Our B2B digital sales preview for 2022

bluezone_AG_News_Weihnachten_2021
source: blue-zone AG

author: Emanuele Parlato

As a gift for the end of the year, we would like to offer you a reading on the sales perspective in 2022.

We wish you a Merry Christmas with your family and a Happy New Year 2022.

It’s no longer a secret that the ongoing pandemic has accelerated the digitization of all sales processes. According to McKinsey, B2B buyers and sellers have been forced into a massive digital transformation: “What started as a crisis response has now become the new normal, with big implications for how buyers and sellers will do business in the future.” Self-service and remote interactions have made it easier for buyers to get information, place orders and arrange services, and customers have enjoyed that speed and convenience.

Are face-to-face sales calls, then, finally a thing of the past? Not at all. A recent study by Microsoft shows that many people would like to have more personal contact in their everyday working lives. The so-called “hybrid work paradox” (Hybrid Paradox) stems from survey results from Microsoft, which are listed in the Work Trends Index reports. The first report found that 73 percent of Microsoft employees want to retain the ability to work remotely, while 2/3 of respondents want more face-to-face contact.

That includes human interactions in sales and distribution. In a freshly released study by Khoros, a full 67% of customers surveyed felt that the best shopping experiences in the future will involve human interaction or assistance, as well as digital accessibility. “As the buying process becomes more hybrid over time,” the study found, “consumers are increasingly relying on digital channels in the discovery and consideration phase and face-to-face interactions in the purchase phase.


Companies opening up new digital sales channels should therefore
consider the touchpoint between the customer and the sales
force as an important pillar of their multichannel strategy.
If face-to-face consulting is indispensable for a
company’s own business model,
companies should invest in
digital technologies
that support such
interactions in a
contemporary
manner.

These 5 aspects should be the focus:

  1. Customer Experience: Customer conversations should be interactive and emotional from the initial consultation to the order. A consistent, seamless customer experience should be ensured in both virtual and face-to-face appointments.
  2. Sales support: Intelligent features should help salespeople generate more sales. For example, AI-based cross- and upselling insertions or guided sales conversations can enable significant revenue increases.
  3. Process automation: all recurring, manual steps belong automated as much as possible. Visit reports, order entry, tour and route planning, tasks, should be done in no time. This gives the sales team more time for actual customer meetings.
  4. Data value creation: Linking and aggregating data from different applications, areas or companies should ensure a 360° view of the customer. This is the only way for sales department to make consistent and data-driven decisions.
  5. Mobility: The sales support of digital tools should not stop when a face-to-face meeting is scheduled. Sales needs location- and network-independent access to all the data and systems they need to get customers excited about their products. Since not all sales-related IT systems are designed for completely mobile, offline use, the use of specialized mobile sales apps like polumana® often makes sense.

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sources:
https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/these-eight-charts-show-how-covid-19-has-changed-b2b-sales-forever
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/worklab/beyond-the-binary-solving-the-hybrid-work-paradox
https://www.dashnetwork.com/news/khoros-paper-examines-digital-commerce-landscape-in-2022-and-notes-marketing-pitfalls/