B2B sales will develop and evolve feverishly in 2022. This industry was already evaluated at $7.72 trillion in 2021, with speculation of growing at 18.6% CAGR between 2021 to 2028.
Over the years, B2B sales developed a lot with many new trends and changes. In 2019, automated sales prospecting disturbed B2B sales reps and creative tactics and customer data platforms in 2020 and 2021.
And now, with the roll of 2022, many new B2B sales developments and trends are ready to increase salespersons workload.
The prevailing year is very crucial for B2B businesses due to the post-pandemic changes in the buyer’s approach. As per a Sage Journals study, the way B2B buyers desire and behave has completely shifted after the pandemic.
Secondly, 73% of millennials will be part of the B2B sales process in 2022. Since it is common knowledge that millennials look for personal connections rather than fancy marketing antics, traditional B2B sales funnels will not work in 2022.
In short, the B2B sales development landscape is evolving to a new level in 2022. And you need to prepare for it; otherwise, you will be left behind in this rat race.
But no need to worry because we won’t let that happen. We have already decoded how B2B sales will develop and look in 2022. Let’s dive in.
B2B Sales Will Develop This Way in 2022
B2B sales have never been easy. But, B2B sales departments need to even hustle more in 2022 because there will be numerous B2B sales developments rollout, such as:
1. Selling Online Isn’t an Option Anymore
For modern businesses, it isn’t a choice anymore to sell online. It has become a necessity to sell your B2B products and services online to reach your customers. The reason?
According to McKinsey research, 80% of B2B buyers say that self-serve and remote interaction has made it easier for them to retrieve product information, place orders, and make service arrangements. Merely 20% of buyers wish to return to in-person sales experience.
Since it’s clear buyers want to buy online, why aren’t you still selling online?
In 2022, digital sales will take the front seat. That means you have to prepare yourself to sell online by investing in digital assets like websites, content creation, social media marketing, and more. The time is ticking, so harness your digital assets now!
2. Explore Omnichannel Strategies
Taking your B2B sales process will only put you on the map in 2022. But if go-to-marketers (GMT) want to connect with customers and generate leads, they have to indulge in omnichannel marketing.
Digital marketing is an umbrella term under which many marketing approaches take shelter, such as content marketing, email marketing, and more.
All these digital marketing channels harness B2B sales development in different ways. Let’s take content marketing as a case study here.
Content marketing allows B2B marketers to gather buyer’s intent data, target buyer’s pain points, and drive traffic to your website.
But for all this, you have to put your audience’s needs first. Almost 90% of B2B marketers first talk about buyers’ needs and then share promotional messages.
On the flip side, if you want to engage and interact with your customers, social media marketing is the best way. It allows you to send direct messages to customers, comments on their posts, and offers many other places to know your customers and nurture them.
Thus, the B2B sales process will develop more omnichannel in 2022 because marketers have to acquire new customers and retain old ones simultaneously.
3. Self-Serving Sales Environment
We mentioned that B2B buyers are looking forward to a self-serving environment in the first point. Buyers don’t want heavy sales work from the seller’s end.
In fact, they want to interact with brands and gather relevant information before making a self-purchase decision without any salesperson involvement.
So that means I should send my salespeople on leave in 2022?
Well, no. You simply need to change your B2B sales process to meet the customer’s expectations. But, how?
It is simple – instead of cold emailing or calling your targeted leads, build an infrastructure where leads can interact with your sales team anytime and anywhere.
In this case, chatbots are great examples. Your potential customers can retrieve information about your brand anytime using sales chatbots. They can even ask questions and find instant answers to make purchase decisions.
Additionally, chatbots reduce salespeople’s time that they have to spend communicating with potential customers. Therefore, spending on cognitive and AI systems will reach $77.6 billion in 2022.
Maybe this is why Slack launched its chatbot version called Slackbot to interact with customers in real-time and provide them with a great customer experience.
Besides chatbots, there are many other technologies that can help to create a self-serve environment like Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, and others.
