One of the many things that was profoundly and permanently impacted by the global pandemic is the customer behavior. It has not only changed drastically for the last one year, but will remain dynamic and unpredictable in the years to come. In response, sales models have pivoted significantly and should continue to stay dynamic in today’s world.
This transformation in B2B sales strategies, however, often tend to be more superficial-sort of a ‘new wine in old bottle’ scenario. Especially in the reseller space, we end up telling the same old stories to customers who have clearly changed forever!
To prepare ourselves for the ‘next’ and to thrive in a world that is being highly commoditized, the entire sales dynamics must be revisited!
And it’s no mean feat. How do I stay ahead of the changing customer needs? How do I stand out in a crowded market and focus on delivering value? How do I adapt to the new virtual world and remote selling? These are just a few questions that the channels and sales leaders must ask themselves.
The value-driven market
Enterprise customers are treading a highly volatile path of economic uncertainty. In so doing, they are actively looking at how they can transform and modernize business process, embrace digital and stay agile. We have seen how our customers fast tracked digital transformation journeys by several years so that they can retain customers, protect revenues and find new opportunities.
While there is increasing pressure across the board to cut cost, enterprises are not putting a cap on digital or innovation investments. In fact, if we go by the numbers, Indian enterprises are going to increase their digital spend in the coming months.
How does a reseller capitalize on this opportunity? Is having the best product offerings sufficient enough?
In my experience, what will make a huge difference going forward is the seller’s ability to tell a story which aligns his offerings and sales strategies to the unique business pain-points of their customers. We see a few key things that will help us revise customer engagement strategies and sales strategies.
The tectonic shift towards a value-driven economy:
Enterprises, often bootstrapped, are expecting more and more value out of their investments. Resellers must look at ways of articulating this ‘value’ in novel ways. A partner who pushes the boundaries, sells “solutions for a problem” rather than feature-rich technology products and showcases both long-term and short-term value for their customers stand to win!
Knowing the customer inside out:
Just like how the pandemic hit us unexpectedly, enterprises are grappling with unforeseen challenges in their technology transformation journey. Quite often, these pain points do not get decoded and remain hidden during a typical sales pitch. The good news is, a partner/sales leader who knows the unique challenges of customers can quickly spot the opportunities. And by addressing these hidden challenges of your customers, the reseller secures a permanent place in the customer technology investment plans.
Reimagine the narrative:
In the new normal, sales must go beyond the historical customer insights and channels. Embracing virtual selling channels, being proactive and empathetic to changing customer needs and adopting new narratives are critical. Globally, successful sales organizations have responded to these changes by going beyond traditional channels to embrace omni-channel customer engagement strategies and by effectively communicating value messages to the relevant buyers.
We, at Technobind, have been prime beneficiaries of this shift. Our sales teams were quick to adapt to the changes and welcome the new ways of selling and new ways of storytelling. Right after the pandemic, our teams sat down and identified key areas of growth that will not only help us navigate the crisis, but also grow.
For example, remote access, end point security, collaboration etc. among other segments helped us clock a magnificent 40% growth in Q1 last year—one of the toughest phases when majority of businesses reported negative growth. If we witnessed a phenomenal YoY growth in the last fiscal despite all the odds and continue to grow along with our partners, it is clearly because we changed our narrative at the right time!