B2B digital interactions will significantly increase in the next five years, says Gartner.
By 2025, B2B sales interactions between buyers and suppliers will record an exponential increase and break the traditional sales model, says Gartner. It is essential for sales leaders to embrace the digital-first approach and cater to customers’ evolved buying preferences.
Nearly 80% of B2B sales interactions will occur via digital channels as one-third of all buyers desire a seller-free sales experience, according to Gartner’s Future of Sales research. In fact, the number is higher in the case of millennial buyers, as 44% of them expect the same experience.
The next five years will see a mature phase of millennials ready to take key decisions, while baby boomers will retire, resulting in a digital-first buying posture norm. Giving further insights on that, Cristina Gomez, managing vice president for the Gartner Sales Practice, said, “As customers increasingly learn and buy digitally, sales reps become just one of many possible sales channels. Because of this, sales organizations must be able to sell to customers everywhere the customer expects to engage, interact, and transact with suppliers.”
Here are the three things Gartner recommends for chief sales officers (CSOs) need to do to adopt a more digital-first approach
Adopt new digital tools and sales channels
It is essential for sellers to have the right digital tools that will help in building engagement with customers and, more importantly, their customers’ decision-makers to replicate the traditional forms of selling.
In order to overcome the challenges of aligning larger groups of internal stakeholders virtually and asynchronously, it is important to have these digital engagement tools. B2B sellers need to ensure that they are able to use multiple and simultaneous digital sales channels.
Re-evaluate sales enablement
B2B sellers will have to learn aligning selling activity to customers’ preferred engagement channels and buyer journey. They might even need to prepare entirely new methods of sales enablement. A 2019 Gartner survey of B2B sales organizations has revealed that sales enablement was the top-most priority last year. With the COVID-19 pandemic, this priority accelerated even further as CSOs are now looking for new techniques to reduce the risk of lost sales.
Focus on seller experience
CSOs need to find a balance between the technology deployed and the volume of content that sellers interact with in order to keep sellers engaged and execute sales. It is important for CSOs and sales enablement leaders to train sellers both synchronously and asynchronously for better optimization of virtual sales enablement practices.
B2B buyers spend only 17% of their time meeting with potential suppliers while mulling over a purchase. As a result of less customer face time, virtual selling via digital channels will be prominent in the coming years. It is essential for B2B sellers to adopt new tools and channels and new ways to engage customers. They will need to bring their sales activities and their customers’ buying practices at the same level.