Potential customers are more self-reliant and in control of the selling process -- thanks to the digitization of the buyer’s journey. With widespread access to vendor websites, industry publications, research analyst reports and online forums, buyers have increasingly less need to communicate with vendors at the beginning of their journey.
Why is it so difficult to accurately identify the average B2B lead conversion rate? One significant reason is that what constitutes a “lead” is subjective and variable. For example, is a lead the contact details from someone who downloaded a white paper? Or is it those contact details plus criteria like company size or job title that provide access to a higher value asset?
Value selling tools are an essential part of the B2B sales process. When built properly and used consistently, they can strengthen your sales message, improve the credibility of your sales reps, and by extension, your organization. Additionally, they can help close more sales in less time. Some consultants dispute their potential because homegrown and generic tools typically struggle to meet expectations.
Today’s buyers drive the sales process by contacting select vendors only after they conduct their own research. Vendors who want to be in the running must increase both visibility and credibility early on. Many vendors use inbound marketing to proactively raise brand awareness and capture buyers’ attention. Those most successful, incorporate value selling principles into targeted marketing campaigns that are supported by accurate and compelling data.
What does it mean to be a successful salesperson, whether inside sales or otherwise?
Certainly, the ability to persuade is as important as is the knowledge of the solution for sale. However, the most successful salespeople approach each sale as though it were a battle; not in the negative sense, but in the strategic and tactical sense, from gathering intelligence and building a pathway, to partnership between your company and the customer’s business.
According to a recent study, nearly 50% of sales leaders are shifting from the field to inside sales. This shift, along with shorter sales cycles and easier access to competitor information, makes it more important than ever to ensure your inside sales team is well equipped to hold its ground against the competition with a value message, a value selling approach, and the tools (and reports) to back it up.
Selling software solutions isn’t as easy as it once was. Between the economic uncertainty and the increasing sophistication of buyers, you’ll need to work harder to convince companies that your solution is the right one for them.
Another change in the sales arena is new buying habits, often referred to in marketing speak as the “buyer’s journey”. Most if not all buyers perform advance research online, and only begin to speak with a sales representative towards the end of the sales cycle when they are nearly ready to make a decision.
This means that when the time comes, not only must you be able to justify your price, but you also need to be able to show value. You can no longer expect to slide in to win a sale merely with the strength of a flashy presentation and a ready-made proposal.
Let’s just say it: You can’t survive in this hyper-competitive selling environment without the right tools to generate and qualify leads, gather customer data, and prove your product’s value.
But where should those sales tools come from? Should you build your own or invest in a third-party solution?
Let’s compare building a homebrew tool and investing in tools from a vendor who exclusively focuses on Value Selling.