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How B2B Sales Will Change in 2016

AJ Agrawal

Sales and marketing function radically different from how they used to. Many of the changes have occurred as a response to a change in buyers, and adapting to a constantly changing market. In fact, lots of businesses are finding that traditional marketing strategies are no longer as effective as they once were. Advertising and cold calling have entirely different results than they did in previous years.

2016 is going to bring widespread innovations in B2B sales. Now more than ever before, buyers have significant say in the sales process itself. Information is easily accessible to anyone, and thus it is harder to dictate the information that your buyer is confronted with. In past years, sales people had control over the information on display and thus buyers had no voice but to interact directly with salespeople to obtain information. Now, much of that information can be found online. Because buyers have a greater access to data and information, they feel less of a need to ask the company for information. As a result, they are less likely to engage a salesperson until they decided they want more information. The sales are thus completed more in the buyer's own terms than ever before.

Because the buying process is different, it is important for sales to change as well. While some of the change presents a challenge to companies, some of it is very good. Here are three ways that B2B sales will change in 2016:

1. A Change in Marketing will Cause a Change in Sales

Content Marketing will increase. In fact, over 75% of B2B sales and marketers are planning to create more content in the coming year than they did in 2015. This stat is independent of the company's size or industry. As a result of the added