Only 6% of chief sales officers (CSOs) say they are extremely confident about their team’s ability to meet or exceed revenue goals. So it’s no surprise that overcoming this challenge is top of mind for all sales leaders.
In today’s volatile and digital-first environment, it’s imperative that B2B sales organizations differentiate themselves by delivering customer-centric buying experiences that reflects customers’ new expectations and buying journey.
All information and support provided to B2B buyers must be consistent, complete and connected across all digital and human channels
Gartner research shows that the key to accelerating revenue growth for B2B sales organizations is a low-effort, digital buying experience that helps customers feel more confident about their decisions.
“The B2B buying journey has fundamentally changed in the past year, with COVID-19 accelerating the shift toward digital and remote buying,” says Craig Riley, Senior Principal Analyst, Gartner. “Many organizations have failed to adapt to this change, leading to lost and stalled deals. Mapping this new customer buying journey will be essential for B2B sales organizations to unlock growth in the next three years.”
To exceed growth targets and create a buying experience aligned to what customers need, CSOs must prioritize and balance four growth areas” Their go-to-market strategy, sales force deployment, sales execution and artificial intelligence.
No. 1: Go-to-market strategy
B2B sales organizations need to shift their go-to-market strategies to continuous, parallel engagements where sales, marketing, customer service and customer success teams align to help buyers complete critical buying tasks. This could mean removing the distinctions among sales, marketing and customer service entirely and consolidating all commercial resources into a single commercial operations team.
No. 2: Sales force deployment
CSOs must implement a coordinated customer engagement designed with channel-neutral and digital buyer preferences in mind. This means that all information and support provided to B2B buyers must be consistent, complete and connected across all digital and human channels.
This approach will help to lay a strong foundation for dynamic customer engagement (DCE), which leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver customized next best actions and guide customers toward the channel most likely to have a positive commercial outcome.
No. 3: Sales execution
To overcome organizational complexity — the leading roadblock B2B buyers face in their purchase journey — sales organizations must focus on creating a low-effort buying experience to build customer decision confidence.
“Decision confidence is the customers’ belief and feeling of affirmation that they are exercising sound judgment when making a purchase,” says Robert Blaisdell, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner. “Our research shows that when B2B buyers have high levels of decision confidence, they are 3.6 times more likely to opt for a high-end or premium offering instead of settling for the less ambitious solution.”
No. 4: Analytics
As AI plays more of a central role across the organization, it will be critical for heads of sales to embed AI throughout the commercial engine to improve seller focus and decision making. This is crucial, as AI helps to deliver more precise insights, better predict customer needs and shape everything from sales execution to channel engagements.
By prioritizing these four growth areas, B2B sales leaders can better differentiate their organization from competitors by delivering a customer-centric experience that more closely aligns with buyers’ evolving preferences.