Top B2B Sales Trends for 2014

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The pressure of hitting overall sales targets is unrelenting. While the basics remain, reps need to continually hone and expand their skills. Then they must develop a grasp on how the marketplace is changing in terms of buyer expectations, technology, and sales processes. These trends reward an extra level of creativity and insight from sales teams who are able to identify new opportunities with existing and new prospects. The best performers learn from their successes and failures – they understand why they gain or lose business, cementing long-term client relationships.

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Top B2B Sales Trends for 2014

  1. 1. Top B2B Sales Trends for 2014 What You Need to Know and Do to Meet Your Sales Targets
  2. 2. Changing Landscape The pressure of hitting overall sales targets is unrelenting. While the basics remain, reps need to continually hone and expand their skills. Then they must develop a grasp on how the marketplace is changing in terms of buyer expectations, technology, and sales processes. ©K&R Negotiations May be reproduced with K&R Negotiations copyright only
  3. 3. Trend #1 Provide Insights – Understanding your client’s business is not enough.  Take time to get to know your clients, but also communicate the improved business outcomes that will occur post-sale.  Position yourself as a subject matter expert, articulate knowledge about the business challenges, then articulate a solution. ©K&R Negotiations May be reproduced with K&R Negotiations copyright only
  4. 4. Trend #1 continued Provide Insights –  Partner with clients to identify industry trends or likely future directions.  Utilize consultative selling – help to identify disruptive trends and then assist the client in retaining or obtaining leadership positions. www.negotiators.com ©K&R Negotiations May be reproduced with K&R Negotiations copyright only
  5. 5. Trend #2 Facilitate the Close – Instead of forcing the close.  Buyers are actively educating themselves on specific vendors and offerings.  Salespeople will only be allowed to participate if they educate themselves about the customer and are responsive to their needs. www.negotiators.com ©K&R Negotiations May be reproduced with K&R Negotiations copyright only
  6. 6. Trend #2 continued Facilitate the Close –  Buyers internalize three questions to “qualify” the seller: • Do you know about my business? • Do you care about my business? • Have you demonstrated curiosity about my business? www.negotiators.com ©K&R Negotiations May be reproduced with K&R Negotiations copyright only
  7. 7. Trend #2 continued Facilitate the Close –  A lack of genuine curiosity shows you do not care and your knowledge will not be current, deeming you unable to provide meaningful insights.  Understand that the buyer controls the “buy cycle” – position yourself to provide plenty of guidance and support and you will facilitate more sales and generate more revenue. www.negotiators.com ©K&R Negotiations May be reproduced with K&R Negotiations copyright only
  8. 8. Trend #3 Mobile Technology – Accessibility strongly impacts the sale.  Prospects are communicating with you via mobile devices and also finding you this way. Source: The Search Agency State of Paid Search Report for Q4 2012. ©K&R Negotiations May be reproduced with K&R Negotiations copyright only
  9. 9. Trend #3 continued Mobile Technology –  “Always on” selling can save time and money • But to be effective, reps must readily transition from desktop to tablet to mobile device.  This does not negate the need for in-person and telephone skills, but communications must be equally impactful across all media. www.negotiators.com ©K&R Negotiations May be reproduced with K&R Negotiations copyright only
  10. 10. Trend #3 continued Mobile Technology –  Speed of response can be as important as the quality of communication.  Acting “in the moment” ensures questions are still in the forefront when the buyer receives the answer.  “Always on” can burnout your team, schedule downtime to maintain a quality level of communications. www.negotiators.com ©K&R Negotiations May be reproduced with K&R Negotiations copyright only
  11. 11. Trend #4 No Decision – Is your biggest competitor.  It is common to see more sales lost to a lack of decision than to competitors. • Choosing to keep things the same even when change would be beneficial  You must convince your client that the risk of no decision is greater than the benefit of the status quo. www.negotiators.com ©K&R Negotiations May be reproduced with K&R Negotiations copyright only
  12. 12. Trend #4 continued No Decision –  Identify critical risks that the status quo brings for your client’s business and when they will have impact.  Do this early to build credibility and gain buyin.  Engage and communicate at an organizational level (C-Level) where the risks will have impact. www.negotiators.com ©K&R Negotiations May be reproduced with K&R Negotiations copyright only
  13. 13. Trend #5 Vertical Expertise – Increasing levels of insights are required.  Communicating in a prospect’s terminology and metrics provides a unique selling advantage. • It is not just about knowing acronyms, prospects can spot shallow knowledge a mile away. • Many B2B sales professionals come from the vertical or sector which they are serving. www.negotiators.com ©K&R Negotiations May be reproduced with K&R Negotiations copyright only
  14. 14. Trend #5 continued Vertical Expertise –  In the end, domain expertise enables a seller to define the client’s value in the sales process.  Value is created when the measureable impact of a defined business outcome is greater than the cost to obtain the impact.  Authoritatively express that value in context of the business and competitive landscape. www.negotiators.com ©K&R Negotiations May be reproduced with K&R Negotiations copyright only
  15. 15. Trend #6 Clients are in Control – And better informed than ever before.  Today’s buyers come to the negotiation table armed to the teeth with information on all solutions.  The rise in available assimilated information enables clients to know and demand more than ever before. www.negotiators.com ©K&R Negotiations May be reproduced with K&R Negotiations copyright only
  16. 16. Trend #6 continued Clients are in Control –  The 2014 seller knows that they do not get to create the buying discussion. • In most cases they simply get to influence it once the buyer’s research is well along.  The web is now a conversational forum, not a steady stream of seller-centric, one-way messaging. www.negotiators.com ©K&R Negotiations May be reproduced with K&R Negotiations copyright only
  17. 17. Rewards These trends reward an extra level of creativity and insight from sales teams who are able to identify new opportunities with existing and new prospects. The best performers learn from their successes and failures – they understand why they gain or lose business, cementing long-term client relationships. www.negotiators.com ©K&R Negotiations May be reproduced with K&R Negotiations copyright only
  18. 18. Learn More View the original post Read the Executive Brief Share ©K&R Negotiations May be reproduced with K&R Negotiations copyright only
  19. 19. About K&R Negotiations K&R Negotiation Associates, LLC, is a consulting firm specializing in structuring and negotiating business transactions around the world. K&R’s clients include Fortune 200 companies such as IBM, EMC and Xerox, as well as smaller companies such as Aricent, Bristol Technology (now part of HP), Priceline, SEI and others. For more information, please visit www.negotiators.com. K&R Negotiation Associates LLC 4 Island Hill Ridgefield, CT 06877 Voice 203-431-7693 Fax 203-431-1945 ©K&R Negotiations May be reproduced with K&R Negotiations copyright only

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