Digital transformation has moved 83% of the buying journey out of the hands of sales reps and into the “internet of things”. The way businesses buy products and services is no longer controlled by sales teams. Selling B2B products within the ever-changing buying environment is often a complex undertaking, meaning smaller deals, bigger discounts and slower growth.
Buyers are more educated than ever when approaching sales, and reps often feel the pressure to have more information about prospects, so their pitch can be customized and relevant. Sales leaders have tried to give them what they want – providing their teams with industry experts, sales enablement professionals, training and marketing collateral. Yet, according to CEB, 87% of sales leaders still say that complexity in the sales process is lowering seller productivity and conversion rates.
The biggest hassles for sales teams stem from 3 major complexities:
- Internal Complexity: Due to the changing buying environment, sellers must be more knowledgeable than ever before. Selling features and benefits in an introductory PowerPoint presentation will no longer do the trick for your educated buyer. They’ve already seen it on your website and in the collateral they’ve downloaded, and don’t need it reiterated. Call prep has gone far beyond looking at the prospect’s LinkedIn profile. The best sellers now spend most of their time searching for relevant content, understanding a prospect’s business drivers, and working to communicate with the rest of their ever-growing team.
- TACKLE IT! Put everything in one place. Create a cloud-based library of interactive sales presentations that sellers can pull from. They can filter through the entire library by industry, product, location, etc. to find the right presentation for their conversation. Relevant marketing collateral and business drivers for a similar company are already embedded, so reps can cut down on search time and spend more time in productive customer conversations.
- External Complexity: Diverse buying groups are making it more difficult for buyers to reach a consensus. CEB states that on average, a complex purchase includes 6.8 customer stakeholders across 3.7 different functions, which leads to longer sales cycle times.
- TACKLE IT! Communicate your value in the first sales meeting. Answer the question, “what do you do for your customer?”, not only qualitatively, but quantitatively and financially as well. Forrester research shows that the first vendor to communicate a vision to value wins the business 74% of the time. If you can communicate a business case to buy – typical ROI and TCO results – buyers can use that to move the sale forward internally, powering through the 6.8 stakeholders and getting senior leadership buy-in fast.
- Customization Complexity: Expanding product offerings and rising customer demands mean sellers struggle to customize offerings and meet company-specific requirements. CEB found, 72% of reps see the range of solutions they have to offer to customers constantly growing.
- TACKLE IT! Capture company-specific needs in an interactive presentation. Tailor your presentation to your prospect’s needs by embedding the right questions into the presentation itself. Adapt your solution to your customer’s requirements by embedding a simple selection of alternatives into your interactive presentation. Because the presentation is dynamic, specific answers yield specific results, creating a presentation and offering that is unique to that prospect. Yes/No answers can make relevant slides appear and disappear accordingly. Selections among objectives can refine the structure of the right offering. Changes in business assumptions can recalculate ROI and value results.