The tough stats around personal engagement in sales
For three days, 1,400 B2B sales and marketing leaders descended upon Las Vegas to learn, share and experience how we can improve our marketing efficiencies and sales processes, and deliver value in an increasing customer-driven environment. Regardless of your perspective at the beginning of the week, The 2017 CEB Sales and Marketing Summit didn’t disappoint.
Aligning sales and marketing was a key foundation and set the tone of the event—centering on the reality that today’s buying journey is filled with more information, more people and more options than ever before.
How to Meet Your Customer’s Needs When Personal Engagement Time is Limited
17 percent. During the opening keynote, we learned that research shows the proportion of time a buyer actually spends meeting with potential suppliers is only 17 percent of the entire buying process. I will let that sink in… only 17 percent. On top of that, you are most likely one of a number of suppliers that is part of that 17 percent. Which means the amount of time you or your team personally engages with your buyers is very minimal.
This same research also shows that B2B buyers use digital early in their purchasing process and continue to use digital sources throughout their buying journey. Buyers increasingly are accessing digital channels, not in-person connections as it has traditionally been done. The same holds true if you’ve developed a relationship with the buyer. They are still interacting with your organization online, conducting research, getting support and striving for information to assist them in moving their business forward. Because of this, we need to evaluate our sales processes and adapt. Alignment across all channels is key to meeting the buyer where they are and delivering impactful engagement across your entire account portfolio.
N = 750 Source: CEB 2017 2017 Digital B2B Buyer Survey.
Employing an Orchestration Level in Your Sales Process to Manage Customer Relationships at Scale
At Microsoft, our own research reinforces CEB’s research, and suggests that a new hybrid-model is emerging. This hybrid-sales model blends digital buying journeys with highly orchestrated one-to-one engagement with your sellers. Digital channels must be balanced with in-person connections and they must be delivered when your customer expects it, in the context of what your customer’s needs, and the right format your customer expects with measurable impact.
This new sales model is powered by an orchestration layer, which consists of: an ecosystem of data, sales technology and intelligent business processes that empower your sellers to engage in identifying, building and managing relationships at scale.
- It uses a holistic view of your customer to create personal experiences based on their goals.
- Uses big data analytics and machine learning to anticipate your customer’s needs and prevent problems.
- Employs process automation to streamline complex tasks and deliver intelligent, easy-to-use tools.
- Leverages multiple channels to naturally engage your customers when and where it’s convenient for them