The shift to working from home has big impacts on B2B sales.
You've heard of the tiny house, now we have the couch office. What's the impact on B2B sales?
Maybe you have had a similar experience. I walked into the big box office supply to find a bookshelf, but it was almost empty.
It was startling - I've shopped for desks and file cabinets and desk chairs dozens of times and always had plenty of choices.
Not this time.
I asked the salesperson if they were going out of business or just discontinuing their office furniture. Maybe they had a supply chain problem?
None of the above.
He simply explained that the demand for office furniture for the home office was off the charts and they couldn't keep up.
So is the new office, your couch?
What does that mean for people who used to sell their services or products through in-person meetings, or at events and tradeshows?
And, since it was almost impossible to reach someone on a cold phone call before, what about now? If they aren't in the office, is the phone system going to give me any chance of reaching them at home?
It's just one more change that has followed COVID lockdowns. Salespeople and sales teams have to make the transition to hybrid and digital sales.
Instead of B2B, we should be talking about B2Couch sales.
How do you sell your services to people who are working from their couch?
Here are three changes that you'll have to adapt to if you lead a B2B sales team or work on one.
1. Digital Sales Resources Aren't Optional. Trade journals, trade shows, and in-person presentations are not only down following COVID, they may have declined permanently. The ability to deliver what the buyer actually wants and needs digitally is critical.
2. Digital Intelligence is the only way you can know how the multiple buyers and decision-makers are interacting with your information. This information is built from the CRM up, and can include detailed notifications, call intelligence and predictive intelligence.
3. The Water Cooler Nod has been Replaced. Conversations among decision makers and members of the buying committee have changed. They aren't happening informally. That means you'll have to deliver persuasive and answer-filled information to multiple people to get your deals across the finish line. Your champion that inside the company may be less effective.
How does someone working from their couch get to know your company? On Your Website.
The widespread reality of remote work, and the loss of the water cooler where buying teams used to talk over their needs and challenges, have all combined to make your website the one irreplaceable location for all of those involved in a buying decision.
Any one or perhaps all of the members of a buying committee (formal or informal) are likely to use your website as the place where they check out the facts, the fit and the fears that they may have about the purchase.
When you're working from the couch, surfing a website is a requirement in the purchasing process.
In fact, the quality of the website experience is a substantial part of the opinion that buyers form about your company.
It's the one place that you know buyers are going to visit. They may or may not view your pitch deck, sales slick, or read all of your specs. But they will - for sure - visit your website.
Making the buyer journey on your website a differentiator is an important way to stand out in a crowded (and couch sitting) market.