Keeping Pace with Shifting Customer Demand

March 03, 2021 | Blog, Resources

As published by Smart Selling Tools

In 2021 and beyond, it’s as much about recomposing the reality of target accounts as it is about the remote customer experience.

The spread of COVID-19 shook up the B2B sales economy. Enterprises have been forced to take strategic steps to combat the economic consequences of the crisis and keep pace with constantly shifting customer demand. Amidst this adversity, lessons on the future of B2B sales are emerging.

On the surface, it seems obvious: B2B sales are moving more into the digital landscape. But while the opportunity is significant in the digital realm, so is the pressure to capitalize on it. Sales teams are further dependent on marketing teams for the data on prospective customers — as they’re unable to ‘press the flesh’ in person. Those B2B leaders who commit to further digitizing their go-to-market models, must ensure they gain a competitive advantage through enterprise-class ABM strategies.

For example, research by McKinsey found more than 75% of buyers and sellers say they now prefer digital self-serve and remote human engagement over face-to-face interactions. That’s a remarkable shift, but one that makes sense in context of the global pandemic. In fact, the shift to digital and remote engagement has been embraced by sales leaders, empowered by the new dynamics virtual selling is creating in their workforces. However, to remain relevant in a rapidly shifting digital economy while maintaining critical business continuity, the sales and marketing leaders of tomorrow must realize that demand from their target accounts may shift, and to reprioritize accordingly.

Intent data can provide the insights that translate to highly personalized interactions, which is vital to sales in a digital world. Sales teams need to execute on those insights quickly and use them to create the personalized experience needed to build long lasting business relationships in today’s digital world.

To address uncertainty, remain relevant, and stabilize revenue, B2B sales and marketing leaders should reinvent their approach to sales now, focusing on three key areas. Let’s take a closer look.                  

Continuously Nurture Real-Time Customer Visibility

Enhance selling approaches with AI-powered tools that deepen sales integration to nurture opportunities at scale. The digital sales cycle has many advantages over how we’ve done business in the past. Namely, it can be always-on and can scale rapidly to meet demand. AI-powered tools can help you build a more personalized experience and reach customers with the content they need, in real-time. Ongoing interactions and intent data can further refine your AI models and ensure they are adapting to evolving trends as they happen.

Employing Integrated Data Intelligence

Putting the right data-driven tools in their hands can help them capture a single view of your customers—and act fast and effectively on crucial opportunities. At the same time, these innovations can allow sales and marketing teams to collaborate seamlessly together—and ultimately win. Just as the sales cycle has become digital, so too have sales teams. In order to provide the best engagement with prospects and customers, sales teams will rely on collaborative dashboards and integrations to ensure they have the latest information about a prospect, their engagement, and where they are in the buying process. Sales departments who may be spending less money on travel, conferences, and tradeshows, should invest in technology solutions that will help them collaborate seamlessly across time zones and around the world.

Focus sellers on the highest-value and highest-probability opportunities and activities

With an even greater deluge of data, sales teams need to focus their efforts on those which are either the most likely to buy or promise the greatest return. Sales teams need to look at not just new customers, but also existing ones to ensure they are maximizing their cross-selling, upselling and customer retention strategies. Furthermore, the most innovative sales and marketing teams are working together to focus on their top customers, understand their needs, and design new product bundles that meet their needs. Be sure to take things a step further and revisit your existing channels and understand how you can shift targeted customers to a direct model.

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