- Posted by Kayla Thomson
- On January 8, 2019
- 0 Comments
This is our third blog in our Sales Experts series. In this blog, We asked the experts “What B2B sales strategy or tactic do you anticipate having a growing influence in the coming year?”. Our group of sales leaders provided a range of answers to what B2B sales strategy and tactics they planned to focus on for 2019.
Here’s what they had to say:
Our customers have broad challenges that no vendor can solve for by themselves, however we often hear from customers a desire to limit the number of vendors they work with and purchase something that closer resembles a full solution suite. As I mentioned above, we’re now working closer than ever with all of the divisions within our company to meet this need. One of the biggest challenges in large company, global sales organizations is to collaborate effectively across business units. By solving that issue we’ve been able to better meet customer needs. As we head into 2019 we’ll not only continue this effort however we’ll expand to work with complementary partners that solve for that need of a full solution suite.
– Greg St. Louis, Vice President Sales at Wolters Kluwer Health
Account Based Marketing is here to stay and really a strategy that has been around longer than its recent buzz. More and more companies are shifting their marketing and sales strategies to focus on the account – to really understand the players, pain points and how to sell effectively to them.
Team Selling – more and more companies are taking a team-based approach when selling into their target accounts. This is a huge benefit as there are multiple touchpoints, relationships at various levels, and a mix of approaches and style that can help to speed up the selling process.
– Marlene Keay, Senior Manager Business Development at Virtual Causeway, @marlenekeay
I think data integrity and data optimization is going to be huge in 2019. The sales technology stack in most organization grows each year. I am excited to see how machine learning and insights can be gathered quickly to accelerate sales performance.
– Jonathan Jones, Business Development Manager at Bridgit, @JonathanJones88
Listening more and creating constructive dialogues. It may sound obvious but customers are bombarded with information and although in some cases providing information and details is critical, often we talk more than we listen. Thus getting back to basics have allowed me to get closer to customers, by listening more, have more dialogues that allow us to understand their needs, pains, and put us in a better position to align to their needs.
– Carlos Hernandez, Regional VP at Sandvine, @CAHernandezR
Teaching not selling. Sound cliché, but the best sales people are now true consultants. Real value at every interaction. Customer Journeys now need to be so detailed and well designed. Everything: Emails, Calls, Meetings, Paperwork. Whether they choose to buy now or not, leave an impression.
– Chad McCaffrey, Entrepreneur in Residence at Communitech, @cjkmccaffrey
We are opening up all of our great content through our website to the world, our inbound marketing is really picking up.
– Ryan O’Grady, President at Fotaflo, @OGradyProd
- Transactional sales – people don’t want to go through huge evaluations anymore
- Video throughout the cycle – make it personal like you’re onsite without the travel costs
– Dan Wardle, Head of Emerging Business & Business Development at Vidyard, @wardledan
I am very interested to see how AI affects the sales process and tactics. We are just starting to see a few apps leverage AI. This year could be the break-out year for AI.
– Mark Elliott, Co-founder VA Partners, @markeelliott
While for some organizations this strategy/tactic is already widely utilized, I believe heavily personalized outreach/sales processes will continue to have a growing influence in 2019.
There are varying levels of personalization a sales rep can use:
By focusing less on what your product can do and more on the challenges your prospect/potential client is facing, you are seen as a more valued resource and someone they want to talk to.
At Smile, we’ve found that focusing on the individual works far better than Role, Company, or Industry. People care more about themselves (as they should) than anything else and its flattering when a sales rep does research on them individually. Even if your tool isn’t a good fit for the prospect at the time, creating a feeling of “wow, they did their homework!” puts you in a position to pick the relationship back up when the time is right.
I listened to a really great podcast on this topic, which you can find here.
– Shane Gamble, Head of Sales at Smile.io, @ShaneGamble01
I am not sure I think its that generic. Sales is about knowing where you customers hanging-out and who their influencers are.
– David Carter, Executive Director at the Innovation Factory, @dkrcarter
I’m working with a lot of companies that are trying to go global to diversify their risk and grow revenue. I think given the complexity of entering foreign (outside US/Canada) markets, establishing great relationships and partnerships with agency organizations abroad is going to be important. Finding channel partners who are dedicated and aligned with your vision and your market, setting the right incentives up and investing in supporting them to be successful are critical. Make sure not to just “hire” an agent in a foreign country, send some literature, and think you can just back up the money truck!
– Ryan McCartney, BDC Communitech Partner, @rmccartney323
Account based marketing.
– Tim Davison, VP Enterprise Client Development at Morneau Shepell, @davison_tim
Personal brand. B2B salespeople need to be viewed as experts in their space and have to add value to the conversation or buyers won’t spend time with them. Hosting (or co-hosting) a podcast can be an extremely effective way to do this.
If salespeople are struggling to share content directly to build their personal brand, follow the 3 steps I’ve heard from Sahil Mansuri (CEO of Bravado):
- Curate Content
- Annotate Content
- Create Content
Make sure the content you share isn’t for your sales peers but for your target market.
– Logan Lyles, Director of Partnerships at Sweet Fish Media, @loganlyles
Check out our other expert blogs for 2019:
What B2B sales strategies and tactics will grow in importance for your organization in 2019? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter!