Blog Data-driven marketing

Sales Trends 2022 (B2B)

Marketing is not the only area where things are happening. Sales is also highly active. The challenges remain the same here, namely increasing sales efficiency and shifting the focus to the right leads. The solutions for this year focus on data, i.e. getting the right data and information to the right person at the right time.

In 2022, it is hard to find any sales staff that truly enjoy working through lists and calling unqualified leads, while hoping that a company might by chance actually require the products or services on offer at the present moment or in the near future. A poorly maintained CRM system that provides little or no information is also a nightmare for sellers. When staff first have to go through the tedious task of putting together all the information without even knowing whether it is even correct, motivation drops fast.

 

Sales Trends 2022

In far too many cases, new customer acquisition is still like searching for a needle in a haystack.

 

However, customers with whom we implement joint data integration projects have shown that it is possible to do something about this and massively increase the efficiency of B2B sales. This once again brings us back to the two keywords: data and information. The more you know about a company as a seller, the more effectively you can anticipate when that company is «ready» to establish contact. If the Sales department can automatically receive a notification when a certain activity, such as getting in touch with a company, is currently lucrative, this is even better – with all information required to prepare for the meeting served up neatly on a plate.

This takes us deep into the 2022 sales trends for B2B. The main ingredient – as you have probably already guessed – is data, data, data. Not least for ESG, whose use is also becoming increasingly important in sales.

Sales trend number 1: Trigger-based sales

How great would it be to only contact those companies that are currently interested in a certain product or service? With access to the right data, this is actually not so difficult to achieve.

So-called buying signals represent one option here. These are sent out by sales intelligence platforms, if desired also via push notification. For example, an office furniture manufacturer needs to know when companies are relocating or opening new offices. The need for new internal fixtures and fittings is then likely to be very high. Information on this kind, which can be obtained via a data provider, is therefore extremely important.

Another option for drastically improving the qualification process, and thereby also the hit percentage of leads, is to use smart data analytics. We already presented this method with the marketing trends for 2022. It generates lists with leads that have relevance of up to 90%.

A third option is to incorporate third party data. If you can identify the IP address of those visiting your website, it is then possible to have this processed by a third-party service provider and learn more about their surfing habits. One example: If you are a provider of CRM systems and discover that one of your website visitors regularly posts on IT forums on the topic of CRM, this is a sign that they are considering a CRM migration in the near future. As such, this would be the perfect time to establish contact with them.

Sales trend number 2: Automated sales

Our customer EASY SOFTWARE shows what automation in sales looks like in reality. Here, a manual process has increasingly given way to an automated and focused process. This revolves around data, as well as scorings that are based on data. This approach makes it possible for sellers to propose the activity in the CRM system that is currently the most profitable. In addition to this, Sales also receives the relevant information for establishing contact. The potential customer must listen to the right, relevant and personalised information. Otherwise, they are not interested in an exchange. The prospective company’s pains and gains represent the starting point here. It is important to understand what is bothering them and then present them with a solution.

The example shows where the journey is heading in Sales. Less maintenance effort in the CRM system, as well as more automation that makes it possible to focus on those activities with a genuine chance of success. This increases efficiency in Sales and puts an end to wasteful downtimes.

We already addressed this trend a year ago. However, we are of the opinion that there is still a long way to go to catch up in this field. The obstacles are the data silos still present, coupled with a lack of commitment on the part of Marketing and Sales departments to work together on expediting automation. This brings us to the next trend.

Sales trend number 3: Data-driven sales

B2B sales are all about staying one step ahead of the competition, doing the right thing at the right time and contacting the right person (actually getting through to them). However, this only works when the data base is right. To be more precise, it is all about accurately investigating the use case of the respective sales organisation and then determining what data and information is required for the optimum solution. Why? Because data quality is the key to success.

Let us compare it with a musical concert. Having the best, most attractive stage and the most professional sound and lighting system is meaningless if the band is out of tune. In the same way, it is possible to automate processes with «bad» data. Nothing good can ever come of this.

 

Easy to integrate: What is the easiest and most effective way of getting data into marketing systems? This is the key topic for our customers this year.

Björn Gerster Director Marketing Consulting DACH at Dun & Bradstreet

Having the right data in the right quality, integrated into the systems and made available to the right employees in the right form: This is what a successful sales team must get a grip on. The examples provided above and many more will then work effectively. The Sales and Marketing departments will also interact far more closely.

Sales trend number 4: ESG data

Climate change affects us all. It is also leading to growing awareness that every company must demonstrate how it is handling its own effects on the climate. Large companies are already using ESG data, while mid-sized and small companies are slowly catching up. The appetite for information of this kind will therefore see a pronounced increase in future.

Establishing and expanding business relations with companies that operate on a sustainable basis is today one of the most important growth priorities. After all, nobody can ultimately afford to work with companies displaying unethical business practices on a long-term basis. Indeed, this can quickly ruin a company’s hard earned reputation.