It’s no secret:
Selling towards B2B customers is hard.
At times, it can feel almost impossible.
Of course, selling was never easy.
But, the days at the time a salesperson was inside charge associated with the buying process are long gone.
Today’s buyers prefer for conduct research plus select the thing that for buy atop their own, lacking any influence stemming from a vendor :
- Only 29% associated with buyers want towards talk for a salesperson for learn more regarding a product,
- 57% associated with buyer decisions are made previously buyers even pick up a phone towards speak towards a supplier,
- And, 34% belonging to salespeople admit that closing deals is getting harder.
Surprisingly, only 17% belonging to the entire B2B buying process is spent meeting accompanied by potential suppliers.
But, does this mean that the days belonging to reaching your sales quotas are gone?
No, associated with course not!
However, for keep closing new deals , you first need for understand the dynamics belonging to modern B2B sales. Then, you need learn the sales strategies that will help you achieve it.
And that’s exactly which we’re going towards share together with you today.
In this article, we’ll discuss the meaning associated with B2B sales, how towards sell towards modern B2B buyers and, share practical sales strategies that you can implement for overcome modern day sales challenges.
What is B2B sales?
B2B sales, in addition known just as business for business sales, refers for companies whom primarily sell products plus services towards businesses, rather than direct towards consumers (B2C). B2B sales typically have higher order values, longer sales cycles as well as are often more complex than B2C sales.
B2B sales has changed dramatically inside recent years plus the B2B sales strategies that used for work are no longer effective.
But, why? How has B2B sales changed?
B2B sales used towards be a lot easier
If a person needed a product alternatively solution, they’d reach outwards towards a potential vendor as well as deal together with a sales person, who’d pitch them together with the best options towards choose . And in case they were happy accompanied by which they heard, they would make a purchase.
It was a relatively straight forward process, inside what marketing was responsible due to filling up the sales funnel accompanied by leads, as well as then because of sales teams, they were responsible because of getting those leads inside a sales pipeline as well as moving them down the funnel plus inside a sale.
It was predictable.
Now, compare that together with the buying process B2B buyers go by means of today:
- A person identifies a problem,
- They research it online, then,
- They in addition conduct further research towards discover all potential solutions,
- They reach outwards for friends because of recommendations, plus check the thing that others say concerning a particular solution atop social media, forums, plus other online sources,
- They Google this particular solution plus read online reviews,
- During the sales process , they might in addition click an ad offering a solution, finally,
- Based atop all information make a buying decision, as well as only then
- They might reach outside for the company for complete the sale.
That’s a big change!
So, instead associated with the predictable nature that sales used for be, it’s now more similar to this:
As Millward Brown Digital point outside within their “ Navigating the New Path towards Purchase ” report:
“The traditional purchase funnel diagram, one that any marketer could sketch originating from memory, is officially dead. The singular, orderly sequence associated with purchase stages has been scrambled, plus marketers need for conform . In today’s world, at which place consumers have access towards constant information by means of computers, smart phones plus tablets, each person’s path for purchase is complex plus unique.“
And so, businesses have changed how they purchase new products alternatively services. They now base a buying decision on top of internal research, that includes anything originating from Google search, friend recommendations, as well as scouting many other web sources.
Today, buyers can research a product digitally via websites, forums, social media, as well as free trials.
Are you a modern-day B2B buyer that wants for try BusFine CRM?
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In fact, 60% associated with prospects want for engage together with a sales rep AFTER they’ve researched their options. Moreover, following the COVID-19 pandemic, 33% associated with buyers spend even more time researching products prior to making a purchase.
As a result, the roles associated with sales as well as marketing has significantly changed, together with marketing teams taking above many aspects associated with the sales process. This means the role belonging to sales has been reduced for assisting within the final stages belonging to the process – evaluating potential alternatives, as well as making the actual purchase.
This is a big shift plus it brings a number belonging to challenges due to modern B2B sales teams for overcome.
