The sudden move to remote working across organizations due to COVID-19 has thrust B2B sales personnel into action – making adjustments to the way they sell as B2B buyers ‘consumerize’, and as digital buying becomes an even more necessary function.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen B2B buyers accelerate the shift their buying preferences towards a streamlined, digital experience that allows them to place an order, inquiry, or purchase seamlessly online. It’s evident that B2B sales fundamentals at their core will be different after the pandemic, and companies are having to quickly adapt to align with new customer behaviors.
You may be asking yourself how exactly B2B sales personnel are shifting their tactics to improve their customer’s digital sales experience. Here are three tips we’ve found helpful as we do the same here at 522:
According to Mckinsey, digital interactions are twice as important now than they were before COVID. This means, the places on your website that inform about your offerings or past work, review your pricing, and call on your customers to make a decision or inquire about your services, need to be both readily accessible and provide an uninterrupted experience. Buyers are not willing to accept a lesser experience as B2B purchasers than as B2C consumers. Vendors who provide an excellent digital purchasing experience are twice as likely to become the preferred vendor. An excellent digital buying experience should focus on speed, transparency, and expertise.
Tools like Discovery.Org and Salesforce have helped sales teams become more effective and efficient, providing immediate data and allowing sales personnel to engage with entire teams – not just one lead. These tools help strengthen and elongate customer relationships and help sales teams execute outreaches more successfully. They also provide sales teams with the information necessary to offer customers specific, data-driven solutions – targeting tools or functions the organization may be missing, or are actively searching.
B2B buyers aren’t looking for a fully automated process with no advisory or conversation about the decision they’re about to make – they need the combination of digital self-service and the seller’s guidance. Sales personnel should be used to ‘finesse’ the deal, and offer purchasing support, product or service information, and provide answers to the buyer’s questions.
We work to ensure “authenticity” in all of our work and messaging. No one wants to be “sold to,” we want to be informed and guided through meaningful and relevant experiences. Authenticity can shine through conversations with sales personnel, personalized outreaches during the sales cycle, and … VIDEO! Showing buyers not only the features and benefits of your services or products, but also your company’s values and personality can provide necessary insight for prospective buyers in their search for preferred vendors.
In a nutshell, B2B sales personnel should be thinking like their buyers as organizations continue to process the aggressive shift towards digital buying and the need for frictionless purchasing experiences online. But these shifts cannot forgo the human touch – it’s even more critical to the selling process.