3 Critical Focus Areas for B2B Sales in 2020
Sales Teams Need to Turn To the right Data, Tech & Build Trust To Overcome Sales Challenges Due to COVID-19
The B2B sales industry has been impacted heavily by the Covid-19 pandemic. There is now a shift in standard operational procedures, a change in how sales managers and SDRs are selling in the midst of social distancing norms.
Despite the challenges that businesses and teams are facing though, there have been various reports and studies of how teams have become more productive during the pandemic, businesses too have been able to quickly adapt to the current-day digital-only environment.
LinkedIn’s State of Sales 2020 report showed that:
77% of respondents are holding video meetings to maintain operations;
57% are making more direct phone calls to buyers; and
51% are sending more emails than in previous years.
Aligning CRM, data, Sales efforts and lead-based marketing to new goals
While remote selling initiatives are rapidly accelerating across sectors during this downtime, the problem is that everyone is boosting their sales and marketing capabilities to run operations in a market that is experiencing budget freeze and changes in tech preferences and adoption trends. Top performing sales people during a downtime will be those who can align with their marketing and other teams to plan efforts based on customer intent, customer need and customer buying journey. The 360 degree omnichannel customer experience can be built better when sales and marketing plan what to say and when in an attempt to capture the need to master the right message at the right time tactic. A balanced coordination and alignment / exchange of central lead data is a first step towards meeting new goals. Most business leaders and sales or revenue heads have had to revisit core company goals during this phase to account for realistic planning based on actual challenges. When internal teams meet changing company goals and align efforts to overcome challenges in an attempt to meet those new goals, half the battle is won.
Leveraging the right data to use as both, an evaluation and prospecting tool
The need to digitize everything in business has taken center stage today. Buyers are online, sellers are online and sales technologies and data analytics allow sales and marketing teams to study their prospect’s online movements and behavior with ease. While every seasoned expert will always caution sales teams against the use of too much data, identifying the most relevant data points that can influence sales messaging and buying decisions of an ICP for instance will help optimize potential end results. In a recent LinkedIn survey, 48% of the 500 buyers and salespeople surveyed said that data has become important to inform sales intelligence and to improve overall plans and strategies.
B2B sellers now rely heavily on data to target the right prospects, to identify those with intent to buy, to shortlist an audience based on their potential interest. The parameters to choose from are limitless.
But the key now lies in using this data and insights on the behaviors of prospects and existing customers to evaluate the success of sales and marketing (how many of your target prospects interact with your campaign) while also using it to adapt prospecting plans and targeting strategies.
As data becomes more important to the overall B2B sales and marketing process and as new sales tech capabilities allow sales and marketing access to a wider range of deeper customer insights, it is also crucial for sales and marketing to optimize how they manage and handle all this data.
Sales Intelligence solutions should be a priority
Sales tech was enabling sales and marketing teams to reshape their sales policies and plans even before the pandemic. But given the current day challenges being experienced due to the Covid-19 pandemic, sales intelligence will become crucial in helping teams collaborate better when they are remote with each other and their prospects/clients, it will help in improving CRM capabilities.
The right sales intelligence platforms can help teams identify which prospects to reach out based on various factors (interest, intent, current user of competitor’s product, propensity to buy, etc) and given the intelligence gathered on prospects, it is easier to tailor an outreach to create a more effective sales dialogue. This is a fundamental during the Covid19 downtime especially since buyers are, like sales people themselves, working from home and facing challenges of their own. Buyers have a shift in priorities now and the burden therefore lies on sales and marketing to find better tools, data and plans to cut through the noise and generate interest. Going into a sales call well informed at a time when everything is based on adjusting to an unknown normal, will give sales that added push they need to develop a business relationship. Studies have shown that sales teams who use sales intelligence platforms experience a growth in sales success, in fact, adoption of sales intelligence solutions increased in 2020 by 43%.
Businesses that will thrive during this downtime and digital age are those who have leveraged the right tools and technologies and especially data to build market share.