Matt Cove , sales expert based within the UK has seen these challenges first hand.
A new B2B buyer has emerged
Let’s take a closer look on the profile associated with a modern B2B buyer.
From increased demand because of self-service options plus online interactions accompanied by sellers, towards lowering response for traditional marketing tactics as well as heightened concern regarding data privacy as well as security – the needs associated with the modern buyer have changed.
Modern B2B buyers are younger plus tech-savvy.
Research shows that 60% associated with all B2B tech buyers are millennials (age 25 – 39), followed via 32% that belong towards Gen X group (42-57).
These younger professionals are prone for using digital technologies as well as online reviews inside the buying process, within turn revolutionizing how they purchase products alternatively services.
For one, they prefer for conduct research themselves, as well as use the wealth associated with content available for help them on top of their journey. When making purchasing decisions, the new B2B buyers mostly rely atop these five resources :
- Product demos
- Vendor/product website
- User reviews
- Vendor reps
- Free trial
Modern buyers are highly skeptical regarding sales as well as marketing messages they encounter.
According towards a Forrester report , 59% belonging to buyers prefer for do research online instead belonging to interacting together with a sales rep as the rep pushes a sales agenda rather than helps solve a problem.
At the same time, salespeople continue towards focus on top of selling, rather than helping prospects together with their path towards purchase .
It’s no wonder that 68% belonging to buyers prefer towards interact accompanied by salespeople whose listen towards their needs as well as provide them accompanied by relevant information . And that 57% admitted they’d prefer for purchase originating from a salesperson whom “ doesn’t try for apply pressure alternatively hassle them at the time following up . ”
It’s in addition no surprise that sales teams whose incorporate social selling inside their strategies tend for perform better than those that don’t.
Here’s another thing that’s changed inside recent years:
Today’s buyers now take longer towards make a purchase decision.
Did you know that it takes in least 4 months due to an average B2B company towards win a new customer? And that the average SaaS B2B sales cycle length is now 83 days?
One reason because of that is more people involved within the process. According for Gartner, inside a typical firm (100-500 employees), an average associated with 7 people are involved inside most buying decisions .
Another reason is, the wealth associated with information available that buyers can use for base their decisions on.
This, combined accompanied by the shift within the selling process, forces organizations for try as well as connect together with customers plus start nurturing them just as early inside the process similarly to possible.
Modern buyers pay a lot associated with attention towards peer recommendations.
Native for the online world associated with information, modern (millennial) buyers are 2x more likely for discover products through searching the web alternatively via social media.
The overwhelming majority (9 outside belonging to 10) B2B buyers admit that online content has a moderate for major effect on top of their purchasing decisions.
Next, they don’t trust the “traditional” analytical reports alternatively rankings similarly to much just as older generations (Generation X alternatively Baby Boomers). Less than 20% associated with millennials use analyst rankings.
But the thing that makes them really tick is reviews! According for research , 8 outwards belonging to 10 millennial buyers won’t make a purchase lacking reading a review first. In other words, peer-powered content is the most trusted via modern buyers.
Finally, they are in addition aware belonging to risks associated together with purchases.
Modern buyers want for feel confident that they’ve made the right decision, as well as try towards do just as much just as possible towards mitigate post-purchase dissatisfaction throughout the sales process.
As Shelley Cernel writes :
“ Prospects often second-guess themselves beyond making the right choices alternatively are afraid towards commit plus potentially missing outside atop a better vendor. B2B buyers are in addition increasingly seeking outwards ways towards identify plus reduce risk factors, including damage towards professional credibility, reduction inside job security, inability belonging to the software towards technically perform just as promised, as well as loss belonging to monetary investments. ”
All this results inside a wide range associated with challenges because of the modern B2B sales teams for overcome:
- The increase associated with available information allows prospects for go by means of the sales process through themselves, devoid of any need due to interaction accompanied by the vendor. This resulted inside a diminished influence belonging to salespeople above the buyer’s choice.
