Over the past two years, we’ve heard it all—time to digitize, time to work in the remote world, time to get agile… and be prepared for more complex sales, bigger buying teams, longer sales cycles, and tougher ROI hurdles.
It feels like we’ve been floating in a tornado of ‘new normal’ buzzwords. We decided to take a second to analyze what is really happening and wrangle the message that the metrics are trying to tell us.
Think Digital for Enterprise Sales
Digital, remote, agile.
If you still have piles of notebooks and post-its, we’ve got an important message for you. Stop it. Just stop it. The cloud will not fail you. If you’re worried, you can back everything up. Wasting paper is terrible for the earth.
Aside from the array of programs that will automate everything for you, it’s also the easiest way to keep your prospects and customers in the loop. They don’t want to talk to you every day; they want you to send them the information they need. By digitizing data, reports, processes, and more, the ability for cross-functional collaboration is abundant and quantifiably proven. According to Accenture, “Collaboration champions achieve 4 times the revenue gains with digital projects, and they grow 13 times more profitably.”
Optimize for the Buyer
Complex journeys, bigger buying teams.
In some enterprise teams, just getting permission to window shop is more complicated than ever. For example, a sales leader knows they need more intelligent technology to inform revenue growth, but no one is on board with spending more money. Who really owns the budget these days anyway? Finally, after much pleading and sharing use cases, that person might get an audience to present solution options. No budget, no promises, and there might be blood.
With little to no backing, that person needs to find as much information as possible without engaging a sales team. Which means they are doing much of the research on their own.
So, buyers are overwhelmingly moving from traditional vendor relationships to online channels for their purchases. In a recent webinar, we learned from Seth Marrs, Principal Analyst at Forrester, that in just 4 years, buyers have used self-service digital commerce from 31% of the time to 52% of the time.
So, we need to shift from cold calls, emails, and empty mailers to curating and producing the content these “researchers” need to get your product front of mind. More specifically, sales leaders should find a sales technology that can help their reps align the value of their solution with the goals and objectives of the customer.
Support a Modern Sales Team
On-demand, virtual collaboration.
Buyers do not need reps to come into their office, provide lunch, and flash their pearly whites. They probably wouldn’t mind a gift card to the local coffee shop, but they don’t need your face in the room anymore. Once they actually decide to engage with a salesperson, the buyer wants to be engaged with relevance and answered with little to no lag time.
In today’s environment, having a collaborative online presence will give the buyer a feeling of endless support and a true partnership in bloom. And the faster you can answer a question, the more likely you are to get ahead of the competition. But most importantly, your reps need to be constantly in tune with the buyer’s journey. They need to be at the ready without overstepping their bounds.
Teams need to organize their communications to make sure they are staying on top of past communications (people hate repeating themselves). For example, when a prospect conveys a pain point, it should be documented and made aware to sales, customer success, and any other team member that might speak with them in the future. And, lastly, they need to know when to align the sales stage to the buyer stage. Figuratively, when walking side by side with the customer, reps will always be prepared for the next step.
On a final side note, don’t forget the video is the most engaging content to this day. According to Showpad, “85 percent of buyers will open a piece of video content but ignore any other type of content. At the same time, sellers that breakthrough email inboxes with personalized video content see 3x greater response rates.” Ensure sales and marketing work together to create as much video content as possible to engage and win prospects.