Are you looking for ways to make your B2B organization more efficient in 2019?
Chances are, there are multiple areas in which efficiency can be improved.
Areas of Improvement
According to Gartner:
- When purchases are completed, the actual buying-cycle length was nearly double what was expected.
- Enterprise technology purchases often involve an average of 12 to 14 decision makers and influencers participating both actively and occasionally.
- Many technology and service providers (TSPs) don't enable artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning features that are available in their sales enablement solutions or they ignore the recommendations prescribed by them altogether.
Let’s look at how each of the aforementioned areas can be improved in the coming year.
1. Practice Situational Awareness to Decrease Buying-Cycle Length
Gartner found that buying activities (business case presentations, security and architecture reviews, shortlisting vendors, trials/proofs of concept, etc.) were often varied and inconsistent, leading to longer-than-expected buying cycles.
In order to cut down buying-cycle length, it’s important that sellers practice situational awareness. This means they need to:
- Know the specific requirements of the customers’ procurement approach (including regulations and approvals)
- Have an understanding of both existing relationships between the customer and the provider as well as those between team members and external influencers
- Understand where the team is on the buying journey and the importance of the buying effort
2. Employ Account-Based Marketing to Improve Agreement & Coordination of Stakeholders
Account-based marketing (ABM) can help improve both agreement and coordination between marketing and sales. But in order to be successful, ABM needs to be leveraged in every aspect of sales enablement, from onboarding and training to coaching and content.
ABM helps streamline decision-making, and is increasing in popularity due to the growing number of stakeholders involved in the process. In fact, Gartner predicts 75% of TSPs with more than $10 million in revenue will adopt ABM by 2019.
3. Leverage Machine Learning and AI to Improve Sales Effectiveness
Utilizing AI and machine-learning models can improve both sales enablement and sales productivity. However, although many CRMs and sales enablement software often include AI-driven recommendations, the following occurs:
- Very few TSPs take advantage of the full range of capabilities offered
- Some TSPs don’t even enable them
- Sales reps simply ignore recommendations
Those who are using these tools, however, see rapid ROI resulting from a 15% or more reduction in sales cycle time along with increased win rates.
While more traditional sales enablement approaches aren’t going anywhere quickly—as strategies that deliver results will continue to be employed—if TSPs don’t adopt newer approaches like situational awareness, ABM, and AI/machine learning, they’ll find that deals will take longer and be harder to win. So why not leverage modern tools in order to make your sales team more effective, and your organization more efficient overall?
*Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.