- Sales plus marketing teams become more misaligned, often confused similarly to for their roles inside the new sales process.
- Buyers become skeptical concerning marketing as well as sales messages, as well as the trustworthiness belonging to sales inside general.
- And social media as well as peers, instead associated with salespeople, hold a strong influence beyond buying decisions.
The table underneath shows the key differences within approach among traditional B2B sales plus modern-day B2B sales:
|Traditional B2B sales
|Modern-day B2B sales
|Limited towards internal records
|Gather online intelligence
How for overcome modern sales challenges
Luckily, there are ways for overcome these sales challenges, plus here are 3 belonging to the most effective ways for help you generate better quality leads .
Embrace sales enablement for help prospects make better buying decisions
Just as today’s buyers prefer for conduct research online themselves, it doesn’t mean that they can’t interact accompanied by you throughout the process.
Quite the opposite, within fact.
You see, B2B buyers rely atop the content for guide them via the buying process, as well as gain the knowledge necessary for make an informed decision.
And although they can easily find the information, it isn’t forever the right kind associated with information.
And here lies your opportunity.
Create a content library including all your assets that answer the most common questions your target audience asks in different stages belonging to their buying journey.
Once you have created a content library, you can then ask your salespeople for proactively share them accompanied by their prospects.
But, the thing that kind belonging to content should you share?
Research originating from Live Hive found that decision makers are much more responsive towards sales reps whenever they include case studies, industry articles, sales collateral as well as white papers inside their outbound strategy .
And provided that you still doubt how effective this is, consider the following:
- 95% belonging to buyers select a vendor whose provided them accompanied by ample content towards help navigate via each stage belonging to the buying process
- 68% associated with customers feel more positive concerning a brand subsequent to consuming content originating from it
- 82% associated with buyers viewed in least 5 pieces belonging to content originating from the winning vendor
- And companies that develop sales enablement strategies typically win 13.7% higher contract value
Once our sales teams started using content originating from our library plus sharing it accompanied by their network atop LinkedIn, they saw an increase inside reach (impressions) grow originating from 1,600 views per month towards now more than 45,000 views!
Prospects are seeing more belonging to our content than ever previously plus just as we are sharing the right kind belonging to content, we are able for generate better quality leads.
Store all belonging to your sales as well as marketing collateral inside BusFine CRM. Tag content based atop segments you’ve created, therefore that sales reps can share content together with relevant buyers that match your ICP.
Get more use cases on top of how for use BusFine CRM via booking a demo .
Make salespeople the spokesmen (and women) because of your brand
Sending your prospects relevant content will help you close more deals.
But, that’s not the only way towards use content for overcome modern B2B sales challenges.
Another way is towards position your salespeople just as experts inside the field.
We know that modern B2B buyers are becoming increasingly skeptical concerning sales plus marketing messages.
And that many B2B buyers want for interact accompanied by salespeople whose listen for their needs plus provide them together with relevant information.
Now, imagine how buyers would feel regarding a sales rep (and within turn, the brand they work for) that has shared insights as well as information relevant for their pain points?
Yes, you guessed it – just as expert’s worth paying attention to!
Here’s how you can achieve this.
Have salespeople create plus share content that’s helpful, informative plus relevant towards the buyer’s pain points, as well as allow them for publish articles atop your company’s blog (and repost on top of their LinkedIn profile).
Stein Ove Sektnan, Managing Director in BusFine UAB has been sharing original content atop LinkedIn since 2014. The content he creates covers CRM , customer service , data management plus strategy – all related for his experience.
In this piece on top of customer complaints , the post received 46 likes plus 15 shares.
Based atop average number associated with LinkedIn connections (approx. 900) , this means his content was seen through 50,000 people!
When your sales team create content, make sure that the content they publish provides a unique perspective atop prospect’s challenges, plus then provide them together with actionable insights they could use towards progress by means of the customer journey .