4. Personalization is a Selling Point
You might have heard many times buyers prefer a personalized buying experience from their vendors. But being a B2B salesperson, you must have ignored this fact because personalization is for B2C customers, not B2B.
And here, you are wrong, my mate. Today, buyers are buyers, irrespective of the business sector. All buyers prefer – no demand personalized experience.
According to a Salesforce report, 68% of business buyers want brands to understand their unique needs and expectations. People desire B2B brands to provide solutions based on the prevailing market trends and conditions.
For example, Workpuls is a popular time tracking software for businesses. They understood their customers’ needs and introduced special remote and work-from-home solutions during the pandemic. Lately, Workpuls has created a hybrid solution to meet the requirements of businesses in the post-pandemic era.
Though to provide personalized services and products to your customers, you have to first befriend data. The accurate and real-time data can only help you understand potential customers’ needs.
Fortunately, acquiring authentic buyer intent data is not hard. You can use content and marketing analytics tools to gather buyers’ data.
For instance, you can use tools like Google Analytics and Keywords Planner to find top keyphrases searched by your targeted audience online. Based on the keyphrases ranking, you can know what people are searching online in your niche. And you can embed top-ranking keyphrases in your content to attract more customers.
5. Account-Based Marketing
Account-based marketing or targeted marketing is the crucial B2B sales development in 2022. Wait for a second; why do B2B salespeople have to follow a marketing trend?
First of all, ABM is not only for marketers. Sales managers can also leverage this approach to increase sales revenue. In fact, 70% of companies were using ABM in 2021, compared to 15% in 2020.
Marketing and sales teams have to work on the same table in account-based marketing. Salespeople get highly convertible accounts information from marketers, which they can nurture in the sales funnel. Similarly, marketers get feedback from salespeople to filter hot accounts.
Here ABM can benefit a lot of B2B businesses such as:
- It helps to data recognize hot and cold accounts in the sales funnel.
- Allow sales representatives to make wise decisions based on real-time information.
- Facilitates sales teams to provide personalized messages to their accounts and overall customer service in the organization.
- Improve the chance of upscaling, thereby, increase the chances of making more revenue in the year.
- Shorten a customer’s journey in the sales funnel, which reduces business resources that you have to spend on nurturing them.
To better understand ABM and B2B sales development, check out this GumGum ABM campaign.
GumGum is an artificial intelligence and machine learning-based B2B company. But they collaborated with McDonald’s, a B2C retail brand, to promote their brand.
GumGum created a special burger kit to advertise their brand and sent them to McDonald’s and the company’s media agencies executives. The burger kits contain the names of each executive on a fast-food receipt. And they also used McDonald’s key BigMac ingredients to showcase different aspects of the company’s technologies.
This is a really creative and innovative way to use ABM in your marketing strategies.
6. Use Social Proof
One of the most important yet ignored B2B sales trends is social proofing. B2B sales teams are so engrossed in lead generation that they forget some basic things, like 10 out of 9 buyers make a purchase after reading online reviews.
Social proofing helps to capture buyers’ interest and walk them into the sales funnel. It is an organic way to gain customers’ trust.
In the digital realms, you have numerous opportunities to manipulate social proof, such as:
- Share previous customers testimonials on your website or social media accounts.
- Use video testimonials to target different marketing channels like YouTube, Dailymotion, Facebook, etc.
- Share statistics about how many people have already used your services to trigger FOMO.
- You can also leverage influencers and celebrities’ fame to social proof your brand, etc.
You can take social proof lessons from RecoverIt Data Recovery software by Wondershare. The brand has added awards and real user reviews on the website to promote this data recovery software.
This strategy helps to encourage potential buyers to take action and purchase your services without manual intervention. Social proof can also help to enrich self-serve sales ecosystems.
7. Hybrid Sales Teams
As we have already mentioned above, customers want to buy online and receive remote services rather than in-person visits from a sales representative. But, this doesn’t mean that all people are looking for an online buying experience.
