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Boost your sales efficiency with a multi-channel strategy

According to a recent B2B market study by McKinsey¹, the performance of multi-channel distribution has far exceeded the traditional ones. Eight out of ten B2B executives say that multi-channel has become the most effective marketing method – a statistic that has increased significantly since the Covid crisis, rising from 54% before the pandemic to 83% in February 2021.

And clients agrees with suppliers on this topic. Whereas previously the sales representative was the preferred point of contact to obtain information, ask for advice and negotiate conditions and prices, today more than half (59%)² of clients feel that they do not need the sales representative when making their purchase decision. Another new element that goes against a widespread belief that digital distribution is reserved for low unit cost purchases: 33% of clients say they are willing to sign contracts of $500 000 or more in a fully digitalized business model¹.

The new roles of the sales representative

Multi-channel distribution is gradually becoming the norm and not the exception. In this context, the sales representative must be able to take on new responsibilities such as orchestrating mailing and phoning campaigns, actively using social networks, interacting with clients via videoconferences and occasionally organizing in-person visits.

The challenge for sales managers is that each of these channels has its specificities, pace and operating model.

Mailing, which is the highest volume channel, requires a very professional approach. Its performance is directly correlated with the quality of the databases, the level of deliverability, the narratives, and the quality of the sequencing. Experience shows that a professional approach achieves 6 to 8 times higher openings, conversion (number of appointments) and transformation (number of signatures) rates.

If social networks have proven their effectiveness in facilitating contacts, they are often underutilized for B2B content dissemination. Since clients are increasingly autonomous in their search for products and services, providers should rely as much as possible on outbound sharing of content to meet their requirements.

Phoning is not very popular among sales reps who are often reluctant to spend hours on the phone and get discouraged quickly. Nevertheless, it is an essential complement to mailing, especially when the prospect engages in the information search phase. Phoning lends itself very well to a tailor-made outsourcing conducted by professionals able to replicate, with more efficiency, the commercial environment of the provider.

Video is becoming increasingly important as a channel for B2B content dissemination. Well suited for the search for information during the purchase process, video is on its way to supplant case studies, infographics and webinars that are more expensive and time-consuming to produce.

In the downstream phases of the sales cycle – negotiation and closing – videoconferencing (Zoom, WebEx, Teams...) has become the preferred means of interaction before phoning and face-to-face meetings. 76% of B2B business managers prefer videoconferencing over the phone to interact with existing clients or prospects¹.

Today only a multi-channel business strategy makes it possible to optimize distribution on all B2B parameters: quality, speed, reliability, simplicity and availability.

The proliferation of channels, their rapid adoption by clients and their constant evolution presents significant challenges for B2B stakeholders. While only 28% of B2B decision-makers admit to having hybrid sales reps on their team, 85% want this to be the most common profile in the next 3 years.

In particular, they must be able to:

  • Choose the right channel at the right time and be able to alternate seamlessly between channels

  • Real-time access to qualified and up-to-date data

  • Maintain the intimacy of face-to-face meetings during virtual interactions

  • Avoid that the client "individual» is supplanted by the client "corporate account"

  • Resolve conflicts between channels

  • Make the experience of remote demos as attractive as physical demonstrations.

If you are interested in delving deeper into this topic and learning more about our experiences, please do not hesitate to contact us.

¹ : Omnichannel in B2B sales: The new normal in a year that has been anything but - McKinsey & Co.

² : Sales force in the digital era: a revalued asset - Cap Gemini Consulting

Alexandre Giry-Deloison, founder and CEO of GROW


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