How B2B Sales Teams Will Continue to Thrive in a Digital World

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Cari Murray

Senior Manager of Content Marketing

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This year hasn’t played out the way any of us expected. We’re now juggling life’s essential tasks wondering when we’ll get back to “normal,” or what the “new normal” will look like, or when we'll stop unironically using the cliché "new normal." Zoom meetings broken up by researching which above-ground pool fits best in our yard is what a “new normal” day looks like.

The future of the global health crisis is uncertain — but we do know for certain that sales teams will have long-lasting effects from COVID-19. That can be intimidating to B2B sales reps who still need to meet ambitious quotas.

Thankfully, today’s ever-evolving buyer behaviors ultimately set them up for success in a remote environment.

Adaptability is key in navigating our new digital sales world. And new information from a recent Forrester report, The Democratization Of B2B Sales, highlights innovative ways sales teams can pivot and thrive as the selling landscape changes.

Reps are no longer working as individuals to close deals, but as one cohesive team using intelligence and information across multiple channels to meet sales targets and delight new customers.

Shifting buyer and seller dynamics of B2B

Even before COVID-19 impacted the global community, buyers indicated a shift in the way they solve problems. They want to research and gather information on their own, long before talking to a salesperson.

A 2019 Forrester report stated that 68 percent of B2B buyers prefer to research on their own before meeting with sales reps. Buyers are searching for digital content that resonates with their own needs, which amplifies the importance of aligning marketing, sales, and online content for prospective buyers to access. Only after this initial research will they ask a sales team to aid them in the buying process.

Anna Baird, our chief revenue officer here at Outreach, emphasized that human connection matters more than ever in the sales process. In an overwhelming and often over-scheduled world, an approach that focuses on listening and empathy will go far: “Now is the time to master the basics of relationship building. Make sure to review recorded sales meetings to look for the bright spots.”

Although budget for training is often one of the first items to be cut in a tough economy, it’s important to coach and retrain your B2B sales teams to meet new buyer expectations. Buyers want deeply empathetic salespeople who offer genuine and relevant solutions in every multi-channel interaction.

Sales without physical boundaries

The line between inside sales and outside sales teams evaporated when business travel screeched to a halt. Field sellers and customer success managers are operating like sales development reps with most of their daily activities now digital.

These changes have created a new selling model that positions go-to-market teams for an increase in expertise and collaboration. No longer relying on face-to-face conversations, sellers can work together to deliver personalized content throughout the entire selling lifecycle. Digital tools and streamlined processes mean they can follow up quicker than ever, which opens the door to stronger customer relationships and the potential for higher ROI.

We’re all trying to navigate shifting business strategies as we adapt to a new digital world. In her recently released report, Forrester’s Principal Analyst Mary Shea reveals more details about how sales leaders can let go of traditional seller hierarchies to succeed in this new remote environment.

To learn more about continuing to achieve revenue goals, check out The Democratization of B2B Sales: Talent Wins Games, But Teamwork and Intelligence Win Championships.