There are many buyers who still crave one-on-one interactions before making a purchase. This could be via physical visits or video calling.
As per a McKinsey study, 75% of B2B buyers want to talk to salespeople before making a purchase. On the contrary, only 15% of repurchasers need to talk to salespeople.
So, in 2022, you have to prepare your sales team to work in all environments. They should be fully trained to address the customers’ worries via call, videoconference, or physical visit. This will help you provide better customer service and build a customer-centric brand.
8. Keep Tabs on Buyers Changing Behavior
B2B sales teams often get so engrossed in data and reports that they completely forget their customers are humans with emotions. They forgot how emotions and mode triggers could change the customer’s buying preferences overnight.
If we talk about the most emotional time of the decade – the COVID-19 crisis, it has wholly changed the customers’ thinking and approach.
According to an Accenture survey, customers after COVID-19 are making purchases based on their emotional traumas and experiences during this time. Many customers prefer to buy local products, some want to invest in healthcare products and for some customers making essential purchases is important in coming years.
Therefore, it is important for B2B sales development teams to focus on customers changing behavior and make changes accordingly in their sales funnel. For this, the sales teams need to establish a direct connection with customers to know what they exactly require from them.
In this situation, personalized email marketing can help you a lot. You can segment your email marketing list and send personalized emails to your separate accounts to know what they are feeling and expect you to feel better.
Sometimes directly asking customers what they want will save a lot of trouble for the sales and marketing team. So, be direct with your customers in 2022 and make efforts to analyze their emotions rather than some sales metrics.
9. Focus On The Customer Security
Since buying and selling is happening online now; thus, the customer’s personal and professional data is vulnerable today. Customers have to share their debit card, credit card, and other personal data to make purchases online.
In this case, if your web portal is not secure enough to protect customers’ data, it can impact your business reputation pretty badly.
Thus, you have to build an infrastructure to provide high-end cybersecurity to your customers. According to a study, 18 billion sensitive records have been exposed in the first quarter of 2021. Needless to say, cybersecurity is a big issue for online business customers today.
If we talk about Zoom’s privacy scandals that emerged after the great surge during the initial days of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can see how small privacy threats can scare people.
To settle the Zoombombing case, Zoom had to pay over $85 million for settlement. Here Zoom not only lost money but its credibility and trust too.
Therefore, before taking your B2B sales process online, make sure to invest in reliable cybersecurity technologies.
10. Customer-Centric Sales Funnel
This is yet another blasting B2B sales development in 2022. The B2B conversion funnel will shift from the salespeople’s point of view to the customer outlook in the coming days.
In simpler words, B2B executives will not track their sales agent’s actions like qualified leads, proposals sent, meetings booked, etc.
Instead, B2B organizations will track the customer’s sales funnel actions such as buyer persona, buyer’s intent data, deadlines allocated, and more.
Here’s how the customer-centric B2B sales funnel will look like:
Cutting short the story, when B2B brands step into their customers’ shoes, it will provide them with better opportunities to personalize and digitize the customer experience.
11. Enrich Your Knowledge Base
Remember, business buyers, don’t want to interact with salespeople and need informative resources before making a purchase decision.
So, what you have to do here is to create a comprehensive knowledge base for your potential customers to gather the right information to make the purchase.
Here are many types of knowledge bases that you can publish on your website to create a self-service portal, such as:
- Research papers
- How-to guides
- Getting started video tutorials
- Help documentation
- Add a search bar, etc.
How Will B2B Sales Develop in 2022?
Undoubtedly, B2B sales are going through enormous development changes in terms of how the seller will sell, how buyers will behave, and how companies will work on the digital landscape.
For B2B sales, the year 2022 is a game-changer. It will set up the foundation for the B2B sales future where customers will be supreme.
If you closely monitor, all B2B sales developments are pointing towards one direction – better customer services.
So, whether you are a new or established B2B brand, start focusing on customer experience today to make a better tomorrow for your company.
That’s it for now! Just keep on growing and exploring B2B developments only here.