The shopping landscape has changed. Two thirds of B2B customers last year preferred remote human interactions and digital self-service over traditional customer experiences – indicating we see an end to old school sales. Customers have more power than ever before, demanding smarter, more flexible and faster shopping routes. The sales cycle has therefore become much more complex, and many sales teams are lagging behind because of it.
We are entering a new era of collaborative shopping and it is almost impossible to achieve the same results with the old tactics. Faced with information overload, customers are limited in time. They don’t have the patience for endless marketing materials or scripted sales ads, but instead need to know that retailers understand their problems and can offer products that can solve them. Marketing and sales teams need to discard nothing and focus on attracting customers, instead of chasing them endlessly.
Get an exceptional shopping experience through strong content
The goal of any good marketing strategy is to attract an audience to a company product or service and engage it through high quality messages. Marketers need to understand their audience well enough to devise value-driven content that directly responds to the unique needs of the modern customer – someone who craves human connection but doesn’t have infinite time. After all, engaged customers are doing something that others are not: buying.
It is said that they only have sales representatives about 5% of user time during today’s complex B2B shopping trip; marketing should ‘heat up’ the sales flow, ensuring that the customer is as ready as possible to get down to business before making the first interaction with the sales representative.
80% of today’s looks will open up some video content but ignore any other type of content they receive – a modern mix of content should be interactive and interesting, making customer engagement as easy as possible. Consider videos with explanations, self-assessments and ROI calculators, and other rich experiences that provide tangible value. These content offerings should also be regularly refined in line with customer engagement insights, so as not to fall into the trap of providing generic content that does not arouse customer interest. Relevant, selected content allows salespeople to focus on what is important to potential customers, which is what drives sales.
Preparing salespeople to provide focused interactions to customers
Nevertheless, silos between the sales and marketing departments continue to appear regularly in the world of modern sales, 82% of professionals in these teams stating that they have access to the necessary technology, but not the right content. Marketing professionals can produce an abundance of high-quality, interesting content, but if the structural pillars of delivery are not there to support it, the content will fail.
Training vendors to provide a customizable, educated, and focused customer experience is key to attracting potential customers. Smart B2B companies realize that their sales force is their biggest asset and therefore invest in hiring, nurturing, educating, teaching and inspiring these teams. The ideal shopping experience does not happen by mistake, it happens when experienced modern sellers hire customers by providing relevant information and valuable advice at every stage of the trip.
Leveraging digital technologies to build modern sales and marketing power
When marketing content is strong and the sales team is as prepared as possible, the third element that helps make the customer experience truly flourish is technology. Today’s advances in sales and marketing technology can help create an intuitive experience for both salespeople and customers, simplifying any interaction to be as efficient and effective as possible.
When it comes to day-to-day business, the best technology range allows easy navigation through product portfolios that allow retailers to gather product details to negotiate with customers at the touch of a button. Simplifying the interaction between seller and buyer Another step further involves the implementation of platforms based on experience that the buyer can access when it suits him. Such platforms allow customers to consume content asynchronously, responding to the needs of the modern customer with limited time. Offering this curated content sharing space also has benefits for resellers, as they can extract detailed analytics about exactly what content their potential customers are consuming. The technology should be up-to-date and user-friendly, facilitating rather than hindering the sales process.
Courts your clients, don’t chase them
In today’s environment, there are many companies trying to target customers. It is easy for sales and marketing teams to blend in with the competition, relying on age-old strategies that suit them. However, these strategies are not about the modern customer, who prefers a quick and easy process driven by interactivity. Sales and marketing teams should concentrate on customer satisfaction, working in harmony to close deals and achieve results.
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