The future of B2B sales evolves with technological advancements in each organization. To be successful, they need to constantly update themselves to keep up with the changing landscape.
The Covid19 pandemic and the subsequent shift to remote and hybrid work environments have brought about a paradigm shift in the sales landscape. With 53% of professionals shifting to a remote workspace, remote selling has become the norm and face-to-face meetings a luxury. Organizations have had to adjust rapidly to this new normal and adopt suitable strategies to survive.
So what does the future of the B2B sales landscape hold? What should organizations do to thrive in this new environment?
Here are 8 biggest sales trends that will dominate the sales landscape in 2022 and beyond.
8 Biggest B2B Sales Trends that will Dominate in 2022
- AI will become the key driving force
- Account-based marketing will take the center stage
- Customer-driven sales process
- Popularity of sales-enablement
- Omnichannel sales
- Automation at its best
- Video as a touchpoint
AI will become the key driving force
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is slowly becoming the cornerstone of the B2B sales processes. McKinsey highlights that over 30% of sales tasks can be automated as of now. This percentage will only increase in the coming days. AI has a range of roles to play in B2B selling. These can include lead generation, data collection, identifying purchase patterns, and so on.
AI is critical in sales as it can predict prospects’ decisions based on their intent. A study by McKinsey shows that 71% of customers expect personalized interactions from brands. Hence, sales reps need to prepare personalized sales pitches that match prospects’ needs.
With AI-based tools like Salesken, you can make it happen. This sales tool can help B2B sales teams master remote sales by identifying the customers' needs, intent and adjust the talking points accordingly. Also, with Salesken, you can provide real-time assistance to your team to adopt winning sales behaviors.
The presence of AI in B2B sales can help improve your sales process in the following ways:
- AI can automate repetitive tasks like scheduling prospect meetings, answering FAQs, prospect research, social listening, and other manual tasks. It frees up sales reps’ time and allows them to spend more time selling.
- AI makes it easier to gauge customers’ perspectives, understand their requirements, and purchase intent, and helps sales reps provide a personalized buying experience for the prospects.
- AI can collect and analyze customer data and provide actionable insights. Sales reps can use these insights to unlock new business opportunities and accelerate the lead generation process.
Account-based marketing will take the center stage
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is a marketing tactic that focuses on a set of target accounts within a particular market. The idea behind ABM is to plan and engage different accounts with personalized campaigns and messaging. The concept of ABM is getting highly popular with each passing day and is expected to improve further in 2022.
The key to making ABM a success is through proper alignment between an organization's sales and marketing teams and ensuring that both teams are aligned to common goals. As the sales and marketing teams target the same prospects and send out the same messaging, closing deals will become much easier.
Some of the core benefits of ABM are as follows:
- With a targeted ABM strategy, sales reps primarily target the key decision-makers for each account. This can help them shorten the long B2B sales cycles and ensure that reps are nurturing relationships with the prime stakeholders for each account.
- ABM strategies focus on winning the trust of the customers with dedicated and need-focused strategies. Hence, the possibilities of winning customers’ trust become higher. As a result, customer churn declines.
- ABM is affordable as it eliminates the low intent prospects from your sales cycle and fills the sales pipeline with high intent leads.
One of the top B2B trends in 2022 is personalization. The boomers no longer define the B2B buying process. Forrester shows that 73% of millennials are actively involved in the B2B buying process. Gone are the days when buyers and sellers would be solely concerned about completing a purchase. Sales reps are now far more interested in nurturing a relationship, building trust, and adding personalization to the sales process.
Therefore, hyper-personalization is the need of the hour. Thanks to artificial intelligence, collecting and analyzing customer data can be done at scale. Therefore, one can identify the actionable insights from these datasets, decode customers’ intent and deliver hyper-personalized communication that B2B buyers cannot ignore!
To keep up with this B2B sales trend, sales teams should put their best efforts into matching prospect data with target buyer intent. As soon as there is a match, reps can start putting effort into relationship building and crafting a personalized sales pitch.
