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The evolution of b2 b sales in the digital era handout

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This is a Key Note Speech I held at the FH OÖ – University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria
School of Management, during the International Days on May 18, 2015.

Business-to-Business (B2B) sales of technology and investment goods is complex, involves many decision makers & influencers, is very solution-oriented and requires different sales strategies, techniques and skills than transactional Business-to-Consumer (B2C) sales.

On the other hand, the buyers are becoming more educated & informed than ever before and are nearly 60% through their purchase process before their first contact with a supplier, rendering the commonly used solution selling and consultative selling approaches sometimes irrelevant.

How can you adjust your sales process to the new realities and enable your sales force with new skills and tools?

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The evolution of b2 b sales in the digital era handout

  1. 1. THE EVOLUTION OF B2B SALES IN THE DIGITAL ERA And a Vision of Sales 2020 Dr. Roger Hage Regenmker® Consulting University of Applied Sciences FH Krems © 1
  2. 2. • Introduction • Challenges in B2B Sales • The Evolution of B2B Sales • Sales Innovation & Transformation © 2
  3. 3. HighTech B2B Growth Consultant & Innovation Catalyst Sales Marketing Business Development © 3
  4. 4. We help medium-sized tech companies substantially grow their B2B sales revenues by: 1) Crafting a BD strategy to accelerate growth 2) Innovating their sales processes to grow revenues 3) Training & coaching their sales people & executives to maximize productivity and process adherence 4) Building international sales channels in emerging markets of Middle East & Africa to boost their export revenues © 4
  5. 5. B2C B2B Low Investment High Simple Product Complex (Customization/Services/Ecosystem) Transactional Selling Strategic (Project/Tender) Individual Decision Making Consensus Spontaneous Purchase Planned Short Sales cycle Long Weak (short) Relationship Strong (long) Low Loyalty High Static Stakeholder(s) Dynamic © Regenmaker™ B2B vs B2C © 5
  6. 6. Opportunityisnowhere © 6
  7. 7. 7 B2B Selling Competence? Business Industry Technology Products Sales Strategy Sales Methodology Selling Techniques Treats ©
  8. 8. 8 Commoditization and Lack of differentiation • Product (Distinctive, superior, innovation, R&D, agile/flexible org > diff.) • Process (Operational Excellence, centralization, standardization > cost) • Customer (customer intimacy, CEX, service, personalization, customization, CRM, decentralization, delegation, empowerment) Challenge#1: Lack of differentiation © Michael Treacy & Fred Weirsma in the “Discipline of Market Leaders” 1995
  9. 9. 9 B2B Sales is getting more complex • Technology is evolving quickly & getting more complex • Solutions are becoming a mix of several products & services • Solutions are getting intangible & harder to explain & show value, ROI • Pricing schemes, licensing models are adding complexity in SW sales • Customer decision makers are increasing in number (consensus buying) & do not necessarily communicate with each other • Most customers prefer to do nothing or wait & see (how others are adopting the new technology) Challenge #2: Complexity ©
  10. 10. • E-commerce • On-line, anytime 24x7, anywhere (mobile) and in real-time, Self service • E-junk • Overloaded with information • Averse against unsolicited pushy mass marketing emails and cold calls • E-customers: Smarter & more powerful customers • Always connected (mobile) • Gather information about solutions to problems, available products (yours and all those of the competition), prices, customer feedback • Voice their opinions about companies & products using social media (free PR) • Generation Y (millennials) slowly moving into the decision making positions Challenge# 3: Powerful customers © 10
  11. 11. Challenge# 3: Powerful customers • Customers are better informed than ever before • Nearly 60% of a typical purchasing decision—researching solutions, ranking options, setting requirements, benchmarking prices, and so on—reached before even having a conversation with a supplier! • By the time they approach suppliers, they generally have a clear idea of the problem they need to solve, the solutions that are available, and the price they’re willing to pay © 11
