B2B 2022 Trends: Sales Challenges and Solutions
In May 2022 Sofia Serdar joined 11.2 Ventures as a Strategy Intern. At the end of her internship, she wrote us a blog about emerging Sales trends for the B2B company this year.
“As a rising freshman at Vanderbilt University, I was fortunate to spend the summer working as an intern at 11.2 Ventures. Through this opportunity, I was introduced to the inner workings of a Venture Studio and its portfolio companies. This experience helped me gain insights that will help me as I begin college this fall and beyond.”
Please read on to learn about Sofia’s findings. The team at p3rceive wishes Sofia a successful first year in college.
“Since 2020, our world has undergone massive changes due to a global pandemic. At work and school, we have gone from trying to just figure out how to share a document on Zoom or Teams to now having virtual meetings on almost everyone’s daily calendar. As we moved to this new normalcy, businesses were forced to adapt, which presented an emerging set of selling and buying trends for the B2B in 2022.
With “working from home” now being a much more acceptable and widely used practice, corporations find it imperative to find software and technology companies that they trust to distribute out to their employees. A relevant trend for B2B tech companies is the reliance on third party and social media reviews to create a confident customer. In any type of marketing strategy, thousands of raving 5-star reviews will make a business appear more trustworthy. Taking into consideration the ease and accessibility of internet platforms, it is not surprising that 90 percent of B2B potential buyers research their product online before having face-to-face interactions with sales representatives. If a company simply prioritizes expanding their social media presence and online customer service platforms, it can be a very effective marketing strategy.
Another major trend emerging in 2022 is the increasing number of sales calls and discussions that do not happen in person. If a company fails to implement intimate online sales practices, their business will soon begin to fall behind their competition that utilizes virtual customer sales strategies. By implementing key features like online demos, consumer content posted on platforms like YouTube, and video conferences, customers are able to get an initial feel for the buyer’s software before needing any in-person interaction. Without it, buyers tend to get lazy and halt their pursuit of certain products.
The 2021 State of Conversational Marketing Report published by Drift.com shows that businesses’ frustration with old school purchasing methods grew by 27%. Now, in 2022, only about 20% of B2B buyers say that they want to return to in-person sales, so businesses must be willing to adapt to meet the needs of their consumers.
In order to take the analysis of customers’ needs and preferences to the next level, B2B companies, particularly in the tech industry, have become keen on using Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is extremely successful at accomplishing repetitive tasks like producing answers to direct questions, nurturing leads, and driving up engagement. But the implementation of artificial intelligence presents a significant challenge as well: certain tasks require “creative intelligence” from humans, which is something that software, no matter how advanced, simply lacks. It would be easy to implement AI software while reducing human employees to instantly witness a simultaneous decrease in labor expense and increase in productivity…on paper. However, these machines, as impressive as they may be, lack empathy, creativity, motivation, and culture which all benefit a company to its core.
Many of the 2022 trends discussed so far affect a wide range of industries, yet they seem to contain a recurring theme: technology. This is huge news for the B2B Industry because businesses are going to be forced to invest in technology even more than before to keep their company from falling behind. New and innovative technology gives corporations a competitive advantage, thus pressuring companies to become B2B consumers. This is good news for tech companies, however, with increasing demand comes increasing competition, so many companies are struggling to stand out.
This competitive B2B tech market, especially the SaaS vertical, is ruthless in 2022. There are many types of technology emerging, so in order to be successful, a company must find a niche value proposition and attack their target market. A vendor must first try to learn about their ideal customer and make them feel understood through behind-the-scenes customizations and personalized messages. In order to maximize engagement on a product, a company must advertise to not only the people who may not know about the product, but also to the potential buyers already interacting with the website. In such a competitive industry, a B2B technology company must be willing to adopt a creative business strategy that includes a go-to-market plan that meets its customers in this new post-pandemic environment.”