Phil Harrell, VP, Group Director
The onset of the pandemic fast-forwarded B2B sales into the future. Buying, in many cases, went entirely virtual. Sellers had to quickly figure out how to build relationships through computer screens. Yet the experience has also helped crystallize the skills and investments that sales leaders need to prioritize for future success. Vice President and Group Director Phil Harrell explains and previews insights he’ll unveil at this year’s B2B Summit North America.
With so much of buying having shifted online, sales organizations need to be able to convert digital “footprints” from buyers’ online interactions into actionable insights, Harrell says. This is key to delivering the fast, intuitive, and personalized experiences B2B buyers have come to expect as consumers. “It’s no longer OK to give that canned demo or to not know what a person might be interested in based on what they did on the website prior to engaging with a salesperson,” he says.
Making better use of data will require investments in technology and process. It also will take a mindset shift. “Sales leaders need to understand that they can’t go it alone,” says Harrell. With buyers conducting so much of their own research, sales leaders need to partner with marketing to engage prospects early in the buying process. They also need to work more closely with product leaders to help ensure that offerings are in tune with what buyers want.
Changing buying patterns are also forcing a greater emphasis on retention, cross-sell, and upsell. With purchasing increasingly happening on a subscription basis, “sellers are going to have to adjust to ensure that it’s not just about closing the initial deal but making sure those buyers receive the value that they were promised and that you can sell them more and retain them,” Harrell says.
Listen to the full episode for more on what B2B sales success will require. For an even deeper dive, join Phil and other sales thought leaders at B2B Summit North America May 3–6. Learn more and register.