To say that COVID-19 affected our lives including our businesses is an understatement. When COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in 2020, everyone was forced to embrace a “new normal” with lots of travel restrictions. People stayed inside their homes, in-person meetings were not allowed to some extent, companies need to adjust, everything went digital and certainly, B2B sales were affected too. And whether we like it or not, some changes brought by the pandemic are here to stay. If you want to keep updated on how B2B sales changed due to the pandemic, read on.
The huge shift to digital is here to stay, according to a recent McKinsey study on decision makers’ behavior internationally and across industries. The preference for digital self-serve and remote human contact over face-to-face interactions has increased gradually even after lockdowns have ceased, according to more than three quarters of respondents which include buyers and sellers.
One of the primary reasons for this preference is safety. But also, customers have appreciated the speed and convenience that self-serve and remote interactions have provided for obtaining information, placing orders, and scheduling services. Even in industries where field-sales methods have historically predominated, such as pharmaceuticals and medical items, only roughly 20% of B2B customers say they aspire to return to in-person sales.
The ease B2B buyers show when placing significant new orders and reorders online is the most obvious indication that digital sales is here to stay. E-commerce was formerly thought to be mostly employed for low-ticket items and quickly moving parts. But not anymore. Notably, 70% of B2B decision-makers claim they are willing to make new, entirely remote purchases over $50,000, and 27% indicate they would spend over $500,000 online.
Video and live chat are now the dominating channels preferred for communicating and closing deals with B2B customers, while sales activities and accompanying in-person interactions have drastically decreased. In fact, according to McKinsey data, e-commerce and video conferencing account for an astounding 43% of all B2B revenue. This represents an increase in revenue from video-related engagements of 69% since April 2020.
According to nearly nine out of ten decision-makers polled globally, the new digital go-to-market sales and commerce practices created during COVID-19 will be a fixture for the years to come. A sizable portion of decision makers also continue to feel positive, with the majority of them indicating multiyear plans for increased spending or upkeep on operating expenses and capital expenditures.
Clarifying the responsibilities of decision-makers and business leaders in your target audience is necessary for a digital B2B sales strategy. Businesses frequently make important decisions when making B2B purchases and each decision-maker will offer their expertise and viewpoints. Therefore you must use the appropriate techniques for each decision-maker or audiences.
When understanding your target market, it’s a good idea to design a flowchart or diagram to comprehend the decision-making process involved in various situations and marketplaces. Make sure that everyone in sales is aware of all decision-and influence-makers, their functions, and the decision-making process.
You won’t succeed in the B2B sales industry without a high-converting corporate website. Your website is your online storefront and the most probable initial point of contact your potential clients will have with your business. It should make a good first impression as a B2B company by showcasing a customer-centric strategy that increases sales.
As a starting point, your website should be easy to navigate, appealing and provide a consistent user experience across various browsers and mobile apps. Give users all the information they require to comprehend your product. Your content should be simple but at the same time, impactful. Include details about your company, including several ways to contact you like live chat, phone, email, or office visits. You can also build your credibility by including high-quality content, particularly videos and guest posts from professionals in your industry.
To ensure that communication gaps aren’t affecting your plan, you’ll also need to make sure that your sales and marketing teams are coordinated. This entails putting in proper communication tools in place to promote collaboration as well as automate the transfer of data between departments.
A successful B2B digital sales strategy needs to be implemented in collaboration with the sales and marketing departments. The marketing team’s duties include, among other things, creating resources and gathering information to tailor the consumer experience and attract leads to your company. Sales teams may better target the ideal time to start a discussion with a lead or customer by automating the flow of data across departments.
Learn more about current affairs in the B2B space that may impact your organization
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