b2b buying and selling trends

Changes in B2B buying and selling trends. How to prepare your business.

Increasingly the world is becoming a digital-first environment.  The pandemic forced many organisations that could, to adjust and transition quickly.  For businesses with lower liquidity and smaller capital reserves adjusting and transitioning through the harsh challenges may not have been possible resulting in massive revenue losses with many businesses having to close their doors. 

As we return to some form of normality, so much has changed since pre-covid-19. In this post we are addressing the B2B buying and selling trends and predictions provided by leading research organisations around the world; consider the changes to the work environments and how that is changing the landscape for business; and provide you with some ideas of how your business and brand can advance and emerge stronger.

Hybrid / Remote and in-office working environments change the way in which we connect and do business.

An article published in Forbes found that only 4% of employers are making employers return to the office on a full-time basis, whilst data from Gallup shows that hybrid-working schedules are the preferred solution for most offices; and failing to offer flexible working arrangements to their staff is a risk to any organisation.

Given these insights, what should organisations be considering to ensure their business revenue growth post-pandemic?

B2B buying and selling trends. How to prepare your business.

In our opinion there are two broad ideas that require serious consideration, namely:

  1. Digital channels that foster team collaboration and sales generation; and
  2. Become an empathetic customer-centric organisation.

Digital channels for team collaboration and sales generation

Hybrid and remote working conditions are the new norm going forward; thus necessitating the need for dependable internet services, digital platforms, tools, systems and procedures that promote collaboration and getting the job done.

Business efficiency, cost, time, and resource savings, greater productivity, and better process management amongst teams and outside partners are just a few advantages of this type of approach.

In order to generate sales, Gartner study from August 2021 reveals that organizations urgently need to strike a balance between in-person and virtual marketing because:

The number of B2B sellers operating virtually reached 90% in January 2021, up from only 24% the year before.

~ Gartner

By 2023, the number of B2B buyers that indicate rep-free engagements will rise to over 60%, up from 43% today.

~ Gartner

By 2024, 50% of top performing B2B sellers will prioritise working arrangements that offer improved flexibility with work location, length of work week and daily work hours over job opportunities offering significantly better compensation.

~ Gartner

By 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur via digital channels.

~ Gartner

2. Empathetic Customer-centric organisations for thriving business

Organizations must now set themselves apart by using an “outside-in” approach to leadership and business rather of an “inside-out” one. An inside-out approach builds and markets its business based on internal (resource, product/service) strengths, however this could be a limiting strategy as the business focus is on its own potential rather than the needs of their customers. This could lead to products and services that are no longer needed, and customers finding their needs met elsewhere.

An outside-in approach requires empathy; the need to understand the perspective of the customer, their buying journey, expectations, and experiences, and to shape your value around the needs of your customer. The outside-in strategy however enables your company to shape its offering and adapt to the needs of the market, so producing value for your customer and ensuring your company’s long-term sustainability.

B2B buying trends and the impact on your organisations future revenue generation

The COVID-19 pandemic, hybrid and/or remote working, as well as the fact that Millennials and Generation X are entering the workforce and having a greater influence on where services and/or goods are purchased, have transformed the way we have traditionally done things. We also know that these two generations anticipate a similar experience with business-to-business interactions given what they are accustomed to within the business-to-customer space.

Buyers today and of the future are leaning towards channels that place the fewest barriers and obstacles in their path to the information they require to make a decision. These are increasingly online channels.

Ideas for digital lead and sales generation

Perception in the marketplace is that talking to a sales rep could be a roadblock that leads to more frustration and a bad buying experience.  So what can your organisation do now and prepare for the future?

AI chatbot technology & live agent support

AI Chatbots on websites are increasingly common nowadays.  It offers your website visitor customer support on a 24/7 basis; increases engagement with your brand and has the ability to capture leads and build data.  AI chatbots do have their limitations which is why we recommend supporting AI chatbots with live agent support, which offers your existing sales teams to be upskilled to allow for virtual selling.

Chatbot technology also provides management data to monitor live chat agent performance and to understand your customer needs more.

Content on your website that support your buyers journey

Understanding every stage of the buyers’ journey is critical to shaping and producing content that is found on your website. 

Buyers now, simply by a click of a button, have more options to find product and service solutions to match their needs, it is becoming increasingly important for organisations to engage your prospective buyer throughout their journey to the point of purchase.  Removing frustrations and barriers that prevents your buyer from converting into a successful lead and sale.

This content may take many forms, such as a frequently asked page on your website that addresses common questions; to a content strategy that is search engine optimized to help visitors find your brand, website and content throughout their journey.

Smart digital marketing strategies

Developing content that engages your prospective buyer on the right platform and at the right time and that further draws them into your marketing and sales funnel requires a strategic and empathetic approach to your customer needs and preferences. 

Read more about how to generate quality leads using digital marketing here.

Search engine optimization (SEO) has now become an increasingly important digital marketing strategy to help your brand and website’s visibility within search engines; and email marketing, when done right, is a fantastic tool to engage warm visitors and existing customers and to nurture them with content aligned to their preferences and needs; thus providing value and in the long-term building your sustainable competitive advantage.

With a collaborative team effort across your organisation, focused on your customer needs and expectations, combined with innovative technology will lead to reap the rewards of leads and sales generation and strengthen your organisations ability to advance and succeed in our digital future.

About Ignite Media

Ignite Media is a marketing consultant agency specialising in digital, whether that’s digital marketing, digital design and communication – we help B2B achieve their ambitious marketing and sales performance targets and reach new customers with strategic and innovative services.

Please feel free to contact us for more information or explore our website to learn more.

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