As we step into 2024, the B2B sales landscape confronts economic headwinds lingering from 2023. The average number of decision-makers involved in the buying process continues to grow, and 70% of sales professionals also said budgets are more closely scrutinized than before. In complex B2B selling environments involving large decision-making groups, strategic selling is particularly effective. This sales framework provides salespeople with the information needed to make the best decisions about their opportunities, emphasizing the need to understand the prospects’ needs, identify the different buyers, and develop tailored solutions.
Build Trust and Relationships: Buyers are more informed, well-researched, and self-reliant than ever before. 80% of buyers have a shortlist of vendors before the search process, and 90% will choose a vendor from the initial list. Establish trust with your prospects by educating your buyers through transparent, responsive, and reliable communication. Positioning yourself as a trusted advisor will help create lasting relationships - long past the initial deal.
Personalize Your Approach: Thoroughly research your target customers, their industry, and their pain points. Personalized insights from research can be an effective way to build trust. Be on the lookout for new developments that provide entry points to secure strategic appointments with key contacts. Key events can turn a warm prospect into an ideal customer. Here are three examples:
An identity management solution (e.g., Okta, Ping Identity, OneLogin, etc.) may want to know when one of their prospects or competitors experiences a security breach. Leaders will focus on recovering quickly, implementing data protection measures, and preventing future attacks.
An enterprise / HR management solution (e.g., Workday, Oracle, Bamboo HR, etc.) may want to know when one of their prospects experiences exponential growth through M&A, successful international expansion, or a viral phenomenon (no pun intended, but remember what happened to Zoom when WFH became the norm?). Company leadership will be looking foreffective ways to manage performance cycles or comprehensive tools to engage and develop employees.
A service management solution (e.g., ServiceNow, Zendesk, Zoho Desk, etc.) may want to know when one of their prospects is expanding their customer services/support teams or has had a major customer-facing outage. Leaders will want to improve customer experience through case management and communication workflows.
Focus on Value through Empathy: Clearly articulate the unique value your product brings to the table and begin with building empathy. Be able to answer the “what’s in it for me?” question for your audiences. Setting prospects up for success by aligning your product to what matters to them can also translate to greater customer loyalty.
A value pyramid for account planning offers a great framework to communicate the comprehensive value of your product offering to prospects. It allows for a more structured and persuasive presentation of the benefits at different levels, addressing both immediate needs and long-term strategic goals. This approach is particularly relevant in B2B enterprise selling, where the complexity of solutions and the involvement of multiple stakeholders require a thorough understanding of the value a product brings to the prospect’s organization.
For decision-makers / economic buyers, showcase how it can align with their business objectives and initiatives to generate revenue.
For budget owners / technical buyers, demonstrate how they can overcome critical challenges or create capability synergies.
For influencers / user buyers, focus on daily activities and how they can increase efficiency or improve collaboration.
The CloseFactor Account Planner will generate a value pyramid that helps sellers understand a prospect’s Corporate Level Objectives, Business Strategy, Business Initiatives, Critical Capabilities & Challenges, and how your product can address those obstacles.