As the market continues to shift and develop, we’ve started to notice that, against macroeconomic challenges, sales are becoming an increasingly complex and challenging field.
Budgets are tightening, global players crowd marketplaces, and decision-making units are becoming more prominent and ever-so-complicated to navigate.
Naturally, this increases the time it takes for a deal to finalize, with more procurement hoops than ever to jump through and even more stakeholders to engage, influence, and convince.
To top off these market challenges, prospects nowadays expect engaging, bespoke content tailored to their specific needs every step of the way.
As the landscape continues to shift and evolve, it’s so vital to stay on top of trends, adapt and develop your strategy to remain competitive and meet the evolving needs of your prospective customers.
Without further ado, here are four sales trends that are shaping B2B sales in 2023.
Deal cycles are getting longer
In 2023, the average startup saw a 24% increase in sales cycle length from early 2022 to 2023, going from a 60-day average to 75 days. The market is saturated with products and solutions for almost any business challenge, and your prospects are increasingly aware of how many options are available. 34% of salespeople admit that closing deals is getting more complex.
In the current climate, buyers are more cautious and need comprehensive, personalized information, tailor-made proposals, and transparent communication to sign a deal.
Prospects today are educated, highly skeptical, and permanently concerned about ROI on every dollar or euro spent. This means there are more stakeholders, questions, conversations, and process hoops to jump through.
Our advice: Maximize every single buyer interaction to provide the most value. Your prospects are busy people, and their time is precious. Ensure you get the most out of every interaction by having the correct information at the right time for that particular prospect.
Personalization matters more than you think
According to 2021 Forbes research, 91 percent of buyers report they are likelier to shop with brands that engage with them. 75% of buyers expect companies to predict their needs and make relevant suggestions before contact. Based on these numbers, it’s a no-brainer that Sales teams leverage personalization in some way, shape, or form.
If used correctly, personalization can lead to a 20% increase in user engagement. If not, 77% of B2B buyers will only purchase with bespoke content. These numbers show that without a high level of personalization, prospects can quickly disengage and slide out of the pipeline.
Our advice: Differentiate yourself and drive sales by adopting a customer-centric approach and offering personalized demos, customized onboarding, and bespoke sales-supporting content. Whatever way you can, always try to make the prospect feel as though they’re your number one priority.
Omnichannel selling continues to win
Omnichannel selling is a strategy that aims to create a seamless customer experience across multiple platforms. As buyers shift between physical and digital spaces, you must provide a consistent conversation experience at every touchpoint.
To succeed at omnichannel selling, you must improve the quality of sales interactions. Just as crucial as sharpening seller focus and storytelling, you must engage with buyers and prospects wherever they are; however, they like to consume information.
Our advice: Instead of considering a particular experience, e.g., a mobile or desktop, aim for a more holistic approach. Your prospects should receive the same message regardless of whether they’re on your website, chatting to you by phone, or perusing your social media. Ensure your content is consistent and optimized for multiple channels and devices.
Content remains royalty
As sales cycles get longer and more complex, engaging, bespoke content that will support your message and wow your prospect has become mission-critical. Content plays a critical role in moving prospects forward, and as we’ve seen, that content has to be tailored to their needs and high quality to stand out from your competitors. To succeed, you must understand the potential impact of your content and leverage it to your advantage.
Besides being costly and ineffective, low-quality content can leave prospects with a negative impression, leading to a lack of trust, disengagement, missed opportunities, and a negative impact on your bottom line.
The right content can leave a lasting positive impression and drive the deal forward. At the same time, the wrong content can derail the process entirely. Your content must help educate, coach, and convince prospects from that first discovery call to signing the deal.
Our advice: Provide prospects with high-quality bespoke content at every stage to build trust and establish a relationship based on value creation. The right content, i.e., bespoke, well-produced, and engaging, shortens the sales cycle, improving conversion and velocity. So it’s pretty essential to get things right.
Leverage content to drive sales success
The B2B sales process is complex, with multiple touchpoints, discussions, and conversations happening along the way. Prospects must feel their problems are being heard and understood at every stage. Content is a great way to differentiate yourself from the competition and leave a lasting impression on your prospects.
Leveraging interactive, engaging content that is easy to create and full of helpful insights is a great way to get the most out of your sales content. Foleon enables you to create visually stunning and interactive proposals and other sales-supporting materials.
The intuitive drag & drop editor and interactive Foleon Doc format empower you to create bespoke sales content experience that helps drive sales. You’ll also get helpful insight into reader engagement and behavior, so you can further optimize your strategy going forward.