Innovation at Its finest: Technologies role in improving B2B sales
Everywhere you look, technology has been the driving force behind innovation. There are hundreds of articles related to the concept of technological innovation and its influence on business success. So, how can it influence B2B sales? It’s reshaping business models and changing the way we make sales. Although, generally, B2B sales are the same as B2C, the added pressure that comes with dealing with stakeholders, decision-makers, and procurement specialists make a sale more challenging.
Still, 67% of all buyer journeys now happen digitally, and B2B buyers are usually 57% of the way to their buying decision before they’ve even engaged with the sale. If half of all people have made their minds up before even speaking to you, how can technology influence sales? Let’s explore.
Business to business loyalty programs
Business to business loyalty programs has a powerful influence over sales. Customer loyalty programs are a marketing technique that’s proven to keep loyal customers. Currently, 75% of consumers say they prefer companies that offer rewards (who wouldn’t).
Also, research has found that loyal customers are over 50% likely to make a purchase and will spend up to 31% more. It’s a no-brainer to think about a b2b customer loyalty programme like the one offered by Incentive Smart that’s proven to increase sales by 19.5%. The idea is beneficial for supplier incentives and vendor reward programmes, not just buyers. You can dish rewards out for purchases, referrals, or communications.
The rise of big data
Big data is a term being thrown around a lot lately, and it simply means an enormous amount of data that can’t be processed using traditional methods. There has been an explosion in data thanks to a switch in the way B2B sales happen. Masses of data can be collated from CRMs, ERPs, mobile phones, and social media, all meaning that conclusions can be made which influence sales. One application of big data is lead generation.
Lead generation is notoriously difficult in B2B because there’s often an entire team involved, rather than one individual consumer. Gartner found there are 5.4 people involved in B2B buying decisions, to be precise. Big data software makes the initial gathering of information for a lead generation far easier by analysing data, social media posts, and even phone calls to determine the best buyer prospects.
Improving the B2B sales cycle
Technology has been imperative for improving the notoriously lengthy B2B sales cycle, attributed to the number of people typically involved with a sale. Cloud-based CRMs are perhaps the lead influencer in the new age of B2B sales. For one, cloud-based CRMs relinquish the need to be in one specific location to handle business and allow multiple people to access the specific content you need them to. Plus, there’s no need for on-site software that would often crash, anyway.
There’s a unique challenge posed by the B2B environment in that businesses are multifaceted and have unique and hard-to-manage complexities. A business is far more likely to have many requirements are various points in the sale cycle – which is where a CRM comes into play. A cloud-based CRM allows you to track business needs and understand how you can interpret and influence them towards the next step in the sales funnel.
Technology will continue to be the driving force behind B2B innovation, thanks to its own innovation. Thanks to the complexity and diversity of B2B sales, technology will serve as a mediator amongst the chaos, connecting businesses with suppliers, vendors and distributors, and buyers seamlessly.