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The global pandemic shift towards a digital business landscape has accelerated rapidly, from business face to face to digital platforms, we review what buyers want from sellers and how some suppliers are adapting.

The Sales Innovation Expo (SIE) was held at ExCeL London from 16-17 November. The organizers prepared the event with extra safety measures, and it was well attended. With many exhibition booths and keynote speakers, all providing their specialized insights into various aspects of sales and marketing.

 

Customer Experience Keynote Speech

Janice B Gordon presented her keynote speech, providing insight into the buyer experience and why investing in the buyer’s journey modernizes the sales process and yields higher revenues.

 

In her keynote speech, she talked about the shifting mindset required from channel-centric to being more personalized and buyer-centric. To achieve this, you need to know what your customers want from their buying journey. According to Scott Albro, Buyers want five key things:

  1. Simplicity: Buyers are 86% more likely to buy during a simple experience.
  2. Relevance: 64% of buyers cite that “understanding the customer” is crucial.
  3. Information: 64% of buyers cite that “understanding the customer” is essential.
  4. Low risk: “Reduced financial risk” is a vital factor by 54% of buyers.
  5. Contro: 70% of the buyer experience is completed before interacting with the supplier.

And Janice added a sixth critical element that buyers want:

  1. Speed: According to McKinsey, the number one B2B pain point is lack of speed. 66% of those surveyed want a faster turnaround of quotes, orders, and billing.

These six steps will ensure that your customers feel well served if you follow these six steps. According to Janice B Gordon, the customer growth expert, you will increase your revenue two-fold compared to your competitors, who provide average buyer experiences.

Sales Innovation Expo Exhibitors

There are many ways companies are helping to optimize sales and marketing strategies. Here are a few examples presented at the Expo:

 

Shortlist Marketing

Shortlist Marketing is an agency based in Nottingham that focuses primarily on B2B lead generation. They aim to create intelligent marketing campaigns which produce tangible results and a substantially greater ROI. They started as a telemarketing agency, and now, while they still view the telephone as central to everything they do, they don’t use it in such an aggressive way. In their words, they “no longer use it as a sledgehammer but instead more like a scalpel, with several activities warming leads up we will then carefully select those we engage with to ensure we get (you) the best results possible.”

Shortlist Marketing aim to generate leads for companies and increase sales conversions through several warming activities. Moving from cold calling to social selling is a prime example of how companies adapt to the digital world.

 

Cognism

Cognism is an international organization that utilizes data for prospecting. Their data comes from an extensive database of 5.6 billion data points, including 400 million business profiles and 15 million companies. Using Cognism’s data, you can filter your correct target accounts and discover direct dials and emails of key decision-makers to focus on your top possible prospects. You can also track their online behaviour to identify when they are in buying mode. According to Cognism, “69% of their users see ROI in 6 months or less.”

Cognism can identify the correct accounts to engage with now by tracking online data. Comparing Cognism to Shortlist Marketing, Cognism utilizes the digital world to a greater degree, using data instead of conventional telemarketing.

 

Red Flag Alert

Red Flag Alert are another company like Cognism that uses data to leverage revenue growth. They capture hundreds of data points daily and provide turnover insights using their AI-powered algorithm.

Using their software, you can find your ideal prospect, filtering by many categories such as industry, company size, and location to monitor significant changes and opportunities to reach out using GDPR compliant email addresses and their LinkedIn integration.

Red Flag Alert, similar to Shortlist Marketing, are about finding the ideal prospect and turning them into leads and then a buyer. However, they go about generating leads through data analysis, much like Cognism.

 

These 3 are just a few examples of how companies engage with prospective buyers. In my keynote speech, I talked about what buyers want. Even B2B buyers want to be treated as individuals, talking to another individual on the other end. These three companies are examples of different engagement methods. However, these three companies are not at the same point in the buyer’s journey. Shortlist Marketing and Red Flag Alert focus on lead generation, and Cognism focuses on engagement.

Are Expos Becoming Redundant?

At the beginning of this article, I touched on the concept of the global shift toward a digital sales environment.

Over the recent pandemic, companies have had to rely on digital marketing strategies more than ever to ensure their success. With physical, face-to-face business returning, companies face a big question. What will be the future balance of digital and face to face engagement? Where do I need to continue to invest to prospect, engage and expand the customers base?

Expos such as the SIE used to be a primary method of generating and engaging and reconnecting with customers for B2B companies. Digital marketing is now what many buyers prefer. Companies need to adapt to this shift, whether as simple as creating a social media presence or as complex as devising successful online marketing strategies to generate more leads. Adaptability is key. Suppose your industry has standardized face-to-face meetings to conduct business. In that case, this could open doors for companies in terms of opportunities to get ahead of the competition, adopt new digital channels, and create those connections over social media, for example.

According to a McKinsey study, consumption patterns of countries in the recovery phase will be uneven and unlikely to return to pre-COVID-19 levels any time soon. The window of opportunity to adapt to the digital world is slowly but surely closing. If you see the benefits that come with digital marketing, it must become part of your long-term marketing strategy.

 

This article was written by Alex Jang, executive assistant to Janice B Gordon, the Customer Growth Expert and founder of Scale Your Sales.

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