On paper, generating sales may seem a simple process. You spot an issue or a need, you introduce a great product or service that offers a solution, and you make sure it gets in front of the right people. Sadly, it’s not always that easy and the relationship between B2B buyers and suppliers is a complex one.
The most successful companies are the ones who can keep up with the changing nature of the buyer-seller relationship. They are always moving and staying ahead of the game. They can react and adapt quickly when they need to, and can innovate to exploit new methods, technologies and channels of communication. But even the greatest product or service needs a solid sales strategy behind it, if it’s going to be successful. So what is the secret to a winning B2B sales strategy? And what are the top teams focusing on?
We’ve trawled the web to pull together the most cutting-edge ideas and insights from some of the world’s top business analysts. From meeting customers’ growing expectations, to using technology and data to strengthen the sales process and understanding the buyer journey, they reveal the latest trends causing waves among B2Bs.
Customers want to speak to specialists
Teams are now faced with more sophisticated buyers, who expect sales reps to have high levels of specialist knowledge on every product they are pushing. This is changing the sales room dynamic and leading to decisions over whether to add a layer of specialists to support them and the process.
Customers are open to receiving information and support in different ways
Companies are now exploring lower-cost ways to make clients happy, as customers become more open to technology in the place of face-to-face. This includes things like virtual and interactive support, and video conferencing. Reduced travel time allowing for an increase in actual support time, when done remotely.
Companies are using data to strengthen the sales process
The value of data for helping to streamline the sales process is being fully recognised. B2B sales teams are taking the lead from retailers like Amazon and using customer data and analytics to predict behaviour, drive sales and deepen relationships. Sales models are being shaped around insights and learnings.
Success is about more than just hiring star sales people. According to the Harvard Business Review it’s no surprise that companies who want to grow tend to focus on hiring more sales people. But actually, if companies want to scale up improving their sales processes will make the greatest impact.
Companies need to understand sales tasks
To be successful a company needs to understand every sales task and tailor a sales approach for each different one. It’s not enough to just know the personalities and generic selling skills of reps, different tasks will need a very different approach. The sales process also needs to be constantly updated to keep up with industry changes and developments.
Understanding a buyer’s journey is critical
Companies need to understand the stage that each customer is at on their buyer journey and to interact with them appropriately depending on that stage. This is about knowing when is the right time for different reps to get involved in the process.
Companies are using tools to turn information into actionable data
A CRM can be a goldmine of untapped information. Companies are starting to use this data to help them make better strategic decisions. That calls for teams to decide what they need to know and what they want to measure, and to ensure they have the right tools in place to do so.
Understanding the sales journey is vital to success followed closely by understanding how your products and services are marketed. Your marketing strategy must support and dovetail your sales plan to maximise the results.
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