Each year, our planet has thousands of earthquakes. Most of them are small events, but a few powerful ones change the landscape. It’s hard to know if a tremor will turn into a major earthquake. B2B sales trends are like that, too. So let’s talk about two seismic shifts disrupting sales and marketing.
Shift Number One: B2B E-Commerce
B2B buyers prefer digital, self-guided experiences. According to TrustRadius, “87% of buyers want [the ability] to self-serve part or all of their buying journey.” That’s e-commerce, and buyers love it because they can explore, research, and purchase on their own terms.
A compelling B2B e-commerce experience offers information and workflow tools that allow an entire buying group to progress with its purchase. This applies to:
- Product (descriptions, specifications, demos, configuration, trials).
- Price (price points, tiers, add-ons, estimates, quotes).
- Purchase (contract, negotiation, purchase, payment, fulfillment).
E-commerce isn’t “virtual selling” or a “digital sales room.” Rather, it’s a shared way to conveniently buy and sell online. So buyers are pushing sellers to offer more of it.
What you can do:
- Create self-service purchase workflows with built-in seller touchpoints.
- Evaluate e-commerce and marketplace offerings as you build digital buying journeys.
- Revisit your routes-to-market strategy and channel partnerships.
Don’t ignore B2B e-commerce. Enable it. Then collect data points that provide your team with greater insight into a buyer’s intent, engagement, and progress. Otherwise, you may end up in a tough spot.
Shift Number Two: Systematic Selling
CEOs and boards value predictability — from a revenue engine that continuously delivers growth. That’s systematic selling. Specifically, it’s the optimization of talent, processes, infrastructure, and insights to win deals. We refer to this as an insights-driven sales system, which helps executives create:
- Accurate forecasts that CEOs can take to the board — and to the bank.
- Consistent quarter-over-quarter bookings and revenue growth.
- Practices based on buying and selling behaviors correlated with deals you have won.
Systematic selling is both customer-centric and seller-friendly. It is also integrated, not merely aligned cross-functionally. Many executives know this is a better way to sell. Therefore, they are pushing revenue teams to do so.
What you can do:
- Proactively introduce a B2B sales system based on prioritized insights.
- Close short- and long-term insight gaps so you can hit targets while transforming.
- Apply insights to activities that help you win more deals faster.
The best CROs, CSOs, and CMOs understand systematic selling. Watch closely as they usher in a new era of insights-driven leadership. They’re likely to crush it. So stay tuned.
E-commerce and systematic selling are disruptive B2B sales trends, closely related to the top five topics that revenue leaders have recently asked about. So my colleagues and I are addressing them at Forrester’s B2B Summit North America event, this May 2–4, in sessions such as “Buying Shifts And Digital Routes To Market: Navigating The New Road” and “Delivering Predictable Growth With The Insights-Driven Sales System Toolkit.”
In the meantime, we’ve made an insights-driven sales system resource available to blog readers. To learn more, you can access our most recent e-book.
Forrester sales executive clients can also access the reports, E-Commerce Or Online Marketplace: Is Your Company Prepared To Leverage New Routes To Market? and Talent Alone Is No Longer Enough: The Insights-Driven Sales System.