CTG Presents to 20 Fathoms Perfecting the Art and Science of B2B Selling: Personalization at Scale

Dave Colliver had the opportunity to present at a recent 20Fathoms workshop last week.  20Fathoms is a relatively new technology incubator located in the heart of Traverse City.  They are doing great things for the entrepreneurial community and the technology industry in Northern Michigan.  There were about 40-50 people that attended workshop.  Dave spoke on enterprise technology B2B selling, field sales versus inside sales, sales technologies and current trends in the industry.

Here are some of the highlights from the workshop:

Field Sales Are Still Dominant, But Inside Sales Are Growing Fast

Face to face or field sales is making up 71.2% of the sales force this year (2017) with remote sales or inside sales making up 28.8% of the sales force, but remote selling is increasing to 30.2% projected for next year. Large companies surveyed tell us they are aiming for an ideal inside sales mix averaged at 40.3%, so more growth is forecast.  Insidesales.com, AA-ISP

Sales is a combination of ART and SCIENCE

On the one hand, inside sales requires a lot of hard work making calls, sending emails, making connections through social, etc.  There is a fair amount of science behind what it takes to be successful here.

On the other hand, field sales depends a lot on relationships.  So, there is a bit of an art to building and maintaining those relationships.  Take the game of golf for example and how relationships can be built on the golf course.

But, as time goes on an as sales technology has advanced, there is a balance between the science of sales versus the art of sales.

The Science of Sales

Scientific Studies on lead conversion outcomes

  • 220 million call interactions
  • 70 million leads
  • 550 companies representing multiple industries

Telfer School of Management Study (University of Ottawa)

  • Best time to respond to inbound web lead: 10 – 60 minutes after it comes in…
  • How many touches does it take to get to positive outcome with contact: 10% of sales are closed after 4 follow ups and 80% of sales are closed between 5 and 12 follow up contacts

Sales Tech is Advancing Fast!

Sales Technology 2018 – 700+ Vendors!?!:

Sales Tech Landscape

Covers 5 Major Sale Disciples:

  • Engagement – Covers technologies for engaging with prospects and customers using voice, video, or digital communication, or in person.
  • Enablement & Productivity – Includes the tools helping front-line personnel be more efficient and effective.
  • Sales Intelligence – Comprises the solutions and database services providing information and insights on companies and buyers.
  • Pipeline & Analytics – Contains all the software for managing and instrumenting the sales pipeline and measuring performance.
  • People – Encompasses all the applications for managing and developing sales personnel, from on-boarding to compensation.

Martech Tech Landscape

High Growth Sales Development Teams Use At Least 5 Apps:

Example of Velocify, 150+ employee high growth sales software firm, founded 2004 – 10 apps…

  1. CRM = Salesforce
  2. Marketing Automation = Marketo
  3. Lead to Account Mapping = Leadspace
  4. Data Append = Zoominfo
  5. Social Selling = LinkedIn
  6. Sales Communication = Velocify
  7. Gamification = Ambition
  8. Content Sharing = Octiv
  9. E-signature = Docusign
  10. Training / Coaching = Execvision

Top three based on USAGE are:

  1. Pipeline Management (CRM)
  2. Lead Distribution and Call Management Software
  3. Email Tracking and Automation

Most Important Success For New Sales Tech:

  1. Adoption/USAGE
  2. Training
  3. Intuitive/Easy to use technology

So What?

“A fool with a tool is a still a fool. A fool with lots of tools is an even bigger fool.”

– Jill Rowley, CMO, Marketo

Social Selling:

Focus on the right people:

  • Potential customers vs. Buying committees
  • On average, 5.4 people now have to formally sign off on each purchase – Harvard Business Review
  • On average, 3.5 different departments within a company influence decisions – LinkedIn
  • 46% of B2B buyers are more likely to choose a vendor if the sales professional builds a relationship with other stakeholders at their company – Linkedin

Chase Change:

30 – 50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first.  

– Insidesales.com

  • 1 in 5 Decision makers (e.g director and above) turn over every year – LinkedIn
  • Event triggers

Decision makes job changes chart


Expand Your Channels

  • Using unique ways to engage to cut through the noise
  • Phone, email, text, LinkedIn Inmail, LinkedIn messaging, Twitter direct message, direct physical mail, video, in person
  • 69% of B2B buyers are more likely to choose a vendor if the sales professional is recommended to them by someone in their professional network

LinkedIn Tips:

  1. Personalize connect requests
  2. Profile should speak to buyer – not necessarily your achievements
  3. Take advantage of profile views
  4. If involved with heavy B2B prospecting, consider investing in a LinkedIn Sales Navigator license.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator

LinkedIn Profile Views:

The Amazon Effect Is Real

  • 77% of buyers don’t believe sales understands their business and don’t think they can help.  Accenture
  • 74% of B2B buyers research half or more of their work purchase before buying.  Forrester
  • By 2020 customers will manage 85% of their relationship with a business without talking to a human being – Gartner
  • The rise of Trustradius, IT Central, G2 Crowd, Capterra

Key Takeways

  1. With the explosion of digital selling tools, the inside sales profession is growing
  2. Successful B2B selling is an art AND science.  Anyone that says that they have perfected it… be suspect 😉
  3. Lots of shiny new toys out there… try to keep it simple when possible as it can get expensive and complicated quickly
  4. LinkedIn is powerful yet gut is telling me its usefulness is short lived for B2B sellers.
  5. Can’t ignore Amazon effect… low value / transactional salespeople need to figure out fast how to add value to the sales process (consultant)