This afternoon I watched the LinkedIn Sales Leader Summit 2020 - well worth a watch for businesses that are investing in Social Selling for 2021. During the session, Liam Halpin shared several statistics.
McKinsey recently published research into the behaviour of B2B buyers during the pandemic highlighting that only about 20% of B2B buyers hope to return to in-person sales, even in sectors where field-sales models have traditionally dominated (e.g. pharmaceutical).
Further insights showed:
Around 90% of B2B decision makers expect the remote and digital model to stick around for the long run
3 in 4 believe the new model is as effective or more so than before COVID-19 (for both existing customers and prospects)
97% of B2B buyers claim they will make a purchase in an end-to-end, digital self-serve model, with the vast majority very comfortable spending $50K or more online
However, other research demonstrated that sales teams have a little catching up to do. Whilst it's clear that most have the technology (LinkedIn and LinkedIn Sales Navigator) they don't necessarily have the skills to drive the tools.
There is no doubt that Sales Navigator is great product (when you know how to drive it).
Just this evening I led a virtual 1-2-1 coaching session with a North America Sales Director for an global IT company and I love it when they see the power of the tool for the first time.
So, how do you (as a sales leader) gear up your sales reps to use the technology and catch up with the pace of change their customer counter-parts have already adjusted to?
- Understand how to use the tools yourself
- Lead by example and use Sales Navigator to build lead lists of your sales team
- Engage with their content - show you're noticing their behaviour change
- Know how to interpret the LinkedIn Sales Navigator report
- Build report insights into your team calls and 1-2-1 calls
- Invest in training that embeds Sales Navigator into your sales processes
- Scale the training with a blended learning approach (how we operate at Tribal)
- eLearning for scale - reach the masses with self service modules
- webinars for focused training e.g. Sales Navigator for Account Managers
- 1-2-1 coaching for targeted support or senior leaders
Safety is one reason, of course. But self-serve and remote interactions have made it easier for buyers to get information, place orders, and arrange service, and customers have enjoyed that speed and convenience. Only about 20 percent of B2B buyers say they hope to return to in-person sales, even in sectors where field-sales models have traditionally dominated, such as pharma and medical products.