Another year is racing into the history book and what a year it has been. B2B buyers are getting younger, savvier, and more demanding. Competition is also fiercer than ever as new players are constantly popping up.
So, what does the future of the B2B landscape hold? What skills will be critical to not only staying competitive but also thriving? Here’s what the best sales training companies are predicting for 2023.
Younger buyers are taking over
According to Trust Radius, 60% of all B2B tech buyers are Millennials (aged 25 – 39). Millennials also make up 51% of lead buyers and financial approvers. That’s a whole different generation from the Baby Boomers who used to dominate business.
Baby Boomers prefer face-to-face meetings and phone calls. Millennials grew up with the internet. They don’t want salespeople taking up their time until it’s absolutely necessary.
To reach these buyers, you need to have an informative and user-friendly website. You also need to be active on social media, especially LinkedIn. LinkedIn is where most B2B tech decision-makers hang out.
Micro-influencers are playing a big role
Working with influencers has been a hot sales tactic for a few years now. But in 2023, we’ll see a shift to micro-influencers. Micro-influencers have a smaller following (1,000 to 100,000 followers). But what they lack in numbers, they make up for in stronger engagement and higher ROI.
A study by Tomoson found that micro-influencers generate an ROI of $11.20 for every dollar spent on them. A-list celebrities or social media stars only manage $0.30 back on every dollar.
Sales training companies say the best way to find micro-influencers is to look at who’s already talking about your brand. These people are more likely to be interested in working with you. You can also check out who your customers are following.
Artificial intelligence in sales
We’re already seeing artificial intelligence (AI) playing a role in sales. In 2023, AI will be even more ubiquitous. For example, AI-driven sales automation tools are becoming more affordable and easier to use. These tools can help you with lead generation, customer segmentation, and email personalization.
You’ll also see AI used to improve personalization. AI can help you gather data from different sources and create a 360-degree view of your customer. This information can be used to customize your sales pitch and improve close rates.
To optimize AI in your sales process, start by identifying which tasks are best suited for automation. Then find a tool that meets your needs and budget. Also, be sure to train your sales team on the best ways to use AI so that your company can take advantage of its benefits.
Omnichannel is the way to go
Omnichannel selling is no longer a nice-to-have. In 2023, it will be a must-have if you want to stay competitive. Research by Boston Consulting Group found that companies with an omnichannel strategy saw a 91% increase in customer retention.
Omnichannel selling means being present on multiple channels (e.g., social media, email, phone, and live chat). It also means providing a consistent experience across all channels.
To create a powerful omnichannel strategy, start by identifying the channels your customers prefer. Then, figure out how they’re using them. For instance, are they using social media to research products or to make a purchase? Once you have this information, you can create a strategy that meets your customer’s needs.
More self-serve options
Data by Salesforce shows that 87% of B2B companies have increased their self-serve offerings in the past year. This trend is likely to continue well into the future.
When executed well, self-service options can be a powerful business tool. The best sales training companies say that well-designed self-service options can help you increase conversion rates. That’s because they make it easy for customers to find the information they need and make a purchase.
To create a self-service option that meets your customer’s needs, start by identifying their pain points. Then create content that addresses these pain points. Also, augment self-service options with prompt human support when needed.
Whatever trend you decide to focus on in 2023, make sure it’s in line with your buyer’s journey. By doing so, you’ll be able to meet your customer’s needs and drive more sales.