Digital-first sales journeys have changed the ways buyers and sellers engage. With fewer in-person interactions, buyers are spending more time navigating the buying journey online.
While buyers are spending more time researching solutions, they’re spending less time with sales reps. On average, buyers have 27 information-gathering sessions before they speak with a salesperson. And once they begin to consider solutions, buyers only spend 17% of their time meeting with potential suppliers.
In order to connect with buyers and help them navigate the buying journey, sales reps have to make the most of every interaction and follow through with personalized content that helps buyers as they consider solutions. Digital sales rooms give buyers and sellers a dedicated environment where they can share information throughout the buyer journey.
In this post, we’ll detail how your sales organization can leverage digital sales rooms to enable buyers to make a well-informed purchase decision.
Consolidating scattered content experiences
According to Gartner, there are five “B2B buying jobs” that purchasing teams must address as they navigate the buying process:
- Problem identification: We need to do something.
- Solution exploration: What’s out there to solve our problem?
- Requirements Building: What exactly do we need to purchase to do this?
- Supplier selection: Does this do what we want it to?
- Validation: We think we know the right answer, but we need to be sure.
- Consensus creation: We need to get everyone on board.
Buyers will manage jobs 1-3 as they identify their problem and begin to research potential solutions. This means that sales reps and digital sales rooms can play the largest role in steps 4-6. In reality, this could mean that a journey that begins on Google search may then shift to LinkedIn, before navigating to a supplier’s website and signing up for an email.
See how quickly the content experience can become scattered? Buyers consume several pieces of content while researching and often “loop back” to it as they work through B2B sales cycles. Sales reps can quickly add value to the buying journey by simplifying the content experience for their prospects.
Digital sales rooms allow sales reps to enable buyers by surfacing all deal-related information in a single location. For instance, if a buyer needs more information about product xyz or wants to know how ACME Software uses your product, you can share a solution brief or case study directly to the digital sales room environment. This simplifies the supplier selection and validation jobs by giving the buyer access to the information they need to consider, all in a single, easy-to-find location.
Ongoing communication between meetings
In the best-case scenario, meetings are an opportunity for buyers to discuss their challenges and sales teams listen. By listening, sales reps can begin to identify the ways in which their product or service can help resolve the buyer’s challenges.
The first conversation your sales team has with a prospect should inform their follow-up communications, as well as future conversations. For example, if a buying team’s salesforce spends too much time customizing pitch decks, the seller could share a personalized presentation that details their solution for customized content, alongside a case study from a customer with a similar use case. By sharing these assets in a sales engagement platform, the buying team can loop back to these documents throughout their buying journey.
Collaboration and communications tools within digital sales room software also enable buyers and sellers to discuss the content that has been shared. So if a member of the buying team has questions after they read a piece of content, they can ask it in the sales room or discuss it in a subsequent meeting.
Digital sales rooms also give sales reps an advantage when it comes to helping buyers resolve the sixth B2B buying job: consensus creation.
Building consensus among stakeholders
The buying journey has become more complex because there are a lot more cooks in the kitchen. On average, there are 11 people influencing the purchasing decision and each stakeholder has their own interests to consider with respect to a given solution.
When you think about it, it’s nearly impossible to get 11 people on the same page–it’s even more challenging when content is scattered across multiple channels. Gartner also notes that, of the ten or more stakeholders, each individual has amassed four-to-five pieces of content to support them throughout the buying process. If not everyone has access to the same information, it becomes difficult to build consensus.
Sales organizations that engage their buyers in digital sales rooms stand out from their competitors because they simplify consensus-building. By creating a single environment for deal-related content, buying teams can have access to the same information whenever they need it.
Digital sales rooms also provide communications features that facilitate collaboration between sales and buying teams. For example, Seismic’s digital sales rooms include chat capabilities which can be used for back-and-forth communication, as well as tagging to alert members that new content has been added or may be relevant to a specific stakeholder.
The modern B2B buyer is more informed than ever before. Sales reps who listen to their buyers and serve as trusted advisors have a distinct advantage. Rather than selling a product, it’s important to help buyers identify the best solution for the challenge they’re trying to resolve.
Digital sales rooms are a tool that sellers can use as they guide their prospects through the buying journey. Understanding that buyers will often revisit content throughout their journey, digital sales rooms allow sales reps to consolidate all deal-related information and establish a line of communication with buyers as they move through the sales cycle.
If you’d like to learn more about sales trends and how your organization can best serve its customers in the digital-first era, download our eBook, Rewriting the Rules of Engagement for the Modern Buyer.