It’s no secret that B2B selling is tough and as B2B buyer preferences continue to change, it’s only going to get more difficult and time-consuming. Advances in technology have both created new challenges for B2B sales teams and given them tools to be more successful than ever. Plus, B2B sales teams face a complex purchase decision, a lengthy sales cycle, detailed and complicated RFP processes and many decision-makers involved.
The good news is that there has been more focus on tools and resources to help propel B2B sales forward. If you’re prepared to adapt to the changing times, you can still get ahead of the competition. As you think about how you want to finish the year, consider how modern technology and strategies can help you achieve success.
Here are 5 B2B Sales Strategies to Try This Year:
1. Sales and Marketing Working Together
Marketing and sales are both extremely important functions of the business. Without marketing, prospects wouldn’t know who you are or what you do, and without sales, there would be no revenue and growth. While each operates in very different ways, they are much more powerful, efficient and effective when they work together.
According to a recent survey, businesses that have sales and marketing teams that are aligned have 36% higher customer retention rates.
B2B buyers expect to receive the right message, at the right time, through the right channel. Marketing is able to support sales by providing marketing and sales materials catered to the target market at every stage of the purchase cycle. With B2B eCommerce, sales teams can access and customize marketing materials from an ordering portal. As an online portal for internal distribution of marketing materials, the sales reps are able to access everything they need to get out into the feild generating more sales.
2. Account Based Selling
Piggybacking off of the previous strategy, you may have already heard of account-based marketing, but account based selling can transform sales results.
Account Based Selling is a way of organizing the sales process to identify and target key high-value accounts to focus your efforts on. At its core, Account Based Selling is much more methodical than traditional selling because it’s personalized, focused and high-touch.
Account Based Selling is a smart strategy for B2B businesses because it works best with complex, long and strategic purchase decisions with multiple decision makers. Choosing an Account Based Selling strategy requires modern technology to provide data and analytics about the buyer and support from marketing by lead qualification.
Additionally, headless B2B eCommerce platforms give you the ability to quickly and easily roll out demo storefronts to use in the account-based sales process. Being able to show prospects what a storefront could look like, its capabilities and features is a powerful selling tool.
3. Real-Time Sales
By now, most B2B businesses are selling online. But could you be doing more to sell more online? The answer is yes. Modern technologies have transformed selling in many ways, and one of those ways is with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and in turn the invention of Chatbots.
There are many use cases for AI, but Chatbots can improve your sales numbers without adding any additional resources to your team. With Chatbots, your customers and prospects can “speak” to a customer service representative right on your eCommerce site. Since they are already interacting with you through a sales channel, this is a perfect opportunity for cross-selling and upselling.
You can program your chatbot to suggest complementary products and services when a customer or prospect asks a particular type of question.
4. Predictive Selling
Another way that modern technology is propelling B2B sales forward is through scientific or smart selling. Data-driven or predictive selling gives your B2B sales team the tools they need to close more deals.
Predictive selling uses the data gathered throughout the sales, marketing, and customer processes to make assumptions about future prospects. This means that technology analyzes large sets of data to identify key metrics that are common in closed deals.
This type of sales takes some of the guesswork out of selling which is extremely beneficial with today’s competitive landscape and B2B buyer purchasing habits. The most effective ways to use predictive analytics in your sales process is lead scoring, process optimization, and sales forecasting.
The B2B buyer has gone through a transformation in the past few years and now demands a purchasing process that looks similar to how they would order anything online regardless of if it’s toothpaste, business cards or machinery parts.
“Business buyers don’t go to work and forget what they do as humans. There’s a new normal that blurs the line between B2B and B2C. They just want things personalized.”
– Brian Solis, Principal Analyst at Altimeter Group
Personalization in B2B eCommerce has to do with creating unique buying experiences for each unique buyer type. So, for example, if you distribute printed marketing materials to a franchised restaurant, you may want to create a unique ordering experience for the restaurant staff that differs from the experience that a regional manager needs. Having different customer experiences gives your customers more control over the purchasing process by setting up unique views, approval rules, the ability to place orders on behalf of other users and more.
But, sales isn’t just used for prospects, it’s also used for new revenue from existing customers. You can also use B2B eCommerce to create a personalized eCommerce experience for returning customers that have features such as a branded interface, special pricing, and easy re-ordering can turn a customer into a long-term, loyal, repeat customer.
Today’s B2B sales cycle is less predictable than it has been in the past, but modern technology is allowing your sales teams to do more and sell smarter. As more companies become aware of and begin implementing some of these strategies, it will become the norm to take advantage of modern technologies in B2B sales. Early technology adopters are already seeing the benefits in their sales numbers.
If you’re interested in how Four51 can help transform your sales process with our modern technologies, contact us today.