Talking with sellers is like measuring weather patterns; you find out quickly which way the wind is blowing. And the topics Forrester clients ask about often reveal emerging trends. So what’s top of mind for B2B sales teams? I created a list of the top five topics revenue leaders asked me about in my first quarter as a principal analyst. These are the takeaways.
1. Buyers Never Wanted That, So Why Are You Still Doing It?
Buyers are in control. With better purchase processes, strong peer networks, and more product information, prospects are defining the rules of marketing and selling. They never wanted gated content, email spam, cold calls, or discovery questions. But many sellers still do them. Buyers now have higher expectations. Try these actions instead:
- Influence conversations in places where buyers learn from other buyers (peer groups, social, client-focused content).
- Offer ungated, self-service resources combined with buyer activity tracking.
- Engage buyers by leading with their priorities, not yours (interactions, agendas, purchase steps).
2. That Bright Light You See Is Technology, And It’s A Wildfire.
The current selling environment is disruptive. With AI, intelligence platforms, deal forensics, and purchase automation, technology is transforming the basic activities of selling teams. The new sales model is insights-driven and heavily influenced by technology. B2B sales technology is a wildfire spreading quickly. You may want to look at:
- Revenue intelligence and operations software to improve sales forecasting.
- Real-time sales rep coaching with automated selling prompts during client calls.
- E-commerce buying experiences (specs, demos, trials, redlines, purchases).
3. B2B Sales Leaders Are Reorganizing Teams Because They Have To.
Market dynamics are forcing B2B sales leaders to restructure their organizations. Shifts in buying behavior, new technology, and expectations of greater go-to-market efficiencies created the need for change. Add in a pandemic and historically high resignations, and reorganizing becomes a top priority. Proactive leaders are:
- Aligning and integrating cross-functional revenue practices at far faster speeds.
- Creating blended buying experiences through human and software interactions.
- Centralizing operations and enablement into shared go-to-market services.
4. What To Do With My SDRs And BDRs … HELP!
Revenue development reps (CDRs, ADRs, SDRs, BDRs, etc.) sit at a busy pipeline intersection. And the amount of revenue development data has exploded. Managing contacts, developing accounts, chasing leads, prospecting, discovering, and qualifying can be overwhelming. I am seeing sellers experiment with:
- Resourcing initiatives to perform contact and account research.
- Focusing staff on buyers who are ready while automating other development work.
- Mixing seniority and role types to improve judgment calls and effectiveness.
5. Selling To Sellers — What’s Going On Over There?
Sometimes your ideal prospect is also a seller. Because of the current sales transformation, getting the attention of B2B sales leaders who buy is hard. Sellers are adapting their approach with these prospects by:
- Reaching more decision-makers in the account (marketing, sales, operations, enablement).
- Connecting solutions to top-of-mind issues and topics known to have traction.
- Helping prospects achieve both short-term and long-term results.
These five takeaways represent some of the top priorities of B2B selling teams in 2022. I expect to cover these topics as I research: insights-driven selling; connected revenue practices; go-to-market (GTM) organizational design; CRO and CSO roles; buyer self-service, and B2B e-commerce. Stay tuned and follow my updates for more B2B selling strategies and GTM insights!