What’s new in the B2B sales landscape?
- The Sales Cloud
- Understanding the Sales Process
- Focusing on Personalization
B2B sales hasn't always been easy. Even when there are countless sales enablement tools available online, it’s still difficult to truly do and master. Nowadays, however, it’s a lot more problematic than it used to.
No longer can we rely on basic B2B sales tools. At one time in the past, sales reps still had a measure of control over the whole process and the sales cycle resembled a funnel with its own stages and phases.
The Sales Cloud
Compared to the straightforwardness of sales in the past, the B2B landscape in the current era more closely resembles a cloud with opportunities appearing and disappearing with alarming frequency. This abundance of prospects may look very appealing to some, but it can be puzzling for others. Having a choice isn’t always a better thing.
Research shows that with more data, stakeholders, and options, customers end up only confusing themselves. Because there are so many options to choose from, they take longer to decide on what they should buy. Without a clear goal in mind, diving into a vast sea of information about different products and services can only drag out the sales process. The customers are forced to weigh which part of the resources available to them is truly relevant and actionable.
The number of decision makers in a typical sales cycle has increased. Additionally, products have become more and more complex with many new features and richer options becoming available. Although there are many choices for prospects to choose from, it’s ultimately harder for them to do so. This leads to customer decision fatigue where they get overwhelmed and paralyzed because of the sheer number of decisions that they must make. Because of the many choices that they can choose from, even after they decide on something, they’ll usually end up questioning themselves on whether they did the right thing.
Understanding the Sales Process
To combat the rather overwhelming amount of choices and information available to the customer, the solution is rather simple: You must explain the complex aspects of the sales process clearly. Once B2B sales reps provide information about their product, it can help the prospect decide on what really is in their best interests.
Today, the most efficient sales reps are not aggressive in hard-selling their products. Rather, they help customers determine how to decide what would benefit them the most. Afterward, they let them be with their information gathering process.
Navigating through the sales cycle is less about content and more about the process. It’s less about waiting for customers to enter the funnel and more about guiding them through their own buying journey.
Customer-centricity is the name of the game now. No longer must you unload information onto your clients because they can find it on their own already. What they do need are signs that what they’re looking for is right. It’s highly recommended that B2B sales reps focus on making personalized recommendations about what to do instead of what to buy.
Think of the sales process as the beam of a flashlight. It enables us to make sense of dark places (i.e the start of the sales process) and describe the journey that your customer should take. This includes the decisions they must make in order to fully complete the sale and the barriers that the customers will encounter along their journey.
Focusing on Personalization
Designing prescriptions is the third stage of this new sales process. Successful sales reps find and analyze problems and recommend product or service solutions — much like how physicians diagnose illnesses and prescribe cures.
The information era demands prioritization of data, so keeping track of the customer’s processes through the cloud of the sales cycle is important. This is crucial to ensure the long-term success of not only the B2B sales rep but also the organization that they represent!
There should be a certain level of customization and personalization to the information that you provide your customers. Sales reps should establish empathy and demonstrate in-depth industry knowledge.
Though sales enablement tools are great for most of the internal business processes of B2B sales companies—it’s the way sales reps make the buyer’s journey easier that truly leaves an impact. Those that can personalize the experience of customers are the sales reps that see the most success.
With all the advancements and changes that the sales cycle has experienced, one thing remains the same: customer interactions and communication is still a top priority. You don’t necessarily need to be amid many choices because, in reality, that’s not important.
Consensus allows for seamless customization. Every sales message and presentation should be tailored to every prospect. Personalized messages mean the prospects receives only the information that is relevant to them. By doing so, the prospect will then move through the sales cycle more efficiently!