Gartner predicted before the pandemic that 80% of interactions between B2B buyers and sellers will happen on digital channels by 2025. You might say the pandemic has accelerated the trend since.
While WFH offers some significant pros—for example, buyers have more calendar flexibility as they travel less—flagging sales performance signals that trust grows fastest when people can literally shake hands.
In honor of moving past a year everyone wants to forget, our next three blogs share practical tips to succeed in selling SPM digitally in 2021. This post dives into how to have value-based interactions with remote buyers. Regardless of what COVID looks like in the future, remote buying committees are here to stay.
1) Synthesize information.
Why do buying committees spend 22% of their purchase journey meeting together? On average, every committee has 11 decision makers, and each member collects four or five independent pieces of information. Reaching a purchase decision requires harmonizing 44 to 55 separate assets.
Simply by helping synthesize information, you’ll make buyers 3X more likely to buy bigger deals, more confidently. That’s especially true in SPM, which involves an increasing number of departments—Finance, Sales, Sales Ops, HR.
2) Embrace remote learning
Sales leadership likely offers sales enablement tools for you to empower remote buyers as they self-educate. Share videos, quizzes and other activities, written content, activities, webinars, and more—so prospects can learn on their own schedules, in their preferred learning style.
3) Make introductions
Introduce like-titled professionals to peers. SPM investments are often the first technology purchase that buyers make in their careers, so they value access to advisors or coaches during discrete consideration and purchasing activities.
Kudos for connecting prospects with your customers! Nine in 10 purchase decisions are made with peer recommendations, according to Harvard Business Review.
4) Co-create content for FAQs and common misconceptions
Don’t have the content you need? Outline and author topics with marketing. Usually, they can create content after interviewing you for 15-30 minutes. For example, if buyers tend to believe SPM is easy to administer, suggest a webinar about how to sidestep implementation’s complexity and pitfalls.
Other common misconceptions we see include:
- “Aren’t ICM and SPM the same?”
- “Can’t I justify a business case on commissions alone?”
- “As a client, I won’t have responsibilities during implementation, right?”
For topics related to implementation, or strategic and managed services, suggest that service partners contribute content for your blog.
5) Suggest campaigns to navigate roadblocks in your sales cycles
When you sell SPM into a revenue operations committee, you aren’t just up against spreadsheets—but also solutions for sales engagement, deal structure (aka CPQ), customer enablement, and more. You might consider a campaign about how to develop and prioritize consensus and a tech strategy across RevOps functions.
While your marketing team will likely welcome your ideas, you can also use sales engagement tools to create campaigns yourself.
6) Bring partners into sales cycles earlier
Part of effectively synthesizing information for SPM buyers is inviting experts into sales conversations, early and often. As a third-party, partners can be inherently more credible when answering common questions like:
- How complex are our current processes, really?
- When will we see SPM’s ROI?
- Who’s the decision maker for SPM implementation?
In-house professional service teams can be good thought partners, too, though they may lack the cross-platform, solution-agnostic expertise that prospects trust.
- Ventham, Beka. “Build Trust Without Face-to-face Interaction,” 2020, https://www.automationninjas.com/build-trust-without-face-to-face-interaction/
- “The New B2B Buying Journey & Its Implication For Sales,” Gartner, 2019, https://www.gartner.com/en/sales/insights/b2b-buying-journey.
- Minskey, Laurence and Quesenberry, Keith. “How B2B Sales Can Benefit From Social Selling,” 2016, https://hbr.org/2016/11/84-of-b2b-sales-start-with-a-referral-not-a-salesperson