We’re willing to bet our money you’ve heard this a million times over the past three years:
More tools, more competition.
An economic downturn.
More decision-makers involved.
A new generation of B2B decision-makers with new buying processes.
The global pandemic has brought a seismic change in the B2B sales landscape, and it’s no wonder 3 out of 4 of B2B companies saw their sales cycles getting longer in recent years.
And the cost of longer B2B sales cycles — which can span 6-12 months — for your company is mind-blowing: a staggering US$500k-US$2M or more per year!
With Q4 coming soon, it’s vital that your business adapt to the shifting rules of engagement to shorten your sales cycle and stay on top of the curve. But where should your efforts and attention be focused?
In this guide, we’ll present you 4 B2B sales trends to follow along with actionable tips, backed by statistics and real-world examples, to scale up your sales game in 2023 and beyond.
Executives — especially CFOs — are becoming more involved in the buying process
Buyers are involving more high-level stakeholders into the buying decision-making process. A study by Gong revealed a 55 percent increase in the number of closed deals where executives took part in one or more sales meetings.
Result: The statistics also mean involving more decision-makers in meetings increases the chances of closing your deals. Gong also found deals with more senior decision-makers involved saw doubled win rates compared to those without any executive involvement in the buying process.
Tip: Identify a profile within the buying committee or a trusted advisor and turn them into your sales champion. Obtain more information on metrics and company initiatives that are the executives’ main focus. Then, collaborate with your sales champion and pitch three main points on how the product can meet those challenges.
The rising need for value-based selling
Meeting buyer expectations has become increasingly important in today's B2B selling environment.
According to Salesforce, almost 75 percent of B2B buyers expect sellers to understand their unique needs and expectations. With B2B buyers more knowledgeable and empowered than ever before, they want vendors to demonstrate deep insight into how their specific organizational challenges could best be addressed.
Result: According to LeveragePoint, B2B companies focusing sales methodology on value rather than features compress sales cycle times by over 20 percent.
Tip: Ditch the product-centric selling approach. Be a trusted consultant and focus on solving your prospects’ problems and meeting their needs. This can be accomplished in three simple steps:
a. Identify your prospects’ pain points.
b. Tailor your pitch to address the pain points.
c. Validate your value proposition with case studies, demos, or ROI tools. Address any skepticism with data or reference accounts.
AI-powered sales enablement
With all the fuss around AI, companies are adopting AI tools to support their sales activities, including powering value-based selling.
A recent article written by HubSpot states 73 percent of sales professionals agree can help them uncover valuable insights on their prospects, taking the guesswork out of deciphering their needs.
Result: Marketsplash states giving sales teams access to more insightful data can cut between 8-14 percent off the average length of sales cycles, up to two weeks for six-month deals.
Tip: Leverage AI-powered tools such as chatbots to collect insights for personalized follow-ups.
The rise of channel partner ecosystems
Channel partner ecosystem is now a buzzword in the B2B sales landscape.
That’s not a surprise considering 70 percent of the global IT market is driven by channel partnerships, according to market analyst firm Canalys.
These types of partnerships can be effective for introducing products to new markets to the right buyer, especially considering 84 percent of B2B buyers start their purchasing journey with referrals, according to Harvard Business Review.
Result: Companies with channel sales programs see a 33 percent reduction in sales and marketing costs.
Tip: Setting up and running a channel partnership program takes seven steps.
a. Define your channel partnership program goals.
b. Promote the program.
c. Valuate partner suitability.
d. Recruit and onboard partners.
e. Provide sales enablement tools and resources and foster collaboration
f. Monitor partners’ performance.
You may also want to read: Channel Partnership: What Is It and How It Can Supercharge Your B2B Sales
Power up your B2B sales game with Expando
With that said, we would like to give you some key considerations for following our tips:
1. Executives are busy and have dozens of people asking for a morsel of their time. Gartner reports they only spend 5 percent of their time speaking with salespeople.
2. Investment in sales enablement tools is expensive. According to Sales Enablement Pro, Every additional US$50,000 spent on sales enablement leads to a one-point higher win rate. Plus, more than 75 percent of the features are irrelevant.
3. Setting up and running channel partnership strategies is complex, involving several steps.
With Expando's channel partnership platform, you can be up to speed with current B2B sales trends and follow the tips we provided in one place.
You can get connected with high-profile industry experts who can introduce you to their wide network of decision-makers from top corporates. Then, you can also collaborate with your channel partners AI-enhanced client insights and suggestions of next steps, so you know the best course of action to take confidently. Plus, our all-in-one dashboard gives you complete visibility into your partners’ performance and manage rewards.
Interested in trying out Expando? Get in touch with our team.