The art of personal branding in B2B

At a time when purchasing decisions are increasingly conditioned by subjective criteria, Personal Branding is establishing itself in B2B as a catalyst for sales performance.


B2B Personal Branding… what impact does it have on sales performance?

By definition, B2B involves transactions between organisations… but at the end of the day, it’s always people who decide, based on objective factors (technical quality of the offer, price, payment facilities, etc.) and subjective factors (affinity with the people they are dealing with, perceived image of the service provider, etc.).

Moreover, the economic literature has produced the theory of bounded rationality (Herbet Simon), which postulates that an individual’s decision-making capacity is altered by a set of constraints such as lack of information, cognitive biases and lack of time. “Decision-makers tend to choose satisfactory rather than optimal solutions”, reads the paper developing the theory.

Against a backdrop of unbridled digitalisation, and in the wake of a pandemic that has literally driven people away from their contacts, subjective elements seem to be gaining in importance in the decision-making process. What if Personal Branding was the missing link in your LeadGen strategy and your sales efforts?

Personal Branding: principles, formats and objectives

In the broadest sense, Personal Branding is the practice of promoting an individual through the marketing techniques usually used to advertise a brand or product offering. In a B2B context, Personal Branding consists of promoting a “company figure”, usually the CEO (SMEs) or a senior manager (large companies), as another channel for LeadGen.

In practice, the professional in question will be very active on social networks, particularly LinkedIn, sharing his or her Insights, studies, ideas and issues in line with the interests of the company’s target audience. This is known as “Thought Leadership”.

Personal Branding actions also include.

It is interesting to note that Personal Branding is a ‘borderline’ practice, insofar as the ‘branded’ professional also benefits from positive spin-offs for his or her image… spin-offs that can eventually benefit him or her on the job market. Naturally, this dynamic is not necessarily in the interests of the company.

Thought Leadership: a key challenge, a mixed performance

The impact of Thought Leadership on companies’ marketing and sales performance has been the subject of a ground-breaking study by public relations giant Edelman. Summary:​

So the stakes are high… but performance in this area is more than mixed. According to another LinkedIn and Edelman study, 71% of B2B decision-makers believe that half of the Thought Leadership content published by their peers on LinkedIn “does nothing for them”. So here are four actionable ideas to meet the challenge:

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