Shifting Buyer Priorities: Understanding the B2B Landscape    in 2021

2020 saw the biggest shift in B2B buying, selling, and marketing in recent history. What was originally speculated to be a temporary pivot ended up being a cataclysmic shift in how revenue is generated in B2B organizations. The trends and strategies that emerged have permanently altered the future of B2B buying.

The biggest change to the B2B landscape over the last year has been the move to digital selling strategies. Digital is now the preferred contact and buying method for B2B buyers to do research, order products, and schedule service. And like many of the changes we have seen arise in 2020, the digital trend does not appear to be going anywhere any time soon. In fact, 80% of B2B buyers want to stick with digital interactions (remote interactions and digital self-serve) in 2021 and beyond.

Topics: Revenue Growth Profit Sales B2B Sales Strategy Strategic Revenue Growth B2B Technology Customer Relationship Management Business Culture Business Development Change Management

What Kind of Content Do B2B Buyers Want?

Most sales and business development teams understand that B2B audiences are less influenced by emotion, preferring value-driven content with hard data instead. According to a recent study, 73% of B2B buyers surveyed indicate that they have less time to devote to reading and research than they used to, which makes creating compelling content even more important. However, even with less time available, 60% of B2B buyers still want access to industry insights from thought leaders, opening the door to provide access to this critical audience.

With fewer opportunities available to reach decision-makers, you must demonstrate that you can exhibit thought leadership by increasing quality, demonstrating value, using the right voice, and making content easily accessible.

Topics: B2B Sales B2B Thought Leadership Content

Business in Crisis: How to Restart and Move Forward

We are currently in a recession that is being felt across all industries. An April McKinsey & Company survey indicates, “Consumers are feeling the impact of COVID-19, with about 34 percent noting that either their income or ability to work has been negatively impacted.” Rising unemployment and consumer economic uncertainty are rippling through organizations in both B2B and B2C arenas.  

However, consumers and businesses are still spending. How and what they are consuming is changing. Those changes will likely stick around after the pandemic is over. The same survey indicates, “The next normal has started emerging, with consumers indicating that they will adopt long-term behavioral changes that will last beyond the current situation. Consumers who have switched to new brands or retailers largely intend to stick with them, with almost two-thirds of consumers indicating an intent to continue.”

Businesses are following suit – making purchasing changes based on supply chain availability and selling changes based on necessity. Additional survey data on B2B sales indicates that “Almost 90 percent of sales have moved to a video conferencing(VC)/phone/web sales model, and while some skepticism remains, more than half believe this is equally or more effective than sales models used before COVID-19.”

Do you know how to move forward in a restart? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you know how to control your spending without thwarting growth?
  • What will you do to preserve essential customer relationships?
  • Are you equipped to find revenue in new ways?
  • Do you understand where new revenue opportunities exist?
  • Can you change your way of thinking to adapt?

In a recent webinar Paul Single, Managing Director at City National Rochdale, explained the forecasted economic curve as being shaped like a Nike swish – with a sudden drop-off and a slow but continuous upward swoop. While the economic rebound will almost certainly happen slowly, your business needs to be poised for revenue growth now to capitalize on opportunities as they arise.

Topics: Profitability B2B Sales Strategic Revenue Growth Action Plan B2B SMART Revenue Revenue Generation Innovation Planning Revenue Development Action Plan Change Management

B2B Pricing for Profit. Is Low Price the Best (or Only) Answer?

 

Businesses exist to make a profit. And price is a key component in profitability. Regarding businesses in the for-profit sector, it has long been said, “If there is no margin (no profit), there is no mission.” While other goals may exist, creating and sustaining profitability is critically important.

Topics: Profitability Profit B2B Pricing

LinkedIn Groups are About to Change . . . Again

B2B revenue growth is near impossible without strong relationships. Good relationships lead to more introductions and referrals. The introduction often happens when networking at an event from which a LinkedIn invitation is made. LinkedIn provides a way to connect and communicate without a deep investment and offers professional details you would not have otherwise.

Topics: News B2B Social Media

B2B Market Segmentation: Sell More by Selling to Fewer

A targeted marketing strategy has the potential for generating far more revenue than a generalized mass marketing approach. However, proper targeting is contingent upon segmenting your audience into distinct groups that share the same needs or characteristics.

Topics: B2B Sales Strategy B2B

How to Get More Referrals

When someone gives a referral, it is an honor and a gift. Every company wants and needs more referrals to grow profitable revenue. Referrals convert better, close faster, and have a higher customer lifetime value than any other type of lead.

Referrals are preferred over salespeople.

More and more buyers are avoiding salespeople during the buying process. Sales reps, according to Forrester, tend to prioritize a sales agenda over solving a customer’s problem.

If organizations don’t change their outdated thinking and create effective sales models for today’s digital era, Forrester warns that 1 million B2B salespeople will lose their jobs to self-service e-commerce by 2020.

Salespeople Must Adapt

Salespeople must adapt to new culture and the new world of media to research, prospect, and network by sharing educational content and answering questions. As a result, they’re able to build relationships until prospects are ready to buy. "Solve the customer's problem" must become a mantra.

Adding a B2B Referral Strategy

A revenue growth plan dependent 100% on referrals will probably remain a dream, but achieving greater referral success doesn’t have to be out of the realm of possibility. If have satisfied customers who find value in your product and services and if you have a high Net Promoter Score – you may be closer to a referral engine than you think.

Topics: B2B Sales Infographic B2B Referrals Statistics

How to Get Your Sales Team to Perform Beyond Expectations

To get a sales team to perform beyond expectations, we focus on these five essentials: 

  • Characteristics of a High Performing Sales Team
  • Hiring Best Practices – building the best team
  • Data Mining – providing the right data
  • CRM – the right tool for your organization
  • Training - the ongoing need

Topics: Sales B2B Hiring CRM Sales Training