If you didn’t know this by now then take it as RED.

The buying process and journey have now fully tilted, and the pandemic has only heightened the shift.

It has been this way for a few years. If you knew that then great and you have come terms with the process and you are online connecting, sharing and giving insight to the procurement teams so they see you and your business and understand where you fit in.

If you are sticking by the method of calling one and emailing the other to pitch or get a meeting or be added to the list for the next time, then you are behind the large curve.

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The COVID-19 pandemic forced B2B buyers and sellers to go digital in a massive way. What started out as a crisis response has now become the next normal, with big implications for how buyers and sellers will do business in the future

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. Many other industries and sectors are feeling the same and reacting.

McKinsey & Company

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The above ways. Calling. Emailing. Asking for an opportunity because we did X or Y and we know that this was required in your business are in the past.

I was a LION on the phone and crafted a pretty good email a year or so ago.

It was my go-to and I was pretty good at it.

Calls, meetings, opportunities, challenges, solutions, decisions. Win business. Agreements signed. Framework in place.

That was me. A year or so back. I have changed.

I can still bank those tools for when I need them. When invite allows.

Many businesses are set up to do the outbound calling. Teams are blasting the phone still.

That’s corporate and an old method for disrupting with purpose.

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Would it not be easier and more user friendly to be invited to a call after some strategic mileage on social?

Or maybe you like being the 9th person to disturb them today. Maybe you want to get blocked and the email never gets returned.

Or maybe you want to see inbound work with purpose.

McKinsey & Company

The future is digital—and optimistic

According to survey respondents, these pandemic-induced patterns are likely to become permanent. Close to nine in ten decision-makers say that new commercial and go-to-market sales practices will be a fixture throughout 2021 and possibly beyond

Businesses have a chance to stand out now in a digital world and change the way they become trusted key players in there sector.

You will never lose that network and influence if you get it right and go strategic in 2021.

Make them feel like the buyer. It is their choice. You just have to enlighten them.

Don’t make it hard for them.

Share what you know. Solve an issue.


The customers buying journey is hard

The typical buying group for a complex B2B solution involves six to 10 decision makers‚ each armed with four or five pieces of information they’ve gathered independently and must deconflict with the group. At the same time, the set of options and solutions buying groups can consider is expanding as new technologies, products, suppliers and services emerge.

These dynamics make it increasingly difficult for customers to make purchases. In fact, more than three-quarters of the customers Gartner surveyed described their purchase as very complex or difficult.

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Information drives purchase ease and high-quality sales

All of this looping around and bouncing from one job to another means that buyers value suppliers that make it easier for them to navigate the purchase process.

In fact, Gartner research found that customers who perceived the information they received from suppliers to be helpful in advancing across their buying jobs were 2.8 times more likely to experience a high degree of purchase ease, and three times more likely to buy a bigger deal with less regret.


Suppliers must enable buyers to complete buying jobs

To win in this B2B buying environment, suppliers should focus on providing customers with information that is specifically designed to help them complete their buying jobs.

We call this “buyer enablement” — the provisioning of information to customers in a way that enables them to complete critical buying jobs.

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In various articles, I have written about the B2B market changing.

Online. Presence. Authority. Knowledge. Trust.

This is the key to getting new leads, new conversations and a new community to where they become key amplifiers in your message and what you say. They want to hear more as it appeals send to them and their organisation

The touchpoints are key to this.

There are now 7-10 people in any one large SME or business that will need to be in focus should they be a target and be prospecting in this area. The more clout you have in the business. By this, I mean connections and influence. The more visible you are.

Treating social as now and then and thinking you are doing it is one thing.

Adding structure, strategy, people, planning backed up with effort, consistency and teamwork takes you into the proper commercial orientated inbound circle of leads prospects conversations data and influence and. Most certainly a PO or two or three. Depending on the scale of team and effort this will be up to you.

Connecting at scale. Reaching out and sharing your story, your message, your voice.

Suddenly you have an audience, influence and a network who see your WHY? They become engaged and want to see more. Their internal teams know who you are and what you do.

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Linkedin is the place to be seen and be a voice in your profession.

In short. Businesses and buying teams have changed.

  • They have more time to be online now.
  • More time to research the market.
  • More time to digest key content that fits what they want for the business.
  • What challenges do they have?
  • What are you doing to know that?
  • What are you showing to solve that?
  • Why you? Why your business?

Get social. Get online. Get coffee. Grab your team and create a reason to be the best.

Want to speak further? My details on profile or company.

Kevin Milne

Strategic Social Selling Associate


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