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  • Writer's pictureAntonio Scatena

Is Digital Really the New Normal for Your Business? – Part 1

B2B buyers and sellers prefer the new digital reality

We see and hear the news that COVID-19 has changed B2B sales forever. Our customers and co-workers are even sometimes the same people echoing this sentiment which is cast down by the mainstream media and the company’s socially distanced water cooler talk.

However, the topic of this blog post ignores the automatons and media parrots, and confronts a recent article which is founded on data obtained from buyers and sellers. This commentary relates to the McKinsey & Company report which states that “both buyers and sellers prefer the new digital reality.”

The article reports that:

"More than three quarters of buyers and sellers say they now prefer digital self-service and remote human engagement over face-to-face interactions—a sentiment that has steadily intensified even after lockdowns have ended."

The article cites that digital self-service and remote interactions have made it easier for buyers to obtain information, place orders, and arrange service. Buyers have also noted that speed and convenience are enjoyed as part of this digital shift.

Interestingly, the article also states that roughly 20% of B2B buyers hoped to return to in-person sales. This twenty percent of respondents also includes sectors such as Pharma and Medical Device where field-sales models have traditionally dominated.

How does this digital change, and shift affect your business?

Let that sink in for a moment: only 20% of buyers and sellers hope to return to in-person sales. For the majority of our clients whose businesses rely on direct and in-person selling, this is a major shift.

Since March 2020, we all have pivoted and shifted in some way to digital. The problem isn't the buyers (and sellers) who prefer digital; it isn't even the small majority who want in-person sales interactions. The problem for our clients is adapting their sales processes and methodologies to a digital platform while not diluting their sales efforts or diminishing their effectiveness. The problem is remaining sales effective and leveraging maximum value while under the constraints of a virtual reality with their clients.

Take a moment to consider the following…

  • Who are these buyers and sellers that favor digital interactions over in-person buying and selling?

  • What industries do the buyers and sellers represent who prefer digital engagement?

  • What department and title do the buyers hold? The sellers?

  • What business models represent the majority of respondents who prefer digital engagement?

  • Why are these industries and business models better suited for digital interaction than in-person, direct selling?

  • How can your sales process be optimized and adapted to best sell in a virtual world?

  • Do you have the support and access to adapt these processes while still increasing sales and new business acquisition?

Part 2

The second part of our series will dive deeper into the digital shift and how it impacts your business.


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