  12. 12. “90% of B2B buyers say that when they are ready to buy, they will find you & contact you.” Earnest © 12
  13. 13. 13 • Spray & pray • Cold Calling • Talking brochure • Show-up & throw-up • Bells & whistles • Feature dumping • Rapid fire ppt • Hit & run • Manipulate & Screw (bully to take action) • ABC – Always Be Closing! Selling techniques, that don’t work in B2B ©
  14. 14. 14©
  15. 15. The biggest competitor in B2B/Tech Sales is Your CUSTOMER! Status Quo or DIY
  16. 16. A 360° / 12h holistic view of the customer‘s journey ZMOT © 16 1.MOT
  17. 17. 17 B2B Selling Evolution Influencing (Dale Carnegie) SPIN Selling (Neil Rackham) Strategic Selling (Miller Heimann) Target Account Selling (TAS) Challenger Sales (CEB) Tiebreaker Selling Social Selling Selling on Price > Feature Selling > Consultative Selling > Insight Selling ©
  18. 18. Source: CEB, The Challenger Sales 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% TOP Performer Core Performer Constituents of Sales Reps Relationship Builder Problem Solver Hard Worker Lone Wolf Challenger © 18
  19. 19. 19 What is an insight? Data > information > insight • Organized • Structured • Meaning • Context • Relevance • Analysis (draw conclusions) • Novelty • Usefulness • Impact • Hypothesis testing • A/B testing • Surveys • Observation • Data analysis (correlation/forecast) • Root cause analysis • Benchmarking • Best practices ©
  20. 20. 20©
  21. 21. Shift happens! SALES MARKETING Brick-and-mortar Digital (Cloud, Mobile, Social, BIG Data) F2F Virtual 1:1 1:many Local Global Push Pull, Self Service Manual (human) Automated (machine) Value Experience Rational Emotional Masculine Feminine B2B B2C © 21
  22. 22. 2 cents/cup 20 cents/cup 2$ /cup © 22
  23. 23. © 23
  24. 24. “We’re a lifestyle company, not a vehicle manufacturer!” What we sell is the ability for a 43-year-old accountant to dress in black leather, ride through small towns and have people be afraid of him.” Richard Teerlink, former CEO Harley Davidson © 24
  25. 25. The Q-Test © 25
  26. 26. The Survey © 26
  27. 27. Adapt or Die © 27
  28. 28. 28 The Sales Transformation Innovation Smarketing Insights Digital ©
  29. 29. 29 Innovation Smarketing Insights Digital Embrace Digital Use of digital media to interact with your target group at the different touch points along their buying journey. Sales people take advantage of social media for pre-call research, networking & information sharing (create authority, thought leadership) ©
  30. 30. 30 The Sales Transformation Innovation Smarketing Insights Digital Your new asset = Insights! Focus more on the Technology knowledge, Business knowledge and Industry knowledge from the competence pyramid to detect triggers and find insights Insights are the fuel to getting attention, appreciate the value of a conversation and for mentioning to other people ,i.e. diffusion (WoM)! ©
  31. 31. 31 The Sales Transformation Innovation Smarketing Insights Digital Smarketing = Sales + Marketing Break the silos between Sales & Marketing Align or better converge together Collaborate as a team Marketing to focus on the digitalization and supply sales with insights and assistance in social media engagement Sales to focus more on the back end of the funnel (closing & account management) ©
  32. 32. 32 The Sales Transformation Innovation Smarketing Insights Digital Innovation = Creative Collaboration > co-creating value! Smarter sales reps: Encourage sales people engagement, creativity & team work > intrinsic motivation. They need to add value (more than automation, self service, public domain information). Roles include: Educator, negotiator, consultant, solution designer, service provider, relationship manager & feedback channel to PDM/R&D. Smarter interaction: Allow value co- creation with your customers (partner in customer’s problem solving process > collaborative approach) ©
  33. 33. The new sales currencies in the digital era 33©
  34. 34. Sales 2020 and beyond (4th platform or post nexus) CEX - Digital business - Things © 34
  35. 35. Key Take-aways • Customer centricity > Q • Be ready at the customer digital touch points (MOTs) along their journey • Use the new currencies: Content, INSIGHTS, Referrals © 35
  36. 36. © 36
  37. 37. 37 Thank you @roger_hage ©