The world of B2B sales is changing… rapidly. Where salespeople were once the go-to contacts for information and advice during the buying process, content and personal research are now taking their place. As buyers educate themselves and manoeuvre through the first 70% of the sales cycle, B2B salespeople are side-lined and left feeling underutilised.
1 million B2B salespeople will be made redundant (in the US alone) due to technological innovations by 2020[i]
It’s no surprise that content and inbound marketing are continuing to increase in popularity, but in doing so they are further alienating the salespeople. So what does the future hold? Where do sales ‘fit’ in the world of modern B2B marketing? The answer is where they should have always been… at the bottom of the funnel converting leads to customers.
Data is vital
Part of the widespread appeal of inbound marketing and marketing automation is the sheer amount of data which is captured during the lead’s journey through the sales cycle. From key issues, current solutions and objections, to location, budget and buying authority, this data can all be gathered on every single lead. The only difference is that instead of salespeople gathering this information during a lead nurturing relationship, the marketing team and the automation software now do this automatically. The information is still gathered and stored; it’s just located in the marketing department as opposed to sales.
The handover pack
So the solution? Use the information that’s been gathered to identify only the hottest leads and then pass them over to sales. But unlike ever before, the handover of leads should now include a ‘handover pack’ which includes all of the data gathered on each lead. By doing this, sales people will be able to quickly and efficiently review the lead’s journey through the sales funnel, see what channels and content they engaged with, and also how they are currently handling their pain points and issues.
Salespeople should be selling
The outcome then, is that salespeople are far from obsolete. The fact is, they are more important now than ever before. And best of all, they get to do what they love most – selling. By using the information and data that is gathered as part of modern multi-channel marketing, the marketing team can empower the sales team to convert leads to customers at a never-before-seen rate.
To see how concerned salespeople are about their future and how this can be easily rectified by more in-depth communication with the marketing team, check out our latest infographic…