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About This Episode
What if you had a crystal ball?
What if you could see the trends and changes that would take place in sales over the next few years?
Well, that’s sort of what Tim Flynn has. (He says he doesn’t have a crystal ball, but we’re not convinced. He seems to predict the future fairly well).
A seasoned expert, Tim came on The Sales Engagement podcast to talk about a shift he expects to see in the B2B space.
There’s a Change Happening to the B2C Sales Experience
Okay, we know what you’re thinking: “What does B2C have to do with B2B?” Bear with us.
Everyone knows about Uber. But did you know about their developing partnership with Starbucks? If you get in an Uber today, they might be able to put on your favorite music and give you a cold bottle of water. But, what if when your ride pulled up, they handed you your favorite Starbucks order?
Another example: Walmart is starting to work with makers of smart appliances. The goal? Not only will your refrigerator monitor the level of your staples (i.e., how much milk you have left), but if you start to run out, it will ping Walmart who will then deliver a fresh jug, not just to your door, but to your fridge.
That’s the type of sales experience that B2C companies are moving towards.
But what does this have to do with B2B? Well, these super-charged sales experiences are changing our expectations.
That means B2B sales expectations will start to change along with it.
So, if this shift happens, what are some key themes you can expect to emerge?
Focus on the Sales Experience of the End Consumer
And how you can make their life easier.
The sales experience is becoming a starting point.
Once companies have determined what is the best sales experience to provide, they then back up from there to determine what organizational structure can best support that desired experience, how they can best execute it, etc.
So, expect to see the sales experience take the front seat.
Partnerships are Key to Providing a Great Sales Experience
Think back to Uber. They’re probably not getting any additional profit by offering Starbucks to riders.
But, if a rider is willing to choose Uber over Lyft because of it, that partnership is still key.
Expect to see partnerships becoming more valuable.
Data and Insights Drive Stellar Sales Experiences
Think about KPIs that we traditionally measure, like CSAT scores, or client retention metrics.
With a shift towards experience driven sales, KPIs will also need to shift to reflect that new focus.
But what do those measurements look like? What do we even measure?
This might be one of the biggest barriers to adoption of the shift towards sales experience.
So, what metrics might you consider? Well, that depends on your company.
Tim suggests keeping an eye on your turnover. Why? Top talent will always adapt. They can also identify when their company is not agile enough to adapt, or not able to deliver a successful result. In these cases, they will go elsewhere. Think about looking at your top talent as an indicator of your ability to provide exceptional sales experience.
What You Can Start Doing Right Now to Improve Your Sales Experience
If you feel like you’re not providing your clients with the most optimal experience, start asking questions.
Ask anyone you’re working with at any stage of the sales cycle the following: “Regardless of the outcome, I would love your honest feedback on your experience dealing with me, areas I could improve, and areas of the experience you enjoyed.”
Then, do your best to deliver what you can control.
And leaders – listen to your boots on the ground.
Feedback on your sales experience isn’t going to show up on your weekly report. It takes conversations. So, start asking questions. Start talking about it.
Still Not Convinced?
That’s okay. We’re not trying to sound the fire alarm. More so just giving you something to put on the radar.
We said Tim had a crystal ball. But we all know that’s not really true. There’s no way to accurately predict what changes will happen in B2B sales over the next few months of years.
But we can predict one thing with 100% accuracy: change is inevitable.
On that note, we leave you with one more thought from Tim: “Anybody that thinks status quo today is going to work tomorrow, is not going to be successful.”
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