To succeed in 2022 and beyond, B2B sales leaders need to transform and embrace the new digital normal. Vice Presidents Mike Pregler and Stephanie Sissler explain what that requires in this discussion of Forrester’s 2022 Planning Assumptions for sales executives.
Mike Pregler, VP, Research Director and Stephanie Sissler, VP, Principal Analyst
Many sales leaders hoped the pandemic would only temporarily disrupt familiar ways of selling. Instead, it accelerated a seismic shift that’s forcing sales leaders to rethink how their organizations operate. On this week’s podcast episode, Vice Presidents Mike Pregler and Stephanie Sissler explain what’s needed to meet this moment in B2B sales and how sales leaders will succeed in 2022 and beyond.
In the early days of the pandemic, sales leaders went into tactical mode, ensuring their teams had the technology and skills needed to sell in a virtual environment. Those who adapted their organizations most successfully, Pregler says, “also took the opportunity to strategically look at their organization and say, ‘I need to transform because things will be different when we move through this pandemic era.’”
One crucial key to transformation is the use of insights. Sales organizations have access to vast amounts of data that can be used to better understand buyers’ intentions and guide reps in their buyer interactions. As the B2B purchasing process has become more complex — involving multiple participants and many digital and human interactions — insights can also help sales leaders make decisions about how to coordinate different channels to market in a way that provides a cohesive experience for buyers.
The use of insights has great potential in other areas as well. Rather than relying on referrals to fill roles, for instance, sales leaders can use insights to recruit and select the best candidates. “Buyers are changing; they’re more diverse, and they want a more inclusive environment,” says Pregler. “[Insights] can help sales leaders look at how to build a more diverse and inclusive selling organization that’s going to match what the buyer population is becoming.”
As part of their transformation, sales leaders should also reevaluate their routes to market and their channel partners. During the pandemic, Sissler says, “There were way too many assumptions that [sales organizations] were working with the right partners, without the data they needed to make sure that the decision was true.” Rather than just evaluate past revenue performance, she adds, sales leaders should also look at growth potential and ask, “What do we need from a partner — not just today, but two or three years from now?”
Listen to the full episode to learn more about how B2B sales leaders can position themselves to succeed in 2022.