Customer-driven sales process
The customer is king - this is now truer than ever before. With customers being better informed, they have multiple options to choose from. To stand out and win the trust of the customer, sales teams need to adopt a customer-driven sales process. According to Gartner, 33% of buyers expect a seller-free sales experience. The sales reps should aid and facilitate the buying process, and act as a trusted friend and advisor to the customer. All they need to do is to remove all the hurdles so that customers can slide through the different stages of the B2B sales funnel.
Here’s how you can build a customer-driven sales process:
- Be empathetic to the customers. Customers should be the center of all your sales and marketing efforts.
- Don’t pitch your offerings directly. Instead, help the customers in overcoming a challenge to win their trust.
- Prioritize customer experience. It will help you build a loyal repeat customer base.
Popularity of sales-enablement
Sales enablement is the process of providing your sales team with all the necessary resources to convert more leads. It includes training, content management, best practices, research tools, and many other such resources that will enable the sales teams to sell more effectively.
Sales enablement can help your business to gain the trust of the customer and convert more leads. For an effective sales enablement strategy, organizations must:
- Adopt suitable tools that can align marketing and sales teams. The marketing teams should have first-hand information on what the buyer is looking for, their needs, and concerns, and how best to reach out to them. And sales teams must have the right content at their disposal at each stage of the sales funnel.
- Design sales enablement strategies specific to each market, product and sales strategy. A sales strategy that requires face-to-face meeting needs a different strategy than the one where remote selling is the primary mode of selling.
B2B decision-makers have constantly changing needs and requirements. One cannot stick to a single channel or touchpoint to reach out to all the key decision-makers. In fact, for a broad outreach, organizations have to be present across all multiple channels at the same time. The more digital touchpoints on target, the better are your chances of reaching out to the prospects.
Omnichannel sales is the best way to enhance customer experience and reach out to them over multiple channels. Omnichannel sales is about being present in multiple digital touchpoints at once and offering customers a smooth experience.
Here are a few quick tips to master omnichannel sales:
- Use every single channel where your potential customer can be present. Try it all: emails, SMS, website, social media, and virtual events.
- Integrate all your platforms. That means the website should be integrated with social media. Social media should be integrated with emails. Emails should talk about virtual events, and the list goes on.
- Communicate more. Get a 24/7 chatbot that keeps your prospects engaged round the clock and responds to the FAQs instantly.
- Omnichannel outreach can become super-powerful if blended with personalization. Research on your target audiences, find out their pain points and plan your omnichannel strategy accordingly.
Automation at its best
Salesforce reveals that it is only 34% of their working hours. For the rest, B2B sales reps are busy with other time-consuming and repetitive activities like data entry, responding to emails, and other administrative tasks.
Digital tools can easily automate these non-sales activities and ensure that the reps are concentrating entirely on sales outreach, sales calls, lead generation, and closing the sales deals.
However, remember that automation is not an alternative to personalization. Sales representatives need to strike a balance between smart automation and insightful personalization to pursue the prospects.
Video as a touchpoint
Videos have become a critical sales touchpoint, and 87% of marketers and sellers are already making the most of it. Here are a few tips to accelerate the sales process with videos:
- Identify where a prospect is in the B2B sales funnel and use the videos accordingly. For example, if a prospect is residing at the top or middle of the funnel, you can send them short videos through emails and newsletters to explain how they can benefit from your product. As they start sliding through the funnel, you can use longer and more informative videos about your solutions for faster conversion.
- Your product pages must include 3D animated videos that explain what the product is all about and how it can find a solution for the customers’ pain points.
- Share your videos on social media platforms like LinkedIn, where many B2B decision-makers are actively present. It can be a great way to increase the recognition of your brand and pursue prospects.
The above trends emphasize a single point - Personalize, Personalize and Personalize. Organizations must provide their buyers with a more personalized buying experience and the key to achieving that would be to leverage customer data. A great way to achieve that is by getting a call analytics software like Salesken. It can help you with:
- Identifying customer intent and crafting sales pitch accordingly
- Real-time sales coaching to help the reps identify their strengths and improvement areas
- In-built listen, barge, and whisper capabilities to make conference calls count
Want to explore further? Go for a free demo now!