Selling

The Changing Face of B2B Sales

By Clay Wallin
August 22, 2013

Is your B2B sales organization competing effectively using customer data? I recently visited a chemicals customer who has self diagnosed their sales process as lacking and an opportunity for improvement. In spite of implementation of SalesForce.com to better arm the sales teams with data, the field reps continue to subjectively apply discounts to customers as they always have. The “old way” perseveres. Analysis of actual sales vs. forecasted sales, product pricing at similar customer accounts and in other segments, and competitive activity is ad-hoc and leaves a lot on the table. Approvals often take many days of back and forth with management, slowing progress on deals and allowing competitive influences an opening and the opportunity to muddy the waters. Customers have shared that doing business with them is not easy.

They called because they know they need to change to compete more effectively. They know they are not preparing the sales force for each critical moment of truth (MOT) when the customer can issue an order (write a check), and they are committed to competing better.

We can agree that customer and product segmentation, sales velocity, optimization and value based pricing are all topics of great interest, but how can organizations execute on these? At Vendavo, we don’t know what the future holds for B2B sales. But, we do know that winning organizations will change to make better use of data. Winning organizations will embrace the changing face of B2B sales and find ways in which the information economy can finally be leveraged for transformative sales execution. The platforms that will enable this change will include mobile tools to deliver ‘moment of truth’ intelligence, SaaS solutions, social business strategies, and more.

Inspired B2B organizations are rallying now to define their strategic vision for B2B sales execution. Once defined, the vision leads to a “Road Map” that includes details around platforms, processes, and people. Once this plan is documented, a budget can be allocated and the gloves come off!

  • automation , mobile , optimization , pricing , SaaS , salesforce , segmentation , social

    Clay Wallin

    Clay Wallin has 20 years of experience helping manufacturers with strategic technology best practices. Prior to Vendavo, Clay had a career spanning international technology sales, marketing and supply chain management for Hewlett-Packard Company, a midsize high tech manufacturer and multiple start up software businesses focused on Beverage Alcohol within Consumer Package Goods. @ClayWallin is a big believer in #socialbusiness. Clay has an MBA from Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management in Marketing and a BA in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.