Did you know that only 6% of sales leaders believe their reps will meet or exceed revenue targets in 2021? The post-Covid world has created a slew of issues that have made B2B sales even more complicated than they were before. This article talks about how sales tools can make your life easier.
According to our findings from the Sales-Marketing Alignment report, 2020 will be a lean year for 65 per cent of the 1200+ organisations surveyed due to Covid-19. A lot was changing for sales teams, including a sudden shift to remote work and a significant change in buyer behaviour.
According to this McKinsey report, one out of every three customers is now researching, evaluating, ordering, and even reordering through a "digital self-serve" model.
Prospects conducting their research during the research and evaluation phase is not new, but what has changed dramatically is that 32% of B2B customers now use self-service to complete the sale.
This is a 12 percentage point increase over the previous year, indicating a significant shift in how prospects buy from vendors.
Not surprisingly, in-person sales have dropped to a mere 21%, a 7 percentage point drop from pre-Covid levels.
What does this have to do with the Sales ecosystem? It denotes a shift to a "digital-first" buying environment, in which buyers increasingly prefer a digital-first buying experience, from research to evaluating, ordering, and even reordering.
And, with 83 per cent of B2B decision-makers saying the new selling models are as effective or more effective than pre-Covid models, digital is quickly becoming the preferred medium for sales.
Our research also discovered something interesting: despite the pandemic, a small percentage of business owners (about 15%) continued to grow and flourish. Yes, these are the organisations that have concentrated on digital selling models.
But what exactly is their secret sauce? What did they stock up on to ensure they stayed afloat and went well beyond?
To keep ahead of the pandemic curve, the top performers in our questionnaire used sales tools at various stages of the sales process. Here are three practical ways that sales tools can help you at different sales process stages.
Because the vast majority of decision-makers work at home, calls to them frequently go unanswered, and getting an alternate option for opportunities is often impossible unless it's your lucky day.
But don't we still have goals to achieve? We need more lead generation, and in a situation where we can't reach out to prospects via cold calls, converting leads from other sources becomes critical.
This is where selling tools like chatbots come in, as they assist you in converting as many site visitors as the potential to leads.
An interaction with a chatbot demonstrates customer intent, and a 1,000-touchpoint customer experience often begins with a single movement of interacting with a chatbot.
What makes chatbots such effective sales tools?
Because the prospects are directly providing you with their contact information and trying to demonstrate an intent to engage with your brand, you can be confident that it is not a dead end.
After you've begun generating more lead generation, sales tools such as an all-in-one CRM can assist you in resolving context and lacking information issues in the next stage of the sales journey.
When you have leads delegated to you in the CRM, the most important step is to conduct some background study before contacting them. Find out what they're interested in. As an example:
This information will provide you with more context for what your lead is looking for and the problem they're attempting to solve. You can also use the sales tool to personalise your interactions with them.
If your prospect is already familiar with your brand and offerings, starting the conversation with the ABCs of your company will not help your case.
That's why having a unified or 360 ° view of the client and purchaser journey is critical. This, however, is easier said than done. The buyer-journey data of a potential customer is frequently fragmented across various systems and can be difficult, if not impossible, to access.
It is not, by any implies, an industry- or company-specific issue. Indeed, leaders from half of the companies we surveyed (50 percent) stated that "fragmented customer data" is their number one challenge with Sales-Marketing innovation.
Utilizing sales tools like CRM guarantees you speak their own language — context - dependent engage with them on the most relevant topics, establishing yourself as someone they can rely on and ultimately booking more gatherings.
But, more than anything, roughly half of the companies in our survey that show the highest revenue and profit (of more than 20%) used a Customer Relationship Management solution.
However, any CRM will not suffice. An all-in-one CRM is what provides you with a unified and consistent view of your buyer's journey thus far, allowing you to guide them through the gates of converting heaven.
Your squad is now scheduling more meetings and has more information about the prospect and their digital footprint. But how do you know which transactions are likely to be completed? How can you tell when they'll close? Can sales tools also help in this situation?
One persistent issue since Covid-19's release is that purchasing decisions take much longer, resulting in longer sales cycles.
Putting a finger on the timelines is becoming difficult right from the discovery call stage. When you consider stages such as stakeholder buy-in, your deal may appear to be in limbo at times.
The fundamental issues in this case are twofold. First, during the pandemic, businesses should prioritise business continuity over enhancements or new features.
Second, internal organizational collaboration is becoming more difficult because people are now dispersed across geographic regions and largely limited to boxes on a Zoom screen and make high-impact choices like onboarding a new vendor.
Now, just go back and look at a couple of data points regarding our cohort of outperforming companies, those that grew by 20% or more:
Let's turn this into actionable advice: how can sales representatives put this knowledge to use?
To begin, Artificial Intelligence can assist salespeople in identifying and prioritising deals that are most likely to convert based on data such as previous deals and customer profiles.
This will direct their attention to the 'right' deals, which, provided the customer profile, have a high probability of converting.
Second, sales tools such as AI-powered sales clerks can provide insights into how the deal is progressing and the next best action on a specific deal based on historical data. Because AI learns on the fly, it takes into account business differentiators like Covid-19.
According to LinkedIn's State of Sales 2021 report, 77% of sales professionals expect their sales organisation to increase its investment in sales intelligence tools.
According to the Sales Enablement Outlook report, three out of four businesses consider buyer insights to be "extremely" or "very important." Sales tools like chatbots or an all-in-one CRM like OneHash can assist you in gathering these critical buyer insights.
- Blog written by Meghana Dalal