The stage is set for an upheaval of B2B sales trends in 2020. While tech democratization has been a great benefit to salespersons in the past decade, a paradigm shift is now necessary.
Going into the new decade, there’s a high chance we’ll witness a pullback on activities now considered commonplace. With our finger on the pulse of the latest happenings in the sales world, it’s safe to say we know our stuff.
Intrigued? Well, here’s our forecast on the likely B2B sales trends for 2020:
It’s all about the customer experience
Welcome to the future!
Customers now have more power than ever before. Thanks to the efforts of salespersons like you over the past decade, they now wield the instruments of power.
Playing the subservient role, you’re now tasked with the job of keeping them happy.
It’s no mean feat either. Not only do they have a plethora of options from the competition, but they can also jump ship at their own whims.
This is clearly demonstrated by research conducted by Cisco. In their findings, they determined that most customers pay no mind to the brands they purchase from.
Given just how much harder it is to land new customers, this particular revelation is a sucker punch.
To grow, you need to put in more work in up-sales. For this to happen, you need to prioritize your customers’ needs. Essentially, this may mean enhancing the customer experience. This may include:
- Introducing enticing bonuses for loyal customers
- Being flexible when it comes to handling refunds
- Developing new programs for new customers
- Swiftly responding to customers’ complaints
Having listed these pointers, it would be remiss if we didn’t share that customer experience isn’t a new concept. While it’s been here for a good minute, we expect it to have a massive role when it comes to B2B sales trends in 2020.
Digital tools are quintessential for success in 2020
In contemporary times, there’s a host of digital solutions for both brands and individuals. As a salesperson, it’s important that you gain a good understanding of how to leverage these tools to your advantage.
Unsure on where to begin?
How about you start thinking about implementing these solutions:
An increasing number of transactions nowadays occur via mobile devices. As the statistics show, mobile currently owns 61% of social media time in the U.S. With this in mind, it goes without saying that B2B is influenced by this metric.
To meet your quota, it’s important that you structure the mobile customer journey to be smooth sailing. This is because a good number of consumers have short attention spans. With a complex system in place, there’s high chance prospects will divert their attention to other brands.
The infusion of artificial intelligence into email marketing has played a big role in boosting sales. There are now smarter methods for you to gather intelligence and keep tabs on emergent trends.
In addition to this, A.I. can enable you to review how the authority figures in your niche operate. By following their data blueprint, you can strategically position yourself for success in the future.
Having been around the block, you’ve probably heard loads about blockchain technology. While there’s still a lot of hocus pocus about the technology, blockchain now has a multitude of real-world applications.
In a world where data fidelity is a prime concern for consumers, it’s high time that you adopt blockchain. Using it, you can guarantee safe transactions and shield them from third party interruptions.
While at it, you’re certain to see the enhanced control you have over the data you handle. While the applications are sure to be a godsend in many fields, some industries are likely to be revolutionized. This is especially true if you dabble in the finance and insurance fields.
4. CRM software
Streamlining your sales pipeline is all the more important as we begin the 2020s. Using CRM software, you can do this whilst monitoring your leads and doing follow-ups.
With the utilities at hand, you can gain a better perspective of how your business runs. Using lead data, you can establish the length of the sales cycle and make necessary tweaks to improve.
It’s also highly probable that CRM software will influence staffing. While sales playbooks are still going to be in effect, it’s inevitable that a shift to CRM will be witnessed. As the sales manager, you’ll be able to onboard new employees with ease and review their progress.
5. Cloud-based platforms
Cloud-based solutions can help you declutter at the workplace. With the freedom of portability assured, you’re sure to find it easier to manage and organize work activities.
If you’re constantly on the move, then it’s high time that you make needed investments into this.
Creativity and personalization rank highly among the B2B Sales Trends for 2020
While marketing has greatly improved today, there’s still a disconnect when it comes to lead conversion.
If you’ve encountered this issue, then you need to do a little introspection. Are the marketing methods you employ effective? Do they add value to prospects?
Having touched on this, it’s necessary we divulge that this may not guarantee you success. All this would be moot if your message doesn’t fit with every single one of your visitors.
To resonate well with prospects, you need to tailor your message to suit their particular needs. Essentially, this means embracing personalization. Through this, you stand better odds of converting visitors into customers.
A good example of this would be Amazon. With about a gazillion products in their warehouses, you would expect that they have a hard time handling data. However, they are able to offer great recommendations to their clientele by studying their patterns.
Using ads, they are able to show clients what they believe they want to see. The end result? More conversions.
As a salesperson, you can implement this strategy in your business and reap the rewards.
B2B sales trends in 2020 are going social
The estimates show that about 223 million Americans are active on social media. From this statistic, it’s clear to see that B2B sales trends for 2020 are going to be influenced by social media activity.
