It's no secret that selling to B2B customers can be overwhelming, to say the least. The bygone days of a salesperson being in complete charge of the buying process are long gone. Today's tech-savvy and informed customer prefers to conduct research and then proceed to make a purchase.
Let's have a close look at some statistics.
57% of buyer decisions are made before the buyer even picks up a phone to contact a supplier.
34% of salespeople are of the view that the entire process of closing deals is getting harder.
Only 29% of buyers want to have a word with a salesperson to gain an understanding of a product.
Does this mean that the days of reaching your sales quotas are gone? Well, the answer is a big no!
However, it's important for organisations to understand the dynamics of modern B2B sales to keep closing new deals. Thereafter, you'll need to learn out-of-the-box sales strategies to achieve this goal.
What are B2B sales?
Also known as business-to-business sales, B2B sales refers to sales by a company that primarily sells products and services to businesses instead of selling them directly to consumers (B2C). B2B sales usually have longer sales cycles, higher-order values, and are generally more complex than B2C sales.
B2B sales used to be a lot easier
In the past, potential buyers used to reach out to potential vendors and deal with salespeople who would then pitch them with the best options to choose from.
Simple, right? Back then, it was a relatively straightforward process wherein the marketing team was entrusted with the task of filling up the sales funnel with leads, and the sales team was responsible for converting those leads into a sales pipeline. Thereafter, the sales team would move them down the funnel and convert them into a sale. The sequence and occurrence of everything were quite predictable back then.
Evolved B2B process of today
Today, the B2B process involves the following steps:
A potential customer identifies a problem
They research it online to discover all potential solutions
They reach out to friends, colleagues, and social media circles to read reviews, feedback, testimonials, etc.
They identify a few most popular and trusted providers of products and services to satisfy their specific requirements
They would complete the sale.
That’s a big change!
A new B2B buyer has emerged
The needs, expectations, and preferences of the modern buyer have seen a sea change. Today, customers prefer self-service options, heightened concern about data privacy and security, and online interactions with sellers. The new B2B buyers mostly rely on product demos, free trials, user reviews, vendor reps, and vendor/product websites when making purchase decisions.
A Forrester report revealed that 59% of modern buyers prefer to perform research online in place of making a direct interaction with sales reps as they believe sales reps push a sales agenda on them instead of helping solve a problem.
But there are new possibilities
B2B organisations need a powerful and seamless customer data platform (CDP) like Dynamics 365 Customer Insights to deliver consistent and exceptional customer experiences. Using Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, organisations can maintain a unified and persistent view of the buyers across multiple channels. Moreover, the enterprise-grade CRP helps in creating adaptive profiles of all accounts and buyers that help organisations proactively orchestrate cohesive experiences throughout the customer journey.
Today, organisations are also leveraging Dynamics 365 Customer Insights to rely on unified data as a single source of truth and unlock actionable insights to improve sales alignment and conversion, including but not limited to dynamic pricing, account targeting, recommended products, churn prevention, and opportunity scoring.
The best thing is that organisations can easily leverage profiles and resulting analytics from Dynamics 365 Customer Insights across every function and system—including account-based management (ABM), eCommerce platforms, and sales force automation (SFA). This helps the buyer access proactive and personalised experiences at precisely the right moment, irrespective of the platform on which they prefer engaging.
Find out how your organisation can proactively adapt to today's new omnichannel reality to delight your customers. Contact us at C.I.G Consultants now to discover innovative ways to extend reach, reduce the cost of selling, and improve sales effectiveness.