The Future of B2B Buying and Selling
What is the future of buying and selling? How do marketing and sales approach digital native decision-makers? That is the topic of this episode of the Modern Marketing Engine with my guest, Dave Boyce.
Dave is the Chief Strategy Officer, XANT, where he divides his time between corporate development, corporate strategy, and operational strategy. He is also a board member of Forrester Research Inc. since 2017.
This episode was inspired by two articles that Dave published on LinkedIn:
Join us in this conversation to learn why marketers must understand the modern buyer.What is the future of buying & selling? How should B2B #sales and #marketing approach digital decision-makers? @XANT_AI's @davidjboyce1 reveals it all on the @MMEnginePodcast with host @BernieBorges. #ContentMarketing @MarketMuseCo Click To Tweet
The Journey of the Modern Buyer
Both marketers and sellers must be aware of the changes to their buyer personas in the past year.
Today, our buyers are sitting in their living room, the people who are signing purchase orders are at home, almost nobody is at an office. That means that almost everyone involved in the decision process is using digital channels to research potential suppliers.
Dave says the modern buyer is a digital native. That means that:
- They will do independent research online about our products and our competitors
- They don’t like to fill out forms so they will rely on ungated content
- They trust their network and will ask other people for recommendations and experiences
After the steps described above, the buyer is now 60% to 70% of their way towards understanding their options.
“The remaining amount of her journey,” Dave says, “she’s going to have to do collaboratively with the sales team. But her silent partner during that 70% of her journey was our marketing team. Not that they were talking to her, but they were publishing and orchestrating and curating a learning journey that was either easy to use and therefore she really leaned into it or is less easy to use and therefore she learned from our competitor.”
Marketing needs to focus on providing a great experience during the modern buyer’s journey, even if it means ungating content.
Dave says that instead of collecting information through forms, marketers can use technology like intent signals. This technology tracks searches from domains to know when people from certain companies are searching for specific terms related to your solutions. Then it can flag your CRM so you can do outreach to existing contacts from those companies.The Modern buyers of 2019 are different from the Modern #buyers of today! Wow! I highly recommend listening to this episode of the @MMEnginePodcast with @BernieBorges & guest @davidjboyce1 of @XANT_AI. #SEO @MarketMuseCo Click To Tweet
The Modern Seller
And the truth is that buyers like the new normal and don’t want to go back to the old field sales model.
“The buyer doesn’t want protracted exchanges with the salesperson,” Dave says. “They don’t want to retreat again from acquiring information digitally. They don’t want us to force them into the conference room to have a stakeholder meeting with a whiteboard. They actually like the way it’s working right now and it’s better for everybody. If we’re honest with ourselves as salespeople, we’re more efficient. If we’re not spending our time navigating airports and trains and cabs and Ubers and instead we’re on the job of selling most of our time. So it’s not going back. We have to figure out how to lean into the future and do it faster than our competition.”
Sales leaders must now focus on modernizing their sales teams with the five modern seller attributes:
- Fast (answering to their messages quickly)
- Always-online (engage the buyer when they want to engage)
- Customer-centric (being empathetic, sympathetic, and helpful)
- Content-rich (adding value with information that is helpful to the buyer)
- Technology-enabled (it’s not just Zoom and LinkedIn but the entire marketing and tech stack, including CRM and sales prospecting tools)
“It’s all about being where the buyer is and being a resource to the buyer,” Dave says.
Don’t miss this episode to hear some great insights from Dave about the role of the modern seller.Remote selling has become the norm & modern buyers prefer it this way. @davidjboyce1 of @XANT_AI discuss the reality of b2b buying & #selling now and beyond on the @MMEnginePodcast w/ @BernieBorges. #ContentStrategy @MarketMuseCo Click To Tweet