversifying experiences to improve retention

Signing a new customer is much more expensive than retaining them, by 5 to 25 times according to Salesforce. This is true even in the sports world. Also, the issue of retention is not limited to a simple question of cost: how do you create the conditions to retain a customer when you organise the same event between 15 and 25 times in a season? 

To do this, several levers exist and can be put in place by clubs of all sizes. It is thus possible for a club to : 

  • A fully optimised customer journey,before, during and even after the match. Your partner must be able to easily collect and distribute tickets, have access to information about his hospitality package, or easily manage his partnership (online invoices, advice on the use of rights, photos of the evening, etc.).
  • Refine your communication according to your partner segments,

As you can see, the key to loyalty is to facilitate the partner's journey while offering diversity. Just to keep the flame of the beginning of the relationship alive.

Upsell - the future of sponsorship is in data and digital

In a context of digital transformation where we are trying to meet the expectations of the end consumer, sponsorship has not yet undergone its transformation. Between out-of-date products, rigid offers and difficult understanding of rights, there is sometimes (often) friction on the line between advertisers and rights holders. This does not make the product any less sexy (after all, sponsorship attracts) but the performance is not sufficiently worked out and measured to involve the marketing departments more. And yet, when this is the case, the ROI of sponsorship is 20% higher than other activities (Nielsen, 2020). Could it be that sport is under-performing? We believe so.

Unlocking its digital monetisation potential is not a simple exercise because it requires resources, skills and a strong cross-functional approach between communication and sales. Proving that it works will take time and will certainly require a conclusive test. We can draw on the examples of Chelsea with Duracell on one-off sponsorship, Skoda's Drive-to-store strategy with the Tour de France or even the case we made with Grand Calais PFC (R1 club) to convince us that this is the right direction. It is part of a need to understand what drives the advertiser's business and to provide an answer to the problems they encounter, through our assets: the world of passion, data, physical and digital contact points and our unfailing creativity. This is what will enable us to see the bigger picture tomorrow...

There are many effective tools and techniques that you can use to generate more leads, build partner loyalty and develop sponsorship revenues. But the key lever will be our ability to anchor sport in the marketing levers available to companies to assert their identity and prosper. When you consider that data is the foundation of an effective strategy and that the volume of data will increase 45-fold by 2035, this gives you an idea of the potential and the work that needs to be done in your organisation.

Alexis Riotteau

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