The pace of change continues to accelerate in the B2B sales landscape. Corporate buyers have increasingly greater access to information, across multiple platforms, and in many formats, placing them in greater control of their purchasing process than ever before.
Aberdeen’s Research Report, “Better Buying Connections = Stronger Sales Enablement Results,” identifies and explains key factors that enable best-in-class organizations to thrive in the changing environment, while others continue to struggle. It comes down to an adamant focus on your customer.
Here are the top three areas of focus.
1. “It’s all customer, all the time.”
Peter Ostrow, Aberdeen Research Group Director and author of the report, says the key to sales success lies in accepting that the new environment is all about the buyer. On average, he says, only 23% of organizations pay close attention to the “voice of the customer,” but among Best-in-Class organizations, that percentage is much higher—52% higher, in fact. Ostrow recommends instituting a formal process for collecting customer feedback and using it to inform the sales process. Automatic feedback loops ensure the organization remains tuned to the customer’s value drivers and therefore better able to meet the customer’s needs.
2. Digital Leads
Best-in-Class organizations, says Ostrow, are also “more aggressive adopters of mobile, social, video, and other new modalities.” Even B2B prospects expect to access information 24-7 via their mobile devices, laptops, home computers, social media accounts, email, and web browsers. Leading sales organizations aggressively expand their presence to ensure they are there—digitally—when and where the prospect wants them.
3. Coaching is Critical
Best-in-Class organizations view customer engagement as an evolving process, rather than a traditional linear progression. To ensure field reps and channel partners remain audible-ready, it’s critical that sales and marketing leaders provide real-time deal coaching. “Refining and adjusting the content being presented to specific buyers currently engaged in conversations,” says Ostrow, “can make or break a deal.”
Best-in-Class companies arm their marketing and sales personnel to empower B2B prospects with the right content at the right times, with all the personalization consumers expect.