Align sales as well as marketing teams towards work towards the same goal
According towards various studies, sales plus marketing misalignment can cost companies 10% alternatively more belonging to revenue per year.
Then again, it’s not that surprising, is it?
Think concerning the typical problems arising originating from misalignment:
- Lack associated with common definition associated with a qualified lead, resulting inside marketing delivering contacts salespeople simply can’t close.
- No unified content library, meaning that sales teams can’t find assets towards forward for prospects. And we’ve already discussed how crucial that is for the sales process.
- Irrelevant KPIs that fail towards assist inside improving each team’s performance
At the same time, 56% associated with companies accompanied by both teams aligned met their revenue goals, plus 19% exceeded them.
Other benefits belonging to aligning sales as well as marketing include increased brand awareness, an increase inside average deal size plus annual company revenue.
And do you know which the secret is for be achieving this?
Use content towards align both teams.
Research via Corporate Visions found that less than a third belonging to businesses include sales teams within messaging plus content creation.
So, here’s how you can get started:
- Create a content library, plus get marketing teams for regularly contribute assets salespeople can then use towards generate better quality leads.
- Let marketers educate sales teams on top of at the time plus how for use the content
- Allow salespeople towards guide new content development through contributing their ideas.
- Host regular meetings amidst two teams for coordinate their efforts.
We use this exact approach in BusFine at the time it comes towards using content towards align sales as well as marketing teams.
- Marketing create content surrounding a specific challenge alternatively pain-point
- Marketing share the content accompanied by our salespeople
- Marketing plus sales share the content via email as well as social media
- Salespeople take the content plus create a PowerPoint presentation towards use within a webinar
- Salespeople invite all leads that downloaded the content for a live webinar
The reason this approach works is that salespeople not only take the content that marketing have created as well as use it towards host a webinar, nevertheless they use it for move prospects further down the buyers funnel via addressing specific needs they have that our product can solve.
By now, the prospect has read the content, attended a live webinar as well as seen how our product solves their challenges – resulting inside a better quality as well as more qualified lead due to our sales team.
Wouter Schram , our resident sales as well as marketing expert inside the Netherlands, has spent the last five years aligning sales as well as marketing teams. Here’s the thing that he had for say on top of the topic.
B2B sales has changed.
It’s no longer similarly to simple just as waiting due to prospects for come for you.
Instead, you need towards be proactive as well as find the channels wherever potential customers are as well as share relevant content accompanied by them that addresses their needs. You in addition need for work closely together with your marketing department as well as use the content they create just as a sales tool towards move prospects further down the sales funnel.
By doing this, you will start building stronger business relationships together with your buyers and, more importantly, you will gain their trust – as well as that’s the the key for succeeding inside modern B2B sales.
Sales managers on companies resembling Sharp, Bridge Technologies as well as SBC use BusFine towards create a better sales experience.
Book a 30-minute meeting today accompanied by one belonging to our sales experts . We’ll discuss your sales goals as well as how we can help you reach them.
Customers in addition ask:
What are the four types belonging to B2B selling?
There are four basic categories at the time it comes for B2B selling – producers, resellers, governments as well as institutions.
What makes a good B2B salesperson?
The best salespeople have one thing within common – they are good listeners. A good listener will use the information provided stemming from a buyer towards sell more effectively.
What is the golden rule belonging to B2B sales?
The golden rule inside B2B selling is towards focus on top of the customer as well as their needs, just as opposed for focusing atop short-term sales that result inside commissions as well as bonuses.
Resources you will love:
- B2B vs B2C Sales: 10 Differences plus 9 Similarities
- Future belonging to Sales 2025: Deliver the Digital Options B2B Buyers Demand
- Sales Process: A Roadmap To Better Sales Performance
- Social Selling: A Sales Reps Guide To Social Media Success
- GDPR For Sales: How To Acquire New Customers Without Breaking The Law!