In the dynamic world of B2B sales, understanding customer expectations and preferences is critical for success. Research carried out by McKinsey, found that over 90% of B2B decision makers now feel digital sales channels are as effective, if not more, than traditional sales channels. With customer preferences evolving, and technology continuing to shape the business landscape, organisations must recognise the importance of adopting B2B omnichannel selling strategies.
In this blog, we will explore the concept of omnichannel selling from a B2B perspective, highlighting its differences from remote and virtual selling, its criticality to B2B organisations, and the steps businesses can take to transition towards an omnichannel sales model.
What is omnichannel selling?
In the realm of B2B sales, omnichannel selling refers to the strategic approach of delivering a cohesive and integrated buying experience across multiple channels. It recognises that B2B buyers interact with businesses through various touchpoints, including websites, social media, emails, events, and sales representatives. Omnichannel selling aims to provide a consistent and personalised experience throughout the entire buyer’s journey, regardless of the channel they engage with.
Understanding omnichannel selling in B2B sales
Adopting an omnichannel approach in B2B sales offers several advantages. It allows organisations to meet the evolving expectations of B2B buyers who seek convenience, personalisation, and seamless interactions. By providing consistent messaging and experiences across channels, businesses can build trust, enhance customer satisfaction, and strengthen long-term relationships. Moreover, an omnichannel strategy enables organisations to capture leads at different touchpoints and nurture them towards conversion, resulting in improved sales performance and revenue growth.
To better grasp the power of omnichannel selling in the B2B context, consider a few examples. A B2B buyer might explore a company’s website to gather information, receive personalised follow-up emails, attend a webinar hosted by the business, engage in live chat support, and ultimately connect with a sales representative for a personalised demo. This integrated approach ensures a seamless and consistent experience, building confidence and facilitating the buyer’s decision-making process.
Omnichannel vs remote selling in the B2B space
Remote or virtual selling, on the other hand, refers to the practice of conducting sales interactions and transactions virtually, without in-person meetings. It relies on digital tools and communication platforms to engage with prospects, deliver presentations, and close deals. Remote selling has gained prominence due to the increasing use of technology and the changing dynamics of work environments.
While remote selling is a subset of omnichannel selling, it has distinct characteristics in the B2B context. Remote selling primarily focuses on virtual interactions, leveraging tools such as video conferencing, emails, and collaboration platforms. In contrast, omnichannel selling encompasses a broader approach that includes both digital and physical touchpoints. It acknowledges the importance of face-to-face interactions, events, and other offline channels in B2B relationships. It is crucial sales leaders understand that remote or virtual selling is not omnichannel selling.
Remote selling brings several benefits to B2B organisations. It allows sales teams to connect with prospects and customers worldwide, overcoming geographical barriers. Remote selling also offers flexibility and cost savings by reducing the need for extensive travel. However, it may lack the comprehensive approach of omnichannel selling, as it primarily focuses on virtual channels, potentially missing out on opportunities for deeper relationship-building through multiple touchpoints.
The criticality of Omnichannel selling for B2B success
Meeting complex buyer expectations
B2B buyers have unique and complex expectations. They expect a seamless and personalised experience throughout their journey, which often involves multiple decision-makers and a longer sales cycle. Adopting an omnichannel selling strategy is critical for B2B organisations to meet these expectations effectively. By providing consistent messaging, personalised interactions, and a cohesive experience across channels, businesses can build trust, credibility, and customer loyalty, ultimately increasing their chances of closing deals.
Maximising sales opportunities
In the B2B world, sales opportunities are often complex and require nurturing over time. An omnichannel approach enables organisations to capture leads at various touchpoints and guide them through the sales funnel. By leveraging multiple channels such as content marketing, email campaigns, social media engagement, webinars, and direct sales interactions, businesses can engage with prospects at different stages of their buying journey. This multi-channel approach maximises sales opportunities and increases the likelihood of conversion.
