Digital technology is supposed to make everything simpler. It is expected to lower costs while increasing output at a larger scale.
And for the most part, it does. Both old technologies, such as email, as well as ever-evolving new digital tools continue to shift how we sell and reach mass markets, making our businesses more efficient and profitable.
Especially in this digitized business environment, it is vital to build a staff that understands the available tools and how to use them to maximize ability to close and renew B2B sales.
Here are five fundamental keys to get you on your way to long-term revenue growth.
1. Recognize What the Data Says: Skinnier Sales Staffs, More Marketing
Current research is clear: Businesses need fewer, but higher quality, B2B sales reps, and they need to reallocate investment to marketing.
Our industry claims to harness data to our revenue-generating advantage; however, in our day-to-day, we can still miss what the world is telling us. Consider that reps have less than a 9% chance of even getting a B2B prospect on the phone and 72% of businesses list relationships as the most important influencer in sealing a deal.
In this day and age, star reps working in high-flying companies sell insights and coach customers on how to grow their businesses. They know loyalty is not built on wowing the customer, but on reducing his or her effort.
The modern B2B sales rep must understand how to drive qualified leads with marketing, interpret data, sell insights on how they are helping the prospective business and not amenities that are largely irrelevant to a business customer, and build relationships with the C-suite.
2. Appreciate that Relationship Building Is Not Service
A common theme when building a premium seating department is to follow the typical ticket sales model of utilizing the service department for ongoing administration needs AND renewals. Because of all the additional tasks, such as concerts, event organization, and distribution, premium service is a critical role that reduces customer effort. But the service department is where these tasks should remain.
The modern B2B sales rep must build relationships for the sale now and for the long game, INCLUDING renewals. Ongoing relationships matter and are expected by B2B customers.
3. Expand Horizons in Employee Searches
Premium departments should cast a wider recruiting net than just the typical sports community. By limiting resources to a network of a few thousand potential sales reps with direct sports experience, some not in B2B, teams limit their scope, as well as the utilization of their brand, to attract top candidates.
The modern B2B sales rep could come from the over 14 million salespeople in the United States, many of whom have strong backgrounds in B2B relationship building and long-term strategy sales.
4. Understand the B2B Decision Making Process
When building out a sales staff, keep in mind the current climate of B2B decision making. Potential reps need to understand that premium is a long game. The number of employees involved in decisions has grown with the influx of available information. The average number of decision makers involved in a B2B solution has grown to over six, just in the last year.
The modern B2B sales rep must have experience navigating insightful meetings in the B2B long game over the hard close. Screen for this skill set in the first phone interview. If the candidate does not have it, do not be afraid to move on.
5. Appreciate How B2B Clients Consume Information
After candidates have been screened and shown an aptitude for growing the business, it’s time to learn whether they can close, and how they get to the close.
In today’s digital world with access to infinite online libraries, decision makers consume information through content or case studies over general advertisements. And they only want to be solicited with products that fit their needs.
Take this philosophy into the sales department. And make sure potential hires know how to sell the correct products in the correct fashion, based on firmographic data points related to those products.
The modern B2B sales rep understands that how decision makers consume information is the trick to the close.
Find reps who can sell ROI backed by case studies and referrals, and don’t accept anything less. Trust what the world is demonstrating. Cast a wide recruiting net. Hire for the long game. And the results will follow.
Mike Guiffre is the Vice President of Sales at TicketCity.