The digital transformation has kick-started a shift in the importance of outbound and inbound selling strategies in the B2B sales industry.
When you picture a salesperson, what kind of character do you imagine?
Is it a charming, smartly-dressed man or woman with charisma oozing from every pore? As stereotypical as this description may be, it essentially represents the outbound tradition of selling.
Basic demographics drove outbound strategies: the industry, location, and company size, and often consisted of cold-calling prospects. In this approach, the salesperson was armed with little more than their charm and whatever limited knowledge they had of the prospect in an attempt to get the customer to sign on the dotted line and commit to a purchase.
The digital transformation has impacted both our professional and personal purchasing habits. Inbound marketing has risen to the forefront of B2B sales, and it is greatly dependent on the alignment of sales and marketing teams. It focuses on the distribution of content, search engine optimization (SEO) and digital lead generation tools.
Outbound sales techniques
The traditional B2B outbound sales techniques left sales teams restricted. The small amount of information that was available to them about the prospects they were attempting to engage with often resulted in the loss of time and resources.
Sales teams of the past often blindly approached companies in an attempt to drive sales. Cold-calling was the most common method of contacting these prospects. This lead generation approach has since grown to be outdated.
The lack of information regarding their target hindered marketing teams’ efforts. Their method of contacting businesses was through the use of email marketing campaigns.
Email marketing remains to be an extremely relevant component of the modern marketing campaign. Traditional marketing teams developed these campaigns with little demographic information. Often, the company’s industry or size would be the only factors available when tailoring their outgoing emails.
The lack of information driving campaigns often hindered the lead generation efforts of sales and marketing teams. B2B sales and marketing teams now drive their campaigns using data.
How has the digital transformation impacted outbound strategies?
The availability of data has increased the effectiveness B2B outbound selling strategies. Data-driven campaigns afford both sales and marketing teams with insights into the businesses that they are aiming to partner with. They may also provide valuable insights concerning competitors within the industry.
This data-driven approach provides teams with the capability of tailoring each campaign to specific businesses using buyer personas. This greater focused agenda means that sales and marketing teams are using their time and resources more efficiently.
Inbound sales techniques
Content marketing, SEO and lead generation are all products of the digital selling movement. B2B buyer’s purchasing habits have shifted the B2B sales market to the world wide web. The internet gives the B2B buyer greater autonomy throughout their buying journey. It also gives B2B businesses the opportunity to truly understand their target audiences and their buying behavior.
Sales and marketing teams can now approach a buyer using content and other marketing techniques that have been tailored to the buyer using their own digital footprint. Greater insights into the buyer’s demographics and interests are provided by modern data. The buyer and their business’ suitability to the products or services being sold can be determined using data. This refocuses the efforts of sales and marketing teams the most suitable businesses.
The digital selling transformation
Digital data impacts every aspect of our lives. The traditional method of doing things in most, if not all, industries has undergone a digital transformation. The impact of such a transformation is particularly evident in the B2B sales industry.
The transformed outbound and inbound strategies drive the lead generation efforts of both sales and marketing teams. There is a better understanding of the industry’s buyers and their interests as a result of behavioral data. This allows businesses to tailor their lead generation efforts.
The digital presence of a modern B2B business has a profound impact on their success.