As buyer behavior changes, B2B sales organizations need to adapt and utilize digital models of sales.

B2B sales are turning digital, as traditional models of sale no longer provides the B2B customer with what they require. Or, as Gartner’s Brent Adamson (Distinguished VP, Advisory) explains it:

“Digitally enabled customers, facing dramatically more difficult considerations, are mismatched with today’s sales model…The model underserves the customer’s most critical need — confidence in making the best business decisions possible”.

In other words, B2B customers are now more digital, and are facing a lot of complexities throughout the purchasing process. Something that should influence the actions of B2B sales organizations, and that should implement a digital-first approach to sales. Where Gartner has identified a number key strategies for this process, and that we’ve gone through and discuss below:

  • Digital, omnichannel models for delivering value

Customers have now largely shifted their preferences, from traditional, in-person sales interactions to their digital counterparts. In fact, B2B buyers spend less than 1/5th of the purchasing process with an actual sales representative, and as several parties are often involved in this process the sales representative gets some 5 % of the customer’s time in total.

Of course, this does not entail that actual, human interactions should not be prioritized, but that sales organizations need to broaden their horizons and look to a more holistically digital approach. Utilizing an omnichannel model, and guiding “…self-learning customers toward more confident decisions”.

  • Thinking B2C, enriching the virtual experience

B2C has long focused on giving customers a rich experience when they interact with the brand/company, and B2B organizations can benefit from taking a page from their book. Additionally, Gartner notes that “…In the next five years, sales leaders who fail to create rich, immersive digital experiences risk alienating customers and losing business as a result”. Which makes this well worth prioritizing today.

  • Resolving uncertainties

As the purchase process has become more complex for B2B buyers, they may experience more uncertainties than before. This, in turn, makes it more important for sellers to dedicate time and effort to resolving these uncertainties. On top of that, many customers will face organizational transformations and overall changes to the market – which will make it a success factor for B2B sales organization to “…support organizational change in addition to supporting purchasing decisions”. This, in order to help customers move past both uncertainty in relation to the purchase, and larger changes they’re experiencing.

  • Helping customers understand information

With the rise of digital, information overload is a real risk, and Gartner predict that the most successful sales organizations will change the way they go contributing knowledge. I.e. successful sales organizations will not just provide the information, but also help customers understand said information. No matter if they’ve gathered it from the sales representative or elsewhere.

When done well, this could help the customer gain confidence in your organization/offering, and be a large step toward closing a substantial sale.

  • Utilizing analysis and data

The move to digital gives data-savvy organizations a number of possibilities, and many of the sales organizations in the forefront have already started analyzing trends, generating predictions and qualifying business opportunities – all while working to engage customers continuously and proactively.

While this hasn’t yet become a standard practice, odds are we’ll see it become just that in a matter of years. Something Gartner underlines very clearly, explaining that:

”Over the next five years, high-end analytics will quickly become commonplace, and leading sales organizations will employ dynamic customer engagement models fueled by data sources from all buyer interactions.”

Making it a very good idea to start this work as soon as possible, and gaining a competitive advantage in the process.

Source: https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/future-of-sales-2025-deliver-the-digital-options-b2b-buyers-demand/

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