Now that pretty much everyone has access to the same information, the B2B sales process has changed for good. Sellers no longer hold all the cards. Siva Devaki, co-founder of MassMailer, summarises the change that’s at the heart of this paradigm shift:
‘Sales is not about selling anymore, it’s about building trust and educating.’
Devaki is right. There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that a buyer-centric sales process is the way forward when it comes to making the most of prospects and eliminating unnecessary – and outdated – sales processes.
69 percent of buyers say that the quickest way to their hearts is to listen to their individual needs. Here are nine statistics (with a few bonuses) about B2B sales that will inspire your sales team to innovate.
Selling on the internet
- According to Forrester Research, B2B ecommerce will drive $1.2 trillion in revenue by 2021. Digital literacy and a respected online presence are essential if your organisation is going to have a share in the astronomical projections for ecommerce.
- 71 percent of B2B businesses think that a simple-to-use website is one of their most valuable selling features. They’re optimising their online presence with the buyer in mind, and it’s paying off.
- 83 percent of B2B businesses that aren’t already selling online expect to within the next two years. Engaging the buyer online isn’t a USP anymore, it’s an essential step towards remaining competitive.
Educating the buyer
- 60 percent of B2B buyers are only ready to talk to a salesperson once they’ve done their own research and are well into their buyer’s journey. Reaching this audience earlier than competitors means becoming the thought leader they go to when conducting research.
- 95 percent of buyers go with organisations that can provide relevant, informative content at each stage of the buyer’s journey. Spread your targeted content across these stages, and you’ll be creating touchpoints from start to finish.
- 82 percent of customers engaged with at least five pieces of content from their provider before deciding to request their services. Ensure that the quality of your content reflects the quality of your product or service. You’ll capture more leads and build trust.
- 76 percent of sales emails never get opened, and the average person deletes nearly half of all new emails every day. Learn what buyers want to see in their inbox, and you won’t have to compete for your leads’ attention – they’ll give it, freely.
- Nurturing leads results in a 20 percent increase in your chances of closing a deal, but the process takes time. The tools are out there to automate and optimise nurturing busy-work like email management.
- 64 percent of salespeople that use social media reach their quotas. For those that don’t, the number drops to 49 percent. Meeting leads where they congregate means capitalising on social platforms like the professional networking site, LinkedIn.
The list goes on, but what all of these statistics point to is a world of B2B sales in which success means catering to your audience and their needs. With 50 percent of buyers perceiving salespeople as pushy – and 61 percent of them saying that pushiness hurts the chances of a successful deal – it’s become an imperative to evolve.
Build trust by engaging leads early in their buyer’s journey, automating where possible and maintaining a presence on the right platforms. Death to cold calls, long live inbound selling.
See also: sales and marketing
Related service: Sales