17 January 2022
The year 2021 is almost over and it’s time to forecast trends for the next year. Sales and marketing go side by side, and therefore, in our opinion, it is necessary to take into account trends in both areas.
Both for marketing and for sales, the last two years have been difficult. During this time, a lot has changed. In many markets and industries, the sales department had to cope with transformational changes in a short period of time.
Of course, some B2B companies managed to adapt to new conditions better than others. Now they are trying to understand what a “new normality” is, that is, a hybrid model that combines digital, virtual and local sales. After all, at the moment, companies buy goods and services on the Internet more than ever before.
So, in terms of the gross commodity sales volume via electronic B2B commerce, first place in the world is won by Asia, it is followed by North America. Between 2012 and 2020, the cost of e-commerce transactions B2B only in China has quadrupled.
On the other hand, it must be borne in mind that in the new realities, some sellers managed to adapt better than others. The best and most talented people invented new ways of working, mastered new skills and reoriented their energy to rethink, identify and use their most promising sales opportunities.
Therefore, in today’s unstable digital-centric environment, it is imperative that B2B companies stand out by offering customer-centric shopping experiences. And most importantly, creativity and resourcefulness are becoming increasingly important for the success of sales and marketing departments.
Let’s look closer at the main trends we should expect in 2022.
1. Product Growth
As we know, companies can have different sales strategies and growth strategies. There are companies that rely on sales-based growth, while others rely on marketing-based growth. Now growth at the expense of the product is becoming more and more relevant.
Product led growth/PLG is a business strategy in which the use of the product is the main driver for attracting and monetizing users. The most famous PLG strategies: free trial, freemium, self service, viral programs. Many companies have recently begun to experiment with them, and realized that such strategies do work.
So, based on the data of the venture capital fund OpenView, to date, PLG has created more than $208B of market value—and we’re still seeing exponential growth.
An important element of the PLG strategy is the simplicity and comprehensiveness of the product. It allows you to understand what needs to be done to make it easier for customers to use the product. As we wrote above, the Freemium model or a free trial helps in this. It allows prospects to try out the product before communicating with the sales department.
For example, you can issue a trial subscription to the Kompass Public Tenders service and evaluate the ability to track tenders from more than 190 countries in 145 languages.
2. Firmography 2.0
Wikipedia gave a clear definition of this term: What demographics are to people, firmographics are to organizations.
Firmographic data or firmography is a set of characteristics and indicators that are used to segment companies and organizations into individual, defined groups. To do this, they use the search for the necessary products or services using international classifiers (SIC, NAICS, Kompass, etc.) and limit the results by location, size of companies and its financial indicators.
Many systems provide such a service. You can get the most qualified search results in several clicks using the target-oriented list generation service Kompass EasyList.
However, these opportunities will be enhanced in the near future. Machine learning comes to the rescue, allowing you to search for the necessary companies with greater accuracy. And then outdated industry codes, which are already 10-15 years old and which no one uses, can be discarded. After all, instead of searching for some general wording of the activity (for example, information technology), it will be possible to search for detailed wording (for example, 3D technology).
The same applies to the location of the company. The sales department now wants to know not only where the company headquarter is, but also the location of all its divisions.
In addition, now, instead of simply looking at net revenue and the number of employees, the best choice criterion is the momentum of growth. The sales department needs to know the trends: how fast the web traffic is growing, how search and hire practice is changing, and so on.
Many of these tools have already been implemented in the EasyBusiness B2B prospecting solutions, which allows you to refine the target audience with more than 60 criteria in 28 languages.
3. Hybrid sellers
As McKinsey & Company has concluded, “The pandemic has cemented omnichannel interactions as the predominant path for B2B sales. Even as in-person engagement reemerged as an option, buyers made clear they prefer a cross-channel mix, choosing in-person, remote, and digital self-serve interactions in equal measure”.
And since customers will purchase through various channels, that is, their purchases will be omnichannel, then sales models will become hybrid. This model strives for interaction with the buyer by phone, e-mail, in online chat, by video call, through applications, and from time to time in person.
So, according to the mentioned study by McKinsey & Company, an overwhelming number of B2B executives say that omnichannel sales are actually more efficient than previous models before the era of COVID. “Eight in ten B2B leaders say that omnichannel is as or more effective than traditional methods—a sentiment that has grown sharply throughout the past year—rising from 54 percent at the start of the pandemic to 83 percent in February 2021”.
However, this approach to sales can cause a conflict of communication channels. Therefore, sales managers will need additional training to improve their skills with all these new tools and applications.
After all, interaction with a potential buyer should be interactive and well-monitored. Therefore, we are not talking about the usual template email or cold call scenario. For example, this can be a specially selected personal video message sent to social media messengers.
In this article, we considered three types of strategies that will be in the trend in the coming year 2022. But do not forget about the existing and, at the same time, still relevant tools for sales departments. Among them is a ‘must have’ presence and digital visibility of the company on the Internet. And we are talking not only about the corporate site, but also about company data presenting on top global B2B sites. For example, the Kompass Booster solution allows you to stand out among competitors in the long run term with the help of a high-quality online presentation, and therefore attract even more potential buyers worldwide.