According to McKinsey, more than half of the 90% of B2B organizations which have moved to a digitized sales process in 2020 find it as or more effective than previous models. An enforced change to business-as-usual has revealed huge benefits to companies.
However, salespeople still see the value of face-to-face interactions and many customers still prefer the feel of a handshake deal. As we all adapt to the reality that our habits must change for the foreseeable future, salespeople are looking for tools that encourage clients to move online but retain the feel of the personal relationships they have always valued. The answer is in conversational commerce.
What is a digitized sales process and why invest in it?
If you are looking for a loose synonym for a digitized sales process outside of the B2B domain, then conversational commerce fits the bill. This term was only coined in 2015 but, in just five years, conversational commerce has become a fundamental strategy for increasing sales and customer loyalty in eCommerce.
It refers to the system of direct communication between a brand or business and its customers. Conversational commerce uses instant digital messages shared on platforms such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or iMessage, which incorporates the ability to make purchases online. It is a response to the real needs of 2.5 billion people who communicate using messaging apps on mobile phones for general communication and are coming to expect the same kind of easy and quick communication with their favorite brands.
In recent years, companies have started to use chatbots in eCommerce to open new sales channels and save significant amounts of money. This trend is growing fast. About 80% of businesses plan to use chatbots for their online businesses by 2020. Around half of shoppers say that they willingly interact with eCommerce chatbots; the next step is then to go beyond chatbots that answer questions and move to a more digitized sales process.
In spite of this rapid development, bots will probably never replace human to human interactions between the consumer and the brand. They are improving all the time but will likely not be fully able to build relationships, understand emotions, and answer complex questions about products. That is why we need tools like Meetsales, which combines the convenience of a digitized sales process with the value of having an experienced sales rep leading the conversation.
Why are digitized sales processes more common in B2C companies than in B2B?
Meetsales is essentially a new type of solution: a conversational commerce app that enables in-meeting sales in the B2B sector. While B2C companies like online stores and services have already embraced chatbots, why has the B2B sector been slower to embrace the potential of these technologies?
Resistance from sales
When salespeople hear terms like ‘digitized sales process’, they often feel slightly threatened by the prospect. It sounds like a euphemism for replacing sales teams with robots. Companies can then experience resistance from salespeople who believe that technology will cut into their earnings potential. In response, businesses don’t do enough to show salespeople how technology will increase their potential to reach clients and close deals. They need to make enough effort to explain the benefits of the suggested tech.
This is an internal communication problem that we encourage companies to face head-on. It is natural for people to push back against changes or to feel threatened by technology; make sure that you explain to your sales team that a digital sales process solution like Meetsales is not meant to replace them. In fact, it is specifically designed to let your sales teams continue business as usual but through a new channel.
Resistance from the organization
Most B2B companies work in established, often very traditional, ways. Therefore, even if people are open to the idea of a new solution, the sprawling complexity of old technologies across fragmented departments makes it hard to know where to begin. Many B2B companies know that they need to undergo digital transformation but would rather stick with the status quo because of two inaccurate assumptions.
- “What we do has worked up to now, so we should stick with it”.
Yes, it may have worked up to now but once competitors start implementing better technology, the business will fall behind.
- “If we change one thing, we’ll have to change everything.”
We no longer use monolithic systems in companies in which every single process is connected at the core. It is possible to find SaaS solutions like Meetsales which you can test in one small area. If it works, you keep it; if it doesn’t add value, you can look elsewhere. The idea that digitizing one thing means you’ll need the budget for a root and branch reshaping of every piece of technology in the company is simply not true anymore. There is no need to worry about a domino effect on the company’s innovation budget.
How does Meetsales help your B2B sales teams?
Meetsales is the only conversational commerce solution that puts an interactive shopping cart directly into a B2B sales call. It lets sales reps build relationships and close deals as they meet clients online, show products, discuss prices, and add products to a live cart. It fuses the practicality and cost-effectiveness of a remote meeting with the personal touch of a traditional sales process. Meetsales is a tool for people, not a substitute for personal relationships. Its goal is to improve sales rep’s work and optimize sales through video.
“Our mission is to provide the technology that allows sales teams to close more deals online. The tool was designed to facilitate the sales reps, not to replace them! Meetsales fits perfectly into this idea. It is a solution that combines the values of video conferencing with eCommerce tools. Imagine Zoom-meets-Salesforce. It allows a video meeting between the customer and the sales rep, but with an interactive catalog and shopping cart. Meetsales, as a conversational commerce system, fully integrates with any PIM system so sales reps can guide their clients through the whole product catalog and close more deals.”Tamara Boleswicz, Meetsales Product Owner at Divante.
Tips for introducing a digitized sales process at speed
With the current global climate, your sales teams might be working at less than their full potential. Most sales reps thrive on face-to-face contact and being able to use the skills they have honed over the years. Phone calls, email, Skype, or faxes might let them present your offers but they don’t let them present clients with the best face of the company.
If you are choosing Meetsales as the way to reinvigorate your sales team and kickstart your conversational commerce capabilities, here’s how to do it at speed (which is obviously essential in the current economic climate).
- Download the app. It takes minutes, not days. And because it is a SaaS solution, there is no complicated contract process
- Integrate it with your PIM. You can sync with your entire product catalog instantly.
- Onboard your sales teams. This is a two-step process. First, you need to show people how technology will let them achieve better results. It’s not a threat, it’s a tool. Secondly, let them play with the solution and see how intuitive it is to use. Your sales team needs to know that their total focus during calls will be on the client, not on trying to work out how to use their new piece of technology.
- Invite clients to calls. Clients don’t need to download any software. All they need is a simple widget. You can make your first sales calls within 24 hours of downloading Meetsales.
In essence, the most important thing is just taking the first step and breaking away from false assumptions such as “What we do has worked up until now, so we should stick with it” and “If we change one thing, we’ll have to change everything”. The best way to implement a digital sales process at speed is to choose a SaaS solution that doesn’t have a high entry bar and just get started. However, the key to ongoing success will be your sales teams. Show them how they will benefit from the change and show them the results from the stats dashboard later on to motivate them and prove that you’re all moving in the right direction.
If you want to find out how meetsales can help you get started, contact Tamara Bolsewicz and schedule a demo.
Published September 30, 2020