Strengthening customer relationships
In the B2B space, building strong customer relationships is crucial for repeat business and referrals. Omnichannel selling allows organisations to deliver a consistent and personalised experience at each interaction, regardless of the channel. By integrating customer data across channels and leveraging it to tailor communication and offerings, businesses can deepen relationships with key accounts and understand their unique needs. This level of personalised attention fosters trust and encourages long-term partnerships, setting the foundation for sustainable growth.
Steps to transition towards an omnichannel sales model
With the rapid advancement of technology and the changing expectations of B2B buyers, organisations must be proactive in adapting their sales strategies. Embracing an omnichannel approach is no longer an option; it’s a necessity for B2B success.
Transitioning to an omnichannel sales model may seem like a daunting task, but the benefits far outweigh the challenges. By providing a seamless and integrated customer experience across channels, B2B organisations can enhance their brand reputation, increase customer loyalty, and ultimately drive revenue growth. However, it’s essential to remember that implementing an effective omnichannel strategy requires careful planning and execution.
Here we share considerations to help you navigate the transition to an omnichannel sales model in the B2B space:
Assess current sales channels and touchpoints
Start by evaluating your current sales channels and touchpoints to identify strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in the existing approach. Analyse the performance of each channel, gather feedback from customers, and understand their preferences and behaviours. This assessment will provide insights into areas that require improvement and help prioritise your efforts.
Develop a comprehensive strategy
Develop a comprehensive omnichannel strategy that aligns with your business goals and target audience. Consider the channels most relevant to your B2B buyers and prioritise them accordingly. Determine how each channel will be utilised at different stages of the sales cycle and ensure that they work together seamlessly to create a cohesive customer journey.
Integrate sales and marketing efforts
Aligning sales and marketing is crucial for successful omnichannel selling in the B2B space. Collaborate closely with marketing teams to ensure consistent messaging, branding, and customer experiences across channels. Integrate sales and marketing strategies, share insights and data, and align goals to deliver a unified approach that enhances the buyer’s journey at every touchpoint.
Leverage technology solutions
Invest in technology solutions that facilitate seamless integration and management of your omnichannel sales model. Implement a robust customer relationship management (CRM) system that centralises customer data and enables data-driven decision-making. Utilise marketing automation platforms, content management systems, and analytics tools to streamline processes, deliver targeted messages, and track customer interactions across channels.
Personalise the customer experience
Personalisation is key to successful B2B sales in an omnichannel environment. Leverage customer data to tailor your messaging, content, and offerings to individual buyers or target account segments. Use automation and personalisation tools to deliver relevant and timely information to prospects and customers through their preferred channels. The more personalised and relevant your interactions, the higher the chances of engagement and conversion.
Train and equip your sales team
Transitioning to an omnichannel sales model requires a well-trained and adaptable sales team. Provide comprehensive training on digital tools, CRM systems, and the art of managing relationships across channels. Equip your sales team with the skills to deliver consistent messaging, personalised experiences, and effective communication in various settings. Encourage continuous learning and professional development to keep up with industry trends and evolving customer expectations.
Continuously monitor, analyse, and optimise
Implementing an omnichannel sales model in B2B is an ongoing process. Continuously monitor and analyse the performance of your channels, track customer interactions, and gather feedback to identify areas for improvement. Leverage data analytics to gain insights into customer behaviour, preferences, and buying patterns. Use these insights to optimise your omnichannel strategy, refine messaging, and make informed decisions that enhance the customer experience.
The future of B2B sales
B2B organisations must embrace the shift towards an omnichannel sales model to thrive in the future of B2B sales. By developing a comprehensive strategy, investing in technology, fostering collaboration, personalising the customer experience, providing sales training, and continuously monitoring and adapting, you can position your organisation for success. The key is to remember that omnichannel selling is not a one-time implementation but an ongoing commitment to delivering exceptional customer experiences across all channels. Embrace the opportunities that omnichannel selling presents and stay ahead of the curve in the competitive B2B landscape.
Ready to take your B2B sales to the next level with omnichannel selling? Contact us today to discuss how our expertise can help you implement an effective omnichannel sales strategy and drive business growth.