In the face of rapid and dramatic changes in B2B buying behavior, organizations must reinvent how they sell to restore and reinforce their value to buyers.
Today, it’s much more difficult for the B2B sector to get the attention of their target audience, which translates into weaker revenue streams and a higher cost of sales and customer acquisition.
Gone are the days of the traditional ways of developing face-to-face relationships, to be replaced by the “new normal” a wholly new way of showing the value along the B2B sales journey.
The shift in the buyer-seller relationship.
Customers today have far more access via the internet to relevant information; they are more resourceful and more in control of their buying journey than ever before.
What became clear in 2020 was that many industries, particularly those with long and complex sales cycles are not equipped to respond to these new digital trends.
A lack of digital awareness has meant companies are now losing potential customers and failing to retain existing ones as they fall behind more digitally savvy competitors.
For a company to put the customer back at the center of the sales conversation, they need to look at the entire customer lifecycle. To work on how to ensure a sales prospect will decide to trust you and your solution.
From that initial interaction, where first impressions count, ensuring they have an approach that keeps buyers interested by being able to show a products true customer value.
With the Covid-19 pandemic ensuring that sales meetings continue to be remote, unfortunately many companies remain still in a static selling mode.
To them, a remote sales meeting is the perfect opportunity to dispatch a collection of Powerpoint slides and steer a prospect through the tried and tested “sales presentation”. With slide after slide of generic content that does not respond to the needs of today’s more demanding customer.
To be able to assess your product’s values and contribution, rather than sales spend time on spreadsheets and complex calculations, organizations must shift to digital commerce.
Changes in the buying Journey.
By the time a buyer engages with a B2B vendor, they would have already completed 70% of the buying journey. This means that by the time they contact you, the customer has a good idea of what they want and that you have it, leaving you to help the buyer with final part of the journey.
Businesses today need to look at the entire buying journey and ensure they are supporting the customer at every step. A buyer that is dissatisfied, confused, or simply does not find the information they need, will seek out a competitor’s offering.
It is for this reason that the buying journey is where B2B businesses need to start if they are to deliver transparent customer value. In doing so, the customer perceives a superior buying experience and can already see a higher return on their investment.
Closing the digital gap.
The technological barriers that prevented businesses from offering a superior buying journey, no longer exist. The challenge today is more about helping customers make sense of the information they encounter on their sales journey.
A Gartner survey of more than 1,000 B2B customers showed 89% of respondents found the information they encountered during their purchase process to be of high quality. However, this abundance of information was overwhelming and often contradictory amongst other suppliers.
“In today’s world, which is overloaded with information, customers are struggling mightily to make informed decisions about who and what to believe,” said Brent Adamson, vice president in the Gartner Sales practice. “Customers are reaching an information saturation point, where each new idea reduces the value derived from information and turns sound decision making into ‘best guesses’ or ‘gut feeling’ choices.”
Gartner research found two customer sentiments that positively influenced the likelihood of closing a B2B sale:
- High confidence in the information they encountered.
- Low scepticism of the seller.
In order to secure customer confidence in the information supplied, vendors need to:
- Reassure customers that they have access to all the relevant information required to make a purchase decision.
- Work with customers to diagnose their needs and provide tools to help them self-assess a particular solution.
- Reduce the complexity of the information by visualizing calculations.
- Be able to collaborate remotely to help customers evaluate and prioritize relevant information to arrive at their own understanding.
The changing B2B buying experience.
Sales teams need to work out how to communicate their product’s true customer value. To reinvent how they sell, to reinforce the value to buyers of their products and services. They need to be able to create a buying experience that focuses on the total value they bring rather than price.
Now, it’s becoming more and more important for sales teams to put the needs of their buyers foremost. The ValueVisualizer® is an interactive web-app that visualizes investment value for products and services.
Alpaxa creates customized digital solutions to visualize product values that are difficult to calculate, enabling a sales team to qualify product values more effectively.
If you want to hear more about ValueVisualizer® or to hear how we can help you re-invent how to work remotely with complex value calculations, don’t hesitate to book a Free Consultation: firstname.lastname@example.org