3 Ways B2B Sellers Make Purchases Easier for Customers
As the response to COVID-19 continues to define evolving team structures and workflows, B2B sellers are squeezed into difficult, drawn-out sales. Prospects have unique new demands and working environments that are making the routine sales process considerably longer and more complex than ever.
Even before shelter-in-place orders took place, B2B purchasing workflows were reaching a point of instability. Gartner reports that today’s average B2B sales cycle involves 10 people on a purchasing team and 17 weeks. Each one of those buyers is entering the sales funnel with a unique amount of information and their own specific needs that require personalization. With the added difficulties of a remote workflow, it’s never been more important for B2B sellers to make purchase decisions easy on buyers.
Different organizations will have unique ways of simplifying the purchasing process. For some, the best response is to upgrade tech internally; for others, it makes sense to evolve the selling process. Regardless of the approach that your team takes to simplifying purchases, here are three ways to make it easier for B2B prospects to buy from your organization.
At a high level, B2C sales processes have adapted much quicker to the new purchasing landscape than B2B sales. At the core of that evolution is fast adoption of new technology, designed around improved customer convenience. Those B2C experiences are impacting B2B expectations; 80% of B2B buyers expect a buying experience like that of a B2C customer. To do this successfully, sales teams need to map out the difficulties of these buyers and create a system that solves them. That likely means less time spent on paperwork, faster turnaround of documents and clear visibility into business processes.
Another way teams can build a more personal sales process is to integrate systems internally so prospects get a unified experience across the board. It’s extremely impersonal for a prospect to have different experiences with different teams and employees involved in the sales process. When information about a prospect is shared across the entire internal system, it’s easy to move the sales process forward rather than wasting the prospect’s time asking them questions that have already been answered. Creating a personalized buying experience is key to converting prospects to satisfied customers.
With so many employees working out of nontraditional offices, it’s more important than ever for sellers to be agile and have the ability to meet buyers remotely wherever they’re doing business. That means expanding options to interact with prospects who use multiple different device types and conduct business in new physical locations. There’s no good way to predict what else might be happening in a prospect’s life—they may need to care for children, parents or other family members—so flexibility here is key. Sales teams need to build a selling process that allows a buyer to advance the sale using a range of devices and a variety of locations.
Another way to embrace this flexible selling environment is to embrace an omnichannel selling approach. Each organization will need a different strategy here, but it’s time to reconsider how much selling efforts are focused on online portals, social, mobile and other channels. Building a strong strategy for virtual selling through video also needs to be prioritized as in-person meetings are replaced. Not every channel will be successful immediately, but it’s critical for sales teams to experiment with new possibilities in the new landscape and adjust based on the results.
Completing sales on new channels requires more than just making information available to prospects on the go, they also need a way to take action. If they’ve been using a mobile phone or tablet to review documents, but still need to wait for the mail carrier to view and sign a contract, the selling process is still broken. A sales process that utilizes DocuSign eSignature allows any prospect to sign an agreement on practically any device, from almost anywhere, at any time.
Rearchitecting B2B sales to meet the needs of modern buyers is a fantastic chance for a sales team to scrap outdated workflows and build a faster process with fewer manual steps. One of the easiest ways to do this is to replace manual tasks with automation and intelligent technology. For example, new sales agreements should not start with a copy/paste word document that lives on a local desktop. Important contract renewal dates should not go missed simply because someone forgot to mark them on a calendar. It should not be difficult or lengthy for Legal to review redlines and have visibility into clauses, which could lead to litigation risk.
There are easy ways to solve these issues with a modern system of agreement.
Another simple step to increase efficiency is to build a sales tech stack with integrated systems that share data. Sharing information among systems is an easy way to increase the efficiency and accuracy of data entry. This is especially useful for sales reps who spend a huge portion of their day in a CRM tool. A well-connected central system is also easier to search in the future when it’s time to locate important information. To take an additional step, automation can reduce unnecessary manual labor by automatically kicking off certain steps in the process and removing redundant actions.
With an integrated and automated sales workflow, B2B sales teams make it incredibly easy for buyers to do business with them. Those prospects will never be waiting on a sales rep to take action and can complete a personalized sale at exactly the speed they need. That accelerated sales cycle is better for both sides of the deal.
In the uncertain COVID-19 business climate, B2B sales leaders are stepping up to reimagine what’s possible for their prospects. Teams are accelerating the rate of business and winning new customers by making it easier to buy. Watch our on-demand webinar titled Blending Virtual Selling Techniques in Sales Processes to learn how DocuSign sales leaders and Jeb Blount, best-selling author and Founder and CEO of Sales Gravy, responded to the overnight shift to virtual selling