On this week in sales we’ll be looking at: 

  • Buyers buying faster
  • If the AI in sales hype real?
  • Selling to the new millennial buyer

And much more!


63% of B2B Buyers Now Make Procurement Decisions Quicker Than Pre-Pandemic, New ARPR Research Concludes

When we polled CIOs and CTOs, 63% of respondents said their IT budgets have increased slightly or significantly due to COVID-19.

Added Anna Ruth Willams, ARPR’s  CEO: “Our survey points to a moment of reimagination for software sales departments. Tech buyers are now empowered to drive innovation with more budget and faster approval processes. To do so, they are turning to increasingly digital sales processes to find information exactly when they need it.”

AI & Machine Learning: Substance Behind the Hype?

It’s become inevitable in IT. Something new appears on the horizon and the hype machine ramps up to warp speed. In some cases, companies relabel their existing wares to align with the new term without making any actual change to the product.

Sometimes the hype is justified, often it is not. How about artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)? Gartner believes they are over-hyped according to its recent Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Science and Machine-Learning Platforms.

Getting B2B marketplaces ready for going prime time in 2021

Gartner believes so. It has predicted that, by 2023, at least 70% of enterprise marketplaces launched will support B2B transactions.

Nobel Prize winner in economics Alvin Roth says successful marketplaces must be “thick, uncongested, and safe.”

Thick” here means there needs to be enough participants in the market to make it thrive. 

Avoiding congestion is about balancing the offer and the demand side, so there are not too many merchants selling, that increasing demand is being fulfilled, that the customer is seeing a wide enough selection of products.

Safety is when all parties feel secure enough to make decisions based on their best interests.

Is Buy Now, Pay Later Right for B2B?

 Klarna recently raised $1 billion and is now valued at over $30 billion. PayPal, AfterPay and a slew of other companies are also generating big buzz in the space.

The B2B eCommerce payment market — $4 trillion and growing — is ripe for transformation.

Financing has always been a challenge for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and COVID has only exacerbated the problem. According to the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index, overall loan approval rates in December 2020 were down over 50% vs. December 2019.

Are You Adapting to Sell Effectively to Millennial B2B Decision Makers

Millennials are the first truly digital generation. They want (in descending order of preference) contact via:

  •     Email (69%)
  •     Phone calls (62%)
  •     Text messages/SMS/WeChat/WhatsApp (24%)
  •     Face-to-face meetings (24%)
  •     Live/video chats (21%)
  •     Social media (19%)

80% of Millennials admit that they check reviews and recommendations before making a buying decision.

How to Scale Your Sales Team Quickly

 In the early days of an organization, people join because they’re passionate about the mission. Yet too often, as the team grows in size, the tether to the original vision weakens, and new salespeople aren’t as successful  To ensure your new team stays passionate, follow these three tactics: 

1) establish storytelling as a company norm, so every sales member carries your mission into customer conversations; 

For example, when scaling the Hootsuite sales team, they trained sales managers to start each weekly meeting with a story about how their solution made a difference to customers. This enables new hires to deepen their understanding of the product impact, and it strengthens their connection to the founding vision. This makes them more effective in customer conversations.

2) institutionalize deep discovery into your sales process, teaching new salespeople to ask strategic questions to understand customer goals; and 

3) invest in human-to-human sales enablement, which provides the team with the assets to win business, including presentations, market data, tech tools, and a well-organized pool of case studies.

77% of Employees Say They Waste Time in Unnecessary Meetings, Cites New Allego Report

Allego surveyed 250 B2B business leaders in January 2021. Survey respondents were randomly screened and sampled by an independent research firm.

Also, 78% of leaders say they’re on “collaborative overload” and need more quiet time.

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