Making a B2B sale is never easy. But these days it's harder than ever. Individual and corporate buyers are more educated and more informed than ever before, which means your salespeople have to work that much harder to generate sales.
But you can beat this challenge by taking advantage of some of the current sales trends in the B2B marketplace. Doing so can help you dramatically boost your end-of-the-year sales numbers before 2016 ends. Leveraging these sales trends can also help you prepare for the expected changes in B2B lead generation and sales that will occur in 2017.
Below are six B2B trends that you can use to boost sales the year and help you prepare for making sales in the coming year.
- Create epic customer experiences
Great content helps make a customer experience epic. Here are three things you can do to help make sure your customer experiences are epic: (1) Make sure they can view your content from any device and can navigate through it easily; (2) Make sure your customer’s time with your company is consistent and cohesive, which contributes to positive user experiences and positive brand reputation; and (3) Use algorithms and big data to customize user experiences, which improves impressions of your company, product, or service.
It takes a dozen positive experiences to undo the damage of a single negative experience that's made public, whether though a negative review or a negative social media mention. Customers expect to be treated as individuals, not numbers on a list. Treat them as such and they'll walk away feeling positive about your company, its products, and/or its services.
- Make sure your content is integrated seamlessly
Digital marketing is nothing new these days—which means customers expect your content to be seamlessly integrated throughout the digital marketing process. Make sure your content is available from computers and mobile devices with no difference in display, regardless of access point. Also, focus on creating content that displays well on any digital platform from a single file rather than creating multiple pieces of content for each platform it will be published on.
- Make use of advanced marketing technology
Is your B2B sales and marketing team utilizing sales enablement tools? If not, they need to come up-to-speed on these technologies and tools before 2017, when using them will become necessary. Expect this trend to increase the IT budget requested by chief marketing officers because these tools will be necessary not only for generating more leads but also becoming more present online and more interactive on social media networks.
Using sales enablement tools will also help your B2B sales team learn how to customize approaches rather than using a pre-determined script that may not suit every client equally.
- Increase the Number of Informed Buyers
Consumers and businesses are more informed about your products and services than you think. Most customers research your product or service, read reviews. and view available video content to develop a pre-disposed opinion about your offerings and your business.
To sell these people, you must develop content that points out key features or uses of your product or service that makes them pay attention to your brand. Otherwise, your B2B sales attempts will fail. So arm your salesperson with sufficient information to impress customers.
Also review their sales techniques. If they're weak, they can't counter the negatives about your product or service. So educate your B2B sales and marketing staff about every feature, use, and detail of products and services. That will help them generate more leads and close more sales.
- Emphasize Video Content
At the end of 2015, experts predicted that to achieve sales goals in 2016, B2B companies would need video content to attract and retain visitors. It's called dwelll time. Dwell time is part of a newer Google algorithm that measures the amount of time a user spends on each page. Check your video content for dwell time. If it's too short or you have too little video content on your website, users will spend less time on the site and visitors will quickly leave your site, dragging down your conversions rate.
- Embrace Big Data
Big data matters. Embrace it. It helps create a decisive competitive advantage for your company and your sales team. Analysts can customize algorithms for data collection to return specific metrics to help your team create specific content that will impact your audience. Use the information from Big Data to improve your content. Only about a quarter of all B2B markets do that.
Also pay attention to predictive data. It can help your B2B sales and marketing teams anticipate the performance of a new product or service, and scale content strategies accordingly.
And remember to cater to multiple demographic groups by providing tailored content to them that performs well. The key to doing that is developing a specific approach in pitching products/services that reaches varying demographic groups and industries.
It's not easy making B2B sales these days. But you can increase your end-of-the-year sales numbers by leveraging the current trends in the B2B marketplace. If your competitors are outperforming your sales team, it could be they're better informed about these trends and know how to use them to their advantage.That puts them miles ahead of the rest of the industry. Make sure your B2B team has at least one dedicated member that follows trends and trains staff to keep up with these trends. Playing catch up to your competition is no fun.
What sales trends are you taking advantage of in 2016?