In the past week, we’ve talked about how the B2B buyer has changed and how the ‘traditional’ B2B salesperson is dying out. If your B2B business is to benefit from this changing buying environment, then you’ll have to adopt ‘the new rules of selling’.
If you’re going to adapt for the changing world of B2B selling and attract the changing buyer, there are a few things you’ll need to be able to do:
A New Strategy
Moving away from traditional selling methods and towards the new rules of selling is a journey for your business. Rather than something you can implement overnight, it is a steady transition that requires investment, time and planning - including:
1. You Need to Use Content to Influence Your Prospects
Buyers are now conducting up to 74% of their research before they make contact with a prospective supplier. Because of this, you’ll want to ensure that your business can influence prospects during this process.
Producing content that educates and informs potential prospects will not only help you to be found when buyers are looking for answers, but it will position you as a thought leader and improve your brand image among potential prospects.
Providing the information that really matters is the key to influencing prospects, so deeper knowledge and analysis of your customer base is needed.
2. You Need to Improve Your Online User Experience
With less face-to-face interaction, improving the user experience on your website and in your marketing is essential for your business to create a good impression with potential customers.
You need to allow your prospective lead to familiarise themselves with your business, without your personal input.
You need to enable the lead to almost reach the point of purchase by themselves, as they’ll likely only be contacting you for final queries and details. A poor user experience can turn potential customers away before they reach this point. Don’t forget that leads will form an opinion of you based on any interaction they have, so user experience is key.
3. You Need to Enrich Engagement with Prospects
The modern buyer will interact with your business at multiple contact points. This means you need to be ready to engage and monitor customer interaction across many different channels.
Collecting all of this data and analysing it to improve your sales process further is also vital.
B2B buyers increasingly also expect social engagement, so you’ll need to be able to interact with prospective customers on social media. Your social interactions will help form the image that buyers have of your business, and could make the difference between them contacting you, and not.
Yorkshire Telecommunications Ltd (YTL) are one of the UK’s premier providers of business communication solutions.
They used to conduct their B2B outreach via traditional methods using a small, in-house telesales team and whilst they saw great initial results from this strategy, their management team started to see the change in the modern buyer.
They decided it was time to make a change if they were to serve the modern B2B buyer, and made the bold decision to completely stop using telesales as a strategy, and move towards the new rules of selling.
"We absolutely believe the advice from Google and Statement about the changing buyer behaviour, and on reflection we experience cold callers ringing our business all the time but ignore them - so why would other businesses treat our calls differently? It was a complete leap of faith to change how we sell our services but we wholeheartedly believe it has been the right choice!" - Rachel Rowling, Development Director at YTL
They started a journey towards a new strategy a few years ago, focusing their efforts around providing prospects with added value by producing content, guides and articles, along with information on their key services.
The blog is actually a core part of the company’s digital strategy and is updated at least twice monthly with helpful articles and free downloadable guides, covering topics such as switching telecoms providers stress-free, measuring sales team performance and improving customer service on the phone - helping their buyers feel informed.
By influencing their prospects with content, improving the user experience of their website, increasing sales efficiency and meeting prospects at multiple contact points, YTL were able to leave their old telesales strategy behind and modernise their selling process for a digital world.
By incorporating the ‘New Rules of Selling’, YTL are not just building relationships, they’re building their future sales pipeline.
In order to adapt to the changing B2B world, your business may have to rethink traditional selling methods and re-evaluate your approach. Adopting a strong content strategy, improving your user experience and engaging with customers can allow your business to move forward with the modern buyer.
Once you’ve established that your selling methods need to change, you’ll have to think about how you can incorporate the New Rules of Selling.
You’ll need a solution for identifying your customer profiles and characteristics, how to reach them, how to produce useful information and how to collect the data necessary for developing how you sell to prospects and engage potential clients.
Finding a solution that can do all of this efficiently is difficult, and you’ll need to overcome a few hurdles along the way. We will be discussing how to approach this change on our blog over the next few days so keep an eye out for updates on our Twitter and on LinkedIn.
We are also going to be releasing a comprehensive eBook over the next few weeks dedicated to the transformed B2B buyer and what both SMEs and enterprises need to do to make sure their sales team are well-equipped, well-trained and well-informed to meet the needs of this buyer.
To register your interest and to be notified when the eBook is available, let us know using the form below.