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Gaining Customer Access With Digital Sales Rooms

Research Highlights Why Sellers Need Digital Sales Rooms to Gain Customer Access

You’ve no-doubtedly heard the research from the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) that tells us that the average B2B buyer is 57% of the way through their purchasing process before ever engaging a salesperson. This research, which came out severaldigital sales rooms years ago, taught us that corporate buyers prefer to conduct their own research and evaluate potential solutions and vendors before (or without) engaging a salesperson.  

Just recently, Gartner Group reported that buyers are spending even less time with salespeople.  Their research shows that buyers only spend 17% of their total buying journey interacting with salespeople. 

Perhaps most troubling of all is a pronounced generational shift in skepticism of salespeople. Gartner research found that millennial decision makers are more than twice as skeptical as baby boomers, with 44% of millennials preferring no sales rep interaction in a B2B sales process.  As baby boomers retire, and millennials, the first digitally native generation, grow into key decision-making positions, a digital buying experience will continue to become the norm.

So if or your sales team has found it more difficult getting customer access during and post Covid-19 pandemic, you should know this is not a trend that will go away. This buyer behavior is here for good.

Sales leaders continue to lament over decreased customer access. But leaders who say “we’re different because we’re B2B” or “we’re different because we provide a service” is no longer an acceptable excuse. Those who do, and fail to adjust, are exposing themselves to disruptive competitors able to innovate with a digital buying experience. 

As compared to B2B consumer brands (admittedly, with far simpler products and services), B2B organizations have fallen woefully behind the seamless, easy and informative experience of B2C digital buying platforms. Today’s B2B buyer expects to buy products and services the same way in which they purchase online consumer products. 

The good news is Menemsha Group now has the technology to enable staffing and recruiting teams to deliver a digital buying experience for today’s B2B decision-makers.

Below, I’ll share with you what digital sales rooms are, how digital sales rooms work and how digital sales rooms help salespeople.

What is a Digital Sales Room?

Digital Sales Rooms (DSRs) provide prospects with a personalized, digital (online) buying journey that is tailored to their business needs and their goals.  Digital sales rooms are designed specifically for supporting buyers in how they prefer to research and evaluate products and services and make purchasing decisions.

A digital sales room is an online portal or microsite where sellers and buyers, (and recruiters and candidates) can collaborate online and access digital content that is relevant to the buyer’s journey and deal cycle. Digital sales rooms are a secure environment where sellers can create differentiated stories and personalized interactions that support buyers and candidates throughout their buying and decision-making process.

How Digital Sales Rooms Work

Similar to a showroom, digital sales rooms are created specifically for each customer, where they can view content such as ebooks, analyst reports, whitepapers, data sheets, product and service catalogs, self-guided demos, candidate resumes and videos, and get their questions answered, all without having to engage a sales representative.

A good digital sales room, like Menemsha Group’s Digital Sales Rooms, can also keep track of all the conversations including phone and video calls, email, text and instant messaging. Depending on the needs of the buyer, additional content can include proposals, candidate references, customer and candidate testimonials, videos, order forms, work orders, mutual action plans, purchase orders and more. Once the portal is created, buyers are given access through a unique link.

Digital sales rooms are also connected to your sales enablement platform. This is an added benefit for sales reps and sales leaders, as they can gather insights on how prospects interact with content and messaging, and identify where further content needs to be included for future negotiations.

How Digital Sales Rooms Help Salespeople
Buyers are the arbiters of when and how they’ll move forward through the sales process and no amount of phone calls, demos, emails or proposals is going to move the customer forward until they are ready.  

Digital sales rooms are effective because they align with the way in which buyers prefer to interact throughout the sales cycle. Digital sales rooms give sellers another channel, an online channel, for engaging and collaborating with their prospects and customers.

Research from McKinsey & Company shows that 70 percent of B2B decision-makers are fully open to self-serve or remote purchases in excess of $50,000, and 27 percent are willing to spend more than $500,000 via online purchase. 

Digital sales rooms empower buyers with all of the information they need in order to make a purchasing decision on their terms, but the content they interact with is still controlled and delivered by sellers. Digital sales rooms facilitate the online buying experience by:

  • Offering an online platform to answer questions or concerns
  • Providing instant two-way communication
  • Improving engagement with customers through an interactive portal
  • Improving understanding of buyer behavior and the buyer journey by capturing data on client interactions and patterns
  • Providing access to the newest product features, and service offerings (candidate availability)
  • Removing frustration related to having to search for information on different platforms or through different email threads

What are you and your organization doing to adapt to the changes in buyer behavior? What is your strategy to gain increased customer access in 2023?

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