Deloitte Reveals Five Steps to Transform B2B Sales Experiences
While B2B customers, influenced by their experiences outside of work continue to demand human-centered experiences that include personalization, speed, and value-based outcomes, many large B2B organizations have been slow to evolve, continuing to rely on traditional sales strategies, Deloitte noted in a recent report
The firm found that the preferences, behaviors, and expectations of B2B customers are changing rapidly, influenced by their experiences with B2C companies that have led the way with mobile, omnichannel, data access, peer reviews, and on-demand support. This is coupled with an increasingly complex business reality that sees B2B customers shifting from buying products and solutions to buying experiences that generate value from the first interaction to long after the order is placed.
In its research, Deloitte also found that while most B2B sales organizations are not positioned today to compete on experiences, some organizations are making successful changes. They are growing faster than their peers (22 percent vs. 7 percent), but at 50 percent lower cost.
These sales organizations are transforming their approach to deliver better experiences in the following five ways:
- Reimagine the buying journey from the lens of customer experience (CX) and focus on moments that matter. The starting point is identifying the right customers to target, understanding their unique buying processes, and then designing personalized experiences that make those efforts easier to navigate.
- Orchestrate selling motions that use both digital and optimal customer-facing roles. Sales leaders are placing more emphasis on engaging customers earlier in their buying process through top-of-the-funnel digital investments, increasing investments in inside sales and partner channels, developing hybrid marketing sales roles, and giving customer service and success organizations a prominent role in sales.
- Emphasize the seller experience both internally and for channel partners to improve the experiences of customers. Winners are making it easier for sales reps to navigate complicated buying processes by reducing administrative burdens and improving speed and ease for critical points of the selling process. By creating a buyer and seller-centric view of the front-office architecture, sales will be enabled to provide more value at each stage and respond faster to customer needs.
- Double down on customer and sales analytics to deliver better insights and embed them directly within the sales process along with supporting tools. Winning organizations are integrating insights into decision-making in customer insights, partner insights, sales planning, and deal analytics. An insight-driven sales model delivers these insights and analytics to sales and partners and embeds them directly into business processes. Customer data platforms are emerging as the new standard for creating a single view of customer data and interactions that can be used to drive a variety of sales analytics and generate a single view of the customer.
- Modernize the sales operations function to be more strategic, agile, and analytical. Sales operations leaders are creating additional capability for strategic initiatives by automating operational tasks. They are also looking to own the end-to-end strategic planning processes and enabling capabilities needed to break down siloes and enable connected planning between customer segmentation, sales coverage, territory management, quota planning, incentive design, and sales forecasting. Sales operations teams are also building stronger capabilities in data management, data science, machine learning, and agile product development.
While problems persist, the outlook is positive, according to Deloitte, which pointed out that new tools, technologies, and techniques offer great possibilities for increasing sales reach, decreasing sales cost, and driving differentiated experiences. At the same time, it also noted that crafting B2B experiences that are human-centered and future-ready will transform sales organizations and better equip them to serve today's customers.