B2B Sales Lubricants Sector

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The Sales Call That Broke My Heart: A Cautionary Tale

I recently had a meeting with an owner of a company referred to me for sales training. They’ve been around for 45 years, delivering new oil and collecting waste oil.

Yet, despite their longstanding reputation, their business is failing. Their once reliable word of mouth referrals have dried up, and they couldn’t understand why.

As we talked, my heart started to sink.

❌ No website.

❌ No social media presence.

❌ No LinkedIn.

The owner was considering hiring a new telesales staff member, hoping this would turn things around. But as he spoke, my head dropped.

They were planning to cold call people who had no idea who they were, what they did, or how they could help. No digital assets to support their efforts, convinced that this alone would work.

He believed that all it took was dialling numbers to achieve success. And the reason for not having a website? Cost and time. Can you believe that!

It was a stark reminder that in today’s digital age, no matter how long you’ve been in business, adapting to new ways of reaching the market you serve is crucial. Investing in a digital presence is not a cost; it’s a necessity for survival and growth.

The Reality of Lubricant Sales

In today’s digitally driven world, we all recognise that B2B sales has evolved significantly. A company’s digital presence is no longer a luxury; it’s a vital component of a comprehensive sales strategy. This is particularly important in the lubticant sectors, where decision making processes are often longer and involve multiple stakeholders.

Here are some critical data points to consider:

💡 93.3% of lubricant buyers visit a search engine before reaching out to a salesperson. This statistic alone should be a wakeup call for any B2B company. If potential clients can’t find you online, you’re essentially invisible.

💡 75% of Lubricant buyers are 77% of the way through their decision making process before they even engage a salesperson. This means they are researching online, reading reviews, and comparing options long before they consider making contact.

💡46.7% of the buying process is completed before a lubricant buyer ever speaks to a sales rep. If your business isn’t visible online during this critical phase, you’re missing out on a significant portion of potential sales.

*all data taken from the Buyer Revolution research project surevy number one “Solve Your Own Problems”

*data point July 2024

Why Digital Presence Matters

The case of the oil company isn’t unique. Many businesses, particularly those that have been around for decades, rely heavily on traditional methods and fail to adapt to the changing landscape. Here are some reasons why digital presence is crucial:

1. Visibility and Credibility

A website serves as a digital storefront, providing potential customers with a first impression of your business. It enhances credibility and trust. Social media platforms like LinkedIn allow you to connect with industry professionals, share insights, and build relationships.

2. Lead Generation

Digital marketing strategies, such as SEO, content marketing, and PPC, can drive targeted traffic to your website, generating highquality leads. According to HubSpot, companies that blog generate 67% more leads than those that don’t.

3. Customer Engagement

A strong online presence allows you to engage with your audience through various channels, such as social media, email marketing, and online forums. Engaging with customers online can lead to better customer satisfaction and loyalty.

4. Competitive Advantage

In a competitive market, having a robust digital presence can set you apart from competitors who may be slow to adopt digital strategies. Companies with a strong online presence are more likely to be perceived as industry leaders.

Overcoming the Challenges

For businesses hesitant to invest in digital transformation, the perceived cost and time commitment are often the main barriers. However, the longterm benefits far outweigh the initial investment. Here are some steps to get started:

1. Build a Professional Website

A well designed website is essential. It should be mobile friendly, easy to navigate, and optimised for search engines. Include essential information such as your services, contact details, and client testimonials.

2. Leverage Social Media

Create profiles on relevant social media platforms, particularly LinkedIn for B2B companies. Regularly post valuable content, engage with your audience, and participate in industry discussions.

3. Invest in SEO

Optimise your website for search engines to improve visibility and attract organic traffic. Use relevant keywords, create highquality content, and build backlinks from reputable sources.

4. Content Marketing

Develop a content marketing strategy that includes blogging, case studies, whitepapers, and videos. Share your content through your website, social media, and email newsletters.

5. Utilise Email Marketing

Build an email list of current and potential customers. Send regular newsletters with valuable content, updates, and special offers.


The story of the oil company serves as a cautionary tale for any B2B business reluctant to embrace digital transformation. In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is not just beneficial; it’s essential for survival and growth.

Investing in a professional website, leveraging social media, and developing a robust digital marketing strategy can lead to increased visibility, higherquality leads, and improved sales. Don’t wait until it’s too late—start building your digital presence today and set your business up for longterm success.

Join the Buyer Revolution research project

This comprehensive research program, aptly named “The Buyer Revolution,” is designed to unravel the intricate layers of the B2B lubricant buyer experience. Our focus centres on empowering the buyer within this evolving landscape, recognising their role as decision-makers and influencers. A collaboration with Lube Magazine, the No 1 European lubricant magazine and official journal of the UEIL. Together we will be delving into critical aspects that define this revolution, each survey serving as a unique lens into the multifaceted world of B2B lubricant transactions.

Buyer Revolution

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