I believe that it would be hard to argue that B2B selling hasn't changed significantly in recent times - and equally hard to deny that it will inevitably continue to evolve.
The reason, of course, is that B2B buying behaviour - particularly when it comes to significant, complicated buying decisions - is also changing significantly, not least in terms of the number of stakeholders involved in the decision and approval processes.
In my latest on-demand webinar, I identify four key trends that are shaping our environment and fuelling the movement towards outcome-centric selling. I hope that you'll find the conclusions relevant to what you're seeking to achieve in your own sales organisation...
1. From driving your sales process to facilitating their buying journey
The first key trend recognises that the traditional concept of a linear "sales process" bears little or no resemblance to the complex and complicated reality of today's buying journeys - a situation reflected in Gartner's recent research and often described as being like "life in a spaghetti bowl".
The consequences are significant: at and from any phase in the journey, our prospective customer can choose to move forward, move backwards, go around in circles or abandon the journey altogether.
To succeed in complex B2B sales: focus on customer's business outcomes.
2. From buying products to consuming services
The shift from buying products to consuming services has been dramatic. Only a decade ago, the product purchase model predominated. But in technology-based businesses, the consumption of services using a subscription model now drives move revenue than products.
Service revenue growth is 8x higher than that for products, and shows no sign of abating. And this transition is not restricted to software-as-a-service (SaaS). Across multiple sectors, the service subscription is becoming increasingly important.
3. From technology-driven to business-led projects
The third key transformation is from technology-driven to business-led products. Research by Gartner and others has demonstrated that business is taking the lead in an increasing number of technology-based projects, rather than leaving them to the technology experts to drive.
The emphasis is shifting from compliance with a series of technology requirements to the confidence that clearly-defined business outcomes will actually be achieved.
4. From solution-centric to outcome-centric selling
The above three trends all point towards the fourth trend: the need to shift from promoting your so-called "solutions" to ensuring that your customer's expected business outcomes are clearly understood and that they are going to be achieved.
Most B2B sales organisations have already successfully evolved from a product-centric to a solution-centric approach. But simply embracing what is traditionally called "solution selling" is no longer enough. If you are to succeed in the future of complex B2B sales, your whole organisation needs to be focused on the customer's expected business outcomes.
I believe that Outcome-Centric Selling® is an idea whose time has come. If, after watching the webinar, you agree and would like to learn more, please book a Zoom call. I look forward to our conversation!
Bob Apollo is the CEO at
Inflexion-Point, the UK-based B2B sales and marketing performance improvement specialists. Inflexion-Point helps B2B organisations to design and implement highly effective customer acquisition systems based on a combination of the winning habits of their top sales performers and the latest industry best practices.
Inflexion-Point are the designers of the Outcome-Centric Selling Edition - a pre-configured Membrain version with sales process, methodology, and enablement embedded. This Edition will help your salespeople to make your way of selling into a competitive advantage.