Irrespective of your field of operation, it’s a fertile ground for finding new clients. Brands like Instagram and Facebook can help you build your brand reputation on the Interweb. All you need to succeed is to implement a strategic execution plan.
With well-defined objectives, you can establish a presence of social media platforms that work to your advantage. Ultimately, you need to decide what takes preference in your branding efforts.
Would you like to boost your customer service?
Do you want to generate better-targeted leads?
Or do you simply want to build your brand?
Importantly, you need to also select the right social media platform to connect with your target audience. Ideally, you want to choose where most, if not all, of your target audience is present. Since you’re involved in the B2B industry, this usually means establishing a presence on LinkedIn.
Branding leads the way in B2B Sales Trends for 2020
In classical antiquity, moats were quite common.
If you’ve never heard of them, just think about water surrounding a castle.
To protect themselves from invaders, many castles were surrounded by water. To get in and out, a drawbridge would have to be used.
This analogy draws parallels with the current business scene. In your area of operation, you may have a moat working to your advantage. In simple terms, this may be a particular feature, technological advantage, or marketing advantage.
Having highlighted this, it’s worth noting that moats in the online world have been vanishing. This is because it’s very easy for companies to copy strategies today.
So, what’s the best way to stand out? Branding.
Think about it, Jordan shoes fly off the shelves simply because people love Michael Jordan. It’s estimated that he’s made more money from shoe sales than he ever did during his playing career.
Other notable brands include Nike, Tesla, and Ferrari which endear themselves to clients because of what they stand for.
As a salesperson, it’s crucial to make the right moves to grow your brand. It’s the best moat for you to build in the sales world. To quickly get off the ground, it may mean tapping into influencer marketing.
Refine your content marketing strategy
Sure, blogs and articles can do the world of good for your website. While sticking to the old and tried strategies has its pros, you want to be future-centric. This means looking at providing new and exciting deliverables.
Today, video is increasingly becoming a force to reckon in social media channels. People love consuming videos that are natural and friendly. As such, when you decide to embark on this venture, you should keep that in mind.
In your production, you should also factor in the entertainment value whilst informing them of what to do.
With video, your options are not limited. There’s so much for you to do. Popular options include videos for important announcements, email campaigns, and gated master classes.
It’s worth noting that Google currently ranks video content higher than text-based content. This is because they make for a much more immersive experience thanks to the combination of different aspects. You can fuse animation, audio, live footage, text, and graphs to inspire audiences to take action.
You can also elect to invest in technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality, and interactive content. By doing so, you’ll enable leads to experience your products and services in vivid detail. The more enticing the product, the more likely it is that you’ll land new business.
From market projections, it’s expected that the AR and VR industry is likely to grow into a $160 billion industry by 2023. At present, about 93% of surveyed businesses have shared that the VR experience has positively impacted their operations.
As they say, the numbers never lie. It’s about time that you invested in the technology.
Chatbots are central to B2B sales trends for 2020
The digital age has made client interaction easier. Some platforms like Facebook Messenger are robust enough to allow client bookings and the swift resolution of issues. With this kind of service, you also stand to discover new leads.
With a wide selection of templates at your disposal, you can guide how client conversations with chatbots flow. During drafting, you need to strive to ensure that the communication structure is detailed and elaborate.
Research conducted shows that businesses are set to invest about $400 million in chatbots by 2021. This kind of investment has been necessitated by the need for enterprises to cater to their customers’ needs.
Marginal gains can make all the difference
During the internet boom of the nineties and noughties, numerous businesses came to life. The remarkable thing about it all is that a majority arose from a single marketing channel.
Companies like Dropbox were able to make a name for themselves through referral marketing. The more friends you invited to join the platform, the more free space you got.
Another tech behemoth that comes to mind is Facebook. They were able to build their brand from the ground up using users’ email address books. By inviting contacts to use Facebook on your behalf, they were able to grow their user base considerably.
Since we’re on a roll, also it’s worth sharing that both Quora and Yelp came to be as a result of SEO.
While all these are now considered name brands, it’s almost impossible to replicate their success today. At least, not without utilizing a couple of different marketing channels. Why? Because there’s simply way more completion in the market today.
To get ahead, one has to think about “marginal gains.” This means making small improvements on different fronts and then tallying up the results later on.
At present, there’s no “Holy Grail” of sales. Success is best achieved when you make a deliberate effort at improving every area of your sales campaign.
This just goes to show that B2B sales trends in 2020 are going to be about the little things that make all the difference. An action like introducing split testing to your title tags can help drive the ranking higher. In addition, you can choose to use Google Data Studio to optimize your lifetime value.