Online shopping is a part of our daily lives, thanks to the advances in technology that have commanded considerable attention over the past decade. This has not only triggered consumer sales revolutions but also customer experiences. Individual buyers can now search and find anything they want, from anywhere, and at any given time, for the best possible prices and offers.
Relatively speaking, B2B sales appear to have gone through less evolution. But my learnings and analysis show a different trajectory-B2B sales was already more advanced due to the use of technologies such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) which enabled highly efficient transactions even before the Internet era. B2B sales also has a long history of cooperation, right from designing efforts to after sales support, yet there is an enormous potential for technological advancements for enhanced top-lines.
Digitization, connectivity, and virtualization have the power to revolutionize B2B sales with enticing customer journeys and experience, as well as make the sales journey smoother.
But before we discuss ways to transform the top-line using technology, it is important to highlight and understand the challenges faced by every sales professional in the VUCA world–
Based on our experience assisting several companies pull ahead of their peers in addressing these challenges, it is evident that the major driver for change is technology. This is because most of the advanced technology fuelled sales practices involve enabling the sales professionals and on-field engineers with real time data driven decision making solutions.
So, how do we overcome the stated challenges? Here’s 3 guiding principles, derived and proven based on our customers’ success:
Which means whatever type of business you serve -whether a commodity or a high value specific product, value added services is vital in making interactions, processes, and offerings simple from the customer’s buying decision perspective. It also means that the sales experience needs to be seamless, cost-effective, omni-channelled, and effortless.
Making use of the right technology helps provide customers with the required control, along with the necessary support in assisting them to match their requirements with the appropriate offering.
As more and more information becomes available in digitized and connected form, the ability for a sales professional to anticipate and adapt to the rapidly changing customer needs is also rising. This means that now the customers get the benefit from personalized interactions customised to their needs, where they are presented with preconfigured value propositions to help them gear towards their business objectives and specific goals.
Many companies have boosted their sales performance by using various tools and technology solutions that guide/assist the sales teams with real time insights to make data driven decisions by putting together a customized product solution and generating a quotation based on the customer purchase history and market share.
I am sure this reads interesting but believe me the opportunity this provides to any organization can do wonders.
So, what does “Sales beyond selling” really mean? Today with advancements in technology and the data economy we all live in, B2B sales organizations are gaining the abilities to point out the needs their customers did not even know they had. Often this would mean that it is not just about educating the customer, but also assisting them in steering their value chains, capacities, and resources (available within the ecosystem – inside and outside their companies) to discover and recognize the needs.
None of the above-mentioned steps are easy, but yet are all imperative, with these foundations in place we can assure companies will lay the foundation for reinventing B2B sales.
After making significant progress in addressing these basics, you should now think about the next moves such as:
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