It’s no secret that organizations have changed the ways they obtain and implement software, but have you noticed that B2B buyers are changing too?
Once regarded as rational, considered and loyal, B2B buyers’ behaviors are becoming more like their fickle B2C cousins. This change has an impact on the way marketers must arm their salespeople with information to engage with prospective customers, avoiding sales and marketing disconnect.
Here are steps necessary for B2B sellers to take in order to evolve and meet demands of prospective buyers.
Increase the efficiency of your salesforce
While the primary function of a sales team is to sell, many salespeople can confirm that they also spend a good part of their time on administrative tasks – creating materials, searching for content and following up with prospects. Sellers are wasting valuable time that could be spent selling because they’re bogged down with tasks not directly tied to bringing in new business.
That said, all hope is not lost for sales teams. Teams must start by evaluating current marketing and sales tech stacks and adopt the proper digital tools to increase efficiency and productivity. A sales enablement solution or a CMS can relieve the sales force of administrative work and create new competencies, allowing them more time for sales activities that drive revenue.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to B2B buyers anymore. In today’s world, 70 percent of consumers report that technology has made it easier than ever to take their business elsewhere. Thus, sellers must be dynamic and engaging, personalizing each interaction for each buyer.
With the proper technology in place, sales reps will be armed with information about each unique buyer and each interaction they’ve had with their organization; whether they’ve downloaded whitepapers or eBooks, how many touchpoints with the marketing team they’ve had.
Instead of focusing on communicating in a way that fits buyers at any stage in the buyer journey, sellers need to understand that no two sales experiences should be the same.
While salespeople should come prepared to convey the value of their company and its solutions, they should also have the capability to pivot the discussion or presentation at any time to address what an individual buyer wants to talk about.
Create an interactive buying experience
With so many distractions between cell phones, social media, email and internal instant messaging, it’s a monumental task to fully engage a prospect in a sales conversation. But, it can be done with the right tools and attention to detail. Along with selling dynamically, an interactive buying experience will be extremely personal.
Buyers don’t want to be talked at: they want to be talked to. Moreover, they want to learn new information in an exchange with a seller.
Remember: buyers likely already know standard information about the organization from website content. They have likely already read reviews of the product on social sites. Instead of providing information they already know, set the stage to discuss how the product or service will make a positive impact on the buyers’ business performance.
Offer actionable insights
By 2020, 75 percent of business buyers expect that companies will anticipate their needs and make relevant suggestions before they initiate contact.
Gone are the days in which sellers could simply show the features and functions of their solution and make a sale. Today’s buyer demands more than that: they want to know how a solution will create more business value. This can be done in a variety of ways including using third-party data or CRM data applicable to the buyer in selling conversations.
Tailored insights provide a foundation for an interaction with a prospect: a data-driven experience that shows the buyer that a seller is an expert in their field.
B2B buyers aren’t who they once were. They have more information at their fingertips than ever before which is reflected in their attitudes as a buyer. Arming sales teams with the proper tools of engagement and execution tactics will drive more productive sales conversations and increase sales.
About the Author: Matt Suggs is the EVP at Mediafly. Since joining the company in 2010, Matt has been integral in adding and growing the company’s customers across different verticals. As a member of the executive committee, he also guides the overall strategy for Mediafly.