Doc, Marty, and Jennifer preparing for a trip to 2015 in Back to the Future Part II (1989).

Doc Brown might have been five years off, but he was completely right. 2020 is here, and we don’t need roads or planes  all we need is a steady internet connection. The tale of the road warrior has a different ending now. There’s no going back to the future that once was  the future is here, and its very different from how we left it. COVID-19 has changed many aspects of our lives, and the B2B selling landscape is no exception. 

For B2B sales, change has been a long time coming, and the hardships brought forth by COVID-19 have acted as accelerants. The downward trajectory of the onsite sales meeting, the convergence of inside and outside sales, and the increased adoption of digital tools by both sellers and buyers  all of these trends, coupled with the impact of the pandemic, mean there is no going back to what once was. 

B2B selling organizations are now grappling not only with changing buyer expectations but also new pandemic-related realities. To address this new landscape, B2B sales leaders must: 

  • Create buyer-centric sales strategies. Buyers don’t care how your internal organization is structured or what type of seller is assigned to their account. They expect every interaction to bring them value, relevancy, and continuity. 
  • Embrace an “everyone’s in sales” mentality. The lone wolf seller is nearing extinction as buying committees expand, procurement organizations increase their influence, and CFOs demand justification for every spend. Selling teams must similarly expand in size and expertise. 
  • Ensure their teams deliver continuous value. As businesses of all shapes and sizes shift to subscription-based delivery models, the one-time sales motion is passé. Compound that with a challenging economic environment in which businesses are looking to consolidate licenses, and the importance of post-sale marketing and customer success managers is higher than ever. 

Business leaders who crack the code to these strategies and more will set their organizations up for long-term success.


To learn more about these changing dynamics, read my new report, “The Democratization Of B2B Sales” (for Forrester clients)You can also continue the conversation with me on my LinkedIn or Twitter.