A lot of conference rooms and meeting spaces are sitting empty as a result of the move toward remote and hybrid workplaces. Sales meetings that might have one taken place in person have shifted to Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or other virtual platforms.
Communication methods have changed, but some sales team’s tactics haven’t, and the results (or lack thereof) are showing up on many a company’s bottom line.
Watch the video to see Nicole Mertes, Weidert Group’s VP of Client Services & Business Development share practical tips and insights into how to connect with prospects and clients in a new reality.
For B2B sales teams, one of the biggest takeaways from the pandemic has been the success of remote sales.
Today, employees and decision makers might be spread out across the country or the world, making virtual sales a necessity.
Before the pandemic only 27% of salespeople said the majority of their sales activities were virtual. Now that number is 71% — and by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions will occur in digital channels.
That’s a huge shift in a relatively short period of time.
As we look to the future, businesses will need to leverage the best of what resulted from the pandemic and invest in a true hybrid sales model — a mix of both virtual and traditional face-to-face sales.
So how can marketers help sales teams navigate the virtual sales process?
First things first… revisit your buyer’s journey!
Any time there are changes in how buyers make decisions it’s a good idea to adjust your marketing and sales processes to accommodate those changes.
So how do you know what’s changed?
Talk to your customers and customer-facing teams. Ask questions to uncover if leads are coming from different sources or using different communication channels. And find out whether prospects are asking for virtual plant tours or product demos as part of the decision process.
Next… use the inbound flywheel framework of removing friction and adding force to identify improvements that align with your buyer behaviors.
For example, explore what you could do before you get on that virtual demo or sales call to make it more engaging and encourage two-way conversation.
And don’t forget about the basics like eliminating distractions in your video background and audio, which are huge friction points.
Another way to reduce friction is to ensure you are responsivein all the channels your leads may come through — and there are more than ever before.
B2B buyers report using more than 10 channels in the purchase process, which is 33% more than only two years ago.
Once you’ve identified the channels, develop solutions to ensure leads are receiving a good experience and no one is falling through the cracks.
Define protocols for the sales team to accept and manage leads from Marketing, such as:
the definition of a sales qualified lead
the number of attempts to connect with a lead, and
So we’ve talked about reducing friction, but what about more ideas for applying force in your sales processes?
Marketers, make sure you develop content for all stages of the buyer’s journey — including sales! Take a look at your content library:
Does it include sales-specific content pieces like case studies?
What about specialized sales resource pages with competitive analysis by rep territory?
If so, does your team actually use this content as part of their approach for closing more sales? Don’t assume you know the answer… Ask your sales team. You might be surprised how little they leverage your content, or even know it exists.
Another great tip?
Help Sales reps and buyers with customized proposal pages where your team can store all content related to the deal — like case studies, samples, testimonials, quotes, and more. This makes it easy for Sales reps to share the content AND for your buyer to consume and pass it along to other decision makers.
Lastly it’s essential to make all content easy for the sales team to share. Storing documents right in your CRM helps ensure that assets are current and approved for use.
Posted by Nicole Mertes As Weidert Group's lead salesperson and business development strategist, Nicole heads up the agency's new business strategy and provides sales consulting services to clients.
Prior to her role at the agency, Nicole was an advertising manager at Gannett, one of the nation's largest media companies. With 10+ years of experience in advertising sales, she understands the complex relationship between marketing and sales within organizations.