How sales has changed and what that means for the future.
Fifty years ago, communication with customers consisted of telephone and post, writing was done on typewriters and those who still know this device know how quickly you could start all over again. The means of communication that so naturally simplify our day were unthinkable back then. With the first smartphones in 1994, emails in the 80s and the cornerstone in 1989: the internet – the rapid change started.
The future is digital. And therefore also that of B2B sales. Of all the forecasts about how B2B sales could develop in the future, this is the one thing all experts agree on. Sales concepts like those of 50 years ago prevent entrepreneurial success and the acquisition of customers today. Digitalisation in the sales process is an indispensable step in order to be able to meet the changed requirements and expectations on the part of customers and the increasingly modernised market. Only companies that face the new challenges of B2B sales and learn to use new technical possibilities creatively and strategically are equipped for the future.
What is B2B sales?
In a general sense, the term sales describes the entire sales process of a service or product. However, sales strategies often differ significantly depending on the product, target group, business model or market positioning of the company. Consequently, a distinction is often made between B2B sales and B2C sales. Business-to-business sales (B2B sales) refers to the business processes that take place between two or more companies. In B2B sales, several participants are involved in the decision-making process for a purchase or acquisition.
“The future belongs to those who recognise opportunities before they become obvious.” Oscar Wilde.
But what does modern B2B sales look like that is equipped for the demands of a digitalised future?
Business customers are increasingly well informed. Studies show that almost 90% of B2B buyers inform themselves online and 60% even make their purchase decision digitally before they even have a face-to-face conversation. Customers who are increasingly consciously opting for digital media as a source of information and use modern technologies as a matter of course also expect to meet suppliers in purchasing who use the latest methods and technologies to make working life easier for both sides. However, this does not mean that a stand-alone digital sales channel is the solution. An optimal shopping experience offers an alternation of physical and digital touchpoints that are optimally coordinated with each other.
More demands on the customer journey
Shopping, media consumption, personal contacts – all this has changed radically for many people in the Corona situation. In the private sphere as well as in business. These changes have forced many companies to react quickly and create online experiences and offers. In fact, the greatly increased use of digital services in all areas of life is permanently changing the quality expectations of their customers’ customer journeys.
Virtual events have come to stay
Whether we like it or not: 2021 will be the year of virtual events. These will become an integral part of the communication strategy of every B2B brand. These formats provide new access to information and make the relationship between people and brands a virtual experience. Whether physical events come back and when this happens plays a subordinate role here. Virtual formats are here to stay.
The future of digital B2B sales has already begun. The focus is on seamless customer experiences across multiple channels. Technology cannot and should not replace the human factor, but companies that close their minds to the new requirements and opportunities will have a hard time holding their own in the market. What could make more sense than a future that combines all the benefits of evolution and takes sales to the next level?
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