24 Feb Digitalise your B2B sales department and improve your business
Businesses aren’t immune to change. Or they shouldn’t be. That applies to B2Bs too, as the people that make them up are potential consumers themselves. They live their lives immersed in the digitalisation process, one of the pillars of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR).
With the digitalisation of products and services, consumers have many more products available to them through different channels, which in turn means that new actors come into play that generate more competition and change the rules of the relevant marketplace.
And B2B companies are no exception. B2B buyers are behaving more and more like consumers. In fact, some people are talking about the “consumerisation” of the B2B sales process. And that obliges sales departments, and therefore marketing departments, to be just as digitalised as their clients. If, until recently, digitalisation could just be looked at as a project, it has now irreversibly become part of a company’s strategy. A strategy that boosts productivity, improves client experience, attracts and retains talent and, without doubt, increases sales and volume of business.
In fact, Forrester estimates that B2B sales will hit 1.1 trillion American dollars in 2020, through so-called sales enablement. That means that the alignment of all of sales systems, in an effective, coordinated way, to increase benefits and minimise costs, becomes essential.
This new focus involves breaking with entrenched modus operandi, which dictates that marketing generates leads, passes them on to sales, and then goes back and generates more leads. In the digital world, marketing has to be present throughout.
Forrester also indicates that, in 2020, 48% of leaders in the world of B2B marketing will allow their companies to consider the Customer Journey, or the different points of contact they have with the company throughout the sales process, up from 18%. If that’s true, it’s going to be one of the most fundamental changes the B2B sector has seen in recent years.
Another study by Google and The Boston Consulting Group made it clear that the mobile phone is responsible for all of this, playing a part in 40% of B2B purchases. However it unfolds, and whatever the channels used, this process is already well underway, and is unstoppable.
Even so, there are still businesses that underestimate the strategic importance of the sales channel, or simply don’t have the right tools for the digital transformation process that their business needs to go through. That’s where Intracon can help to make the transition from one system to another as simple and transparent as possible.
Because in the face of change such as this, it’s essential to not only create explanatory content adapted both to your internal and external audience, but also understand how the sales team works in different environments and plan training sessions that help people identify with and commit to the project, as well as increasing the sales capacity. In other cases, we reinforce the specificity of the B2B sales process, which prospection, skill and preparation for the visit play a crucial role in to achieve success.
One thing that’s clear is that sales teams can’t keep applying the same old techniques but should focus on new digital channels. Learning to use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management), which is a basic tool for optimising customer management as it collects information about potential buyers and sales opportunities, is vital, but it requires training. The automisation of processes is useful too, but it too requires an adaptation process.
In the same way, we have to adapt communication and marketing plans and work on the online reputation of both the company and its employees. And, on that note, we have to establish clears rule regarding the boundaries between the professional and the personal.
Without doubt, the digital world, which all businesses are already immersed in, calls for continual training and new focuses, which Intracon offers amongst the solutions it provides. But taking the first step is down to you.