The last few years have changed the way consumers buy and how businesses are conducted. With transactions and interactions increasingly happening in a digital - or a hybrid - workplace, digital transformation shot up to the top of B2B priorities. Gartner even predicts that over 80% of B2B interactions will be digital by 2025.
Now, some years into being digital-first, the B2B economy has to contend with an impending economic slowdown. What does this mean for sales? Have priorities shifted again? How are B2B sales leaders responding in terms of long-term strategy? Let’s look at what the new age of B2B sales looks like.
The rise of account-based selling
In order to stay ahead of the curve, many B2B sales organizations have turned their focus to account-based selling (ABS). ABS is a methodology in which sales teams focus their efforts on specific accounts that are most likely to result in closed business. With the increase in competition, buying committees are getting larger and more complex. The traditional one-to-one selling model is no longer effective in these situations. ABS allows sales teams to take a more holistic approach, targeting an entire account rather than just an individual contact. It also gives them a laser-like focus on the accounts that matter most, increasing the chances of success. In today's fast-paced world, buyers expect a quick response from sellers. ABS helps sales teams move quickly and efficiently through the sales cycle, reducing the time it takes to close a deal.
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The re-emphasis on efficiency
In a year of recession, controlled spending, and layoffs, efficiency has taken centerstage. However, adding to an already high-pressure target-driven role with a mandate to get more done, isn’t going to work. While the emphasis remains, B2B sales leaders are increasingly relying on technology to build greater sales efficiency. To get more done, sales teams simply need to get more assistance. B2B leaders are quickly turning to sales tools that eliminate manual tasks like entering data in multiple places or moving contacts between sequences. Next-gen sales tech also significantly slash the onboarding and training times of new sales reps with a variety of tools and features like readily available templates or AI-powered resources.
The focus on data
Personalization used to be the prerogative of the B2C world alone. That has changed over time. But personalization in B2B sales has never been more important than it is now (and will be from here on out). B2B sales teams are now deeply aware of the fact that while they’re selling to a business, they’re interacting with a human. Personalization dominates everything from the messaging to the channel of sales, which means that having the right data to make these choices. New age sales tech can either seamlessly consolidate, or serve as a single source of all prospect information. Which means that reps have all information from deal size to best performing template..all in one place.
The dominance of artificial intelligence
AI is no stranger to the game. It was around even as far back as almost a decade ago, impacting sales efficiency and output. But it is more sophisticated now than ever. And it is transforming how B2B teams sell. AI-powered tools like email writers and virtual assistants are being used to automate repetitive tasks, freeing up sales reps to focus on higher-value activities. AI is being used significantly to mine insights in the form of conversational intelligence, helping sales teams detect emotion and intent to buy. And as machine learning gets better at understanding customer needs and preferences, it will become even more useful for identifying potential buyers and generating targeted leads.
The consolidation of sales tech
With all the talk about efficiency and data unification (and AI), next-gen sales tech has become all about consolidation. Businesses are using software marketplaces like NachoNacho to find not just the newest offerings in the market - but also the ones that do the most. B2B sales teams are moving past using (and paying for) 10 different tools. Instead, they are zeroing in on tech that offers every functionality a team could need across the sales cycle - from one platform. The ability to prospect, engage, schedule, convert inbound leads, leverage AI intelligence and ultimately close deals - that’s the present and future of B2B sales tech.