Industrial sales tactics can change from year to year. Tactics that used to be effective at identifying prospects and nurturing them into buyers may lose their efficacy. Instead, they may be replaced with new industrial sales tactics. Because of their ever-changing nature, you can't use the same industrial sales tactics and expect them to work. You need to use the latest industrial sales tactics to achieve success for your B2B company. By familiarizing yourself with the top seven industrial sales trends for 2021, you can refine your B2B company's sales strategy while ending the year on a strong note.
#1) Sales Enablement
Sales enablement has become a hot industrial sales trend. While there are different ways to perform it, it focuses on providing sales reps with the tools and resources they need to effectively engage prospects. With sales enablement, you can "enable" your B2B company's sales reps to succeed.
Some sales reps are more experienced than others. Even if a sales rep has several years of experience, though, he or she may struggle to engage prospects without the right tools and resources. Sales enablement offers a solution. This industrial sales trend revolves around providing sales reps with tools and resources so that they can effectively engage prospects and, therefore, nurture prospects into buyers. Be sure to consult with marketing to either use what they have developed, or ask them to tailor marketing to the need of your prospect.
We can't talk about industrial sales trends without mentioning automation. The days of manually engaging prospects is long gone. While some forms of engagement can and should be manually performed, other forms of engagement can be automated. Automation is an industrial sales trend that involves the use of technology to perform sales-related tasks either partially or fully automatically.
According to a report published by McKinsey, up to 40% of all sales tactics can be automated. The problem is that not all sales reps leverage automation. Many of them perform sales tactics manually, resulting in a lower level of productivity and fewer overall sales. If your B2B company's sales team suffers from low productivity and low sales revenue, you should take advantage of automation. Automation has been around for many years, but it's become an essential industrial sales trend because of its positive impact on productivity and sales revenue.
Have you heard of Objectives and Key Results (OKR)? Like sales enablement and automation, it's become a hot industrial sales trend. OKR is essentially a system for tracking objectives. It's not uncommon for individual sales reps to set their own objectives. Some sales reps, for instance, may strive to close 50 deals per month. Other sales reps may strive to close more or fewer deals per month. OKR typically doesn't involve individual objectives such as this. Instead, it involves collective, team-based objectives.
With OKR, your B2B company's sales team can identify objectives that they want to collectively achieve during a given period. OKR encourages sales reps to work together so that they can achieve these objectives. Sales reps can still set individual objectives, but OKR provides sales reps with collective, team-based objectives.
Account-based marketing (ABM) is an industrial sales trend you should consider using in 2021. According to one report, over half of all B2B companies that implemented ABM experienced a revenue increase of 10% or more within the first year.
ABM is an advanced sales tactic where sales reps and marketers work together to target key accounts. It requires the alignment of your B2B company's sales team and marketing team. When aligned, they can share their knowledge and resources to engage key accounts as a whole rather than individual prospects.
Some of the benefits of ABM include the following:
#5) Appointment Setting Services
Another hot industrial sales trend for 2021 is appointment setting services. Appointments are oftentimes the precursor to sales. Before buying a product from your B2B company, a prospect may want to book an appointment with a sales rep. During this appointment, the prospect can inquire about the product's or service's details to determine whether it's the right choice for his or her own business.
Encouraging prospects to book appointments, though, can be time-consuming. Fortunately, there are third-party specialists that offer appointment setting services. They can not only find prospects who meet your B2B company's target demographic; these third-party specialists can engage with the prospects while encouraging them to book appointments.
#6) Lead Scoring
More and more B2B companies are using lead scoring to improve their sales process. Lead scoring is an industrial sales trend that, as the name suggests, involves scoring leads. You can generate sales leads using a variety of methods. Cold calling, emailing and blogging are some of the most common lead generation methods. After generating a list of leads, you can then score them.
There's no universal method for lead scoring. Different B2B companies use different lead scoring methods. The key thing to remember is that you should score sales leads based on their quality. Sales leads from decision-makers are typically of higher quality than those from lower-level workers. Therefore, they should be assigned a higher score. Lead scoring is a hot industrial sales trend that's here to stay.
You should consider leveraging webinars in your B2B company's sales process. A webinar is a web-based seminar. It's typically live-streamed on a B2B company's website, social media profile or a dedicated webinar platform. Sales reps can record themselves talking about a product or service -- or any other topic that's relevant to their audience -- while live-streaming it via a webinar.
Hosting webinars offers a unique way to engage with prospects. Prospects can tune in to webinars to learn about products or services. Some webinars support conversations as well. If a prospect has a question, for instance, he or she can ask the question during the webinar. You can even repurpose webinars. After hosting a webinar, you can upload it to your B2B company's YouTube channel. The bottom line is that you should consider using webinars in your B2B company's sales process.