The world of B2B sales is always changing. That makes it hard for your sales people to stay abreast of what’s happening in the industry.
They need to know not only what trends are occurring in the industry, but also what competitors are doing in response to these trends. It’s a very fluid situation.
But your most effective sellers find a way to keep up. In fact, they’re constantly changing the way they approach B2B sales. That way they can make sure they’re meeting the needs of their B2B buyers.
The post below helps you understand the main B2B sales industry trends in force right now, so you can adjust your approach to help your buyers.
Below are the key B2B trends that you will need to track in the future to stay abreast of what’s happening:
- Trend #1: Cold calling is dead
Did you know that 90% of decision makers don’t respond to cold calls? So if you’re cold calling in any form, you’re wasting your time.
Today’s B2B decision-makers aren’t interested in sales pitches from strangers. When they need something, they’ll find it themselves. They only want to deal with sales people that they already have a relationship with.
So if you want to boost sales, your organization has to develop customer loyalty. You can’t do that by calling someone out of nowhere and expecting them to respond in a positive fashion.
- Trend #2: There are more decision-makers than ever
B2B selling used to be simple. All you had to do to succeed was talk with one person and he or she would make a decision. That’s all changed.
Today, chances are good that when a company enters your sales funnel, the person you’re talking to isn’t the main decision-maker or is just one of many.
With so many companies having multiple decision-makers, you have to keep in mind that you’re not trying to sway one person but several people.
So make sure you ask your contact if anyone else at his or her company is interested in knowing about your product or service. You have to be prepared for a much longer selling process now than in the past.
- Trend #3: Social media has grown in importance
Do you remember that part about cold calling being dead? Another result of this trend is that most people are making decisions before they ever come into contact with B2B firms.
Savvy executives look up solutions online and then review the companies selling them. The latest studies show these executives mainly use social media to do their research.
Needless to say, your social media presence is critical when it comes to helping you to generate B2B leads. So make sure you have a strong presence on all the major social media channels. Show off what your product or service can do on social media because you never know who might be watching.
- Trends #4: Buyers often decide before they talk to you
The days where you had to convince someone to buy are long gone. The chances are the company you’re speaking to has already made a preliminary decision. So you’re mainly trying to push them over the finish line.
To boost sales given this scenario, you need to switch from trying to convince your prospects to giving them the information they need to make their decision.
This trend also means you also have to go the extra mile to do this, according to Tea Smith, who says, “We are squeezing our rates to compete with the cowboys, working on spec, and pitching for free.”
In addition, with buyers making decisions before they talk to you, your opportunities for true B2B selling are limited. So you need to make as much information public as possible.
As Jeremy Waite says, “Be clear about why you are doing this.” Let them make their decisions before you talk to them directly.
- Trends #5: Adding value is important
Adding value was always critical in B2B sales. Now it’s even more critical. Research shows that companies tend to side with firms that add value and insight to the mix. In other words, you have to pack your B2B leads with valuable information.
If you can do that, you’ve already taken the most important step in trying to convince someone to work with you. Make sure you’re always adding value to what you’re doing and focus on the customer’s needs not yours.
Do that and you’ll win a company over to your cause and your competitors won’t be able to tear them away.
Last Word – Times are Changing
What these trends should show is that your B2B prospects are more knowledgeable than ever before. B2B companies have to allow their prospects to educate themselves without being actively involved.
Free eBooks, white papers, and product demonstrations can win you a sale before you ever speak to a B2B prospect.
But while the role of the salesperson has changed, that doesn’t mean they’re no longer of value. Instead of selling customers in your product or service, they need to build relationships.
Change your perspective on this and you’ll increase your chances of landing a sale for your organization. With all this in mind, it’s time to start making changes now.
How will you adjust to the new world of B2B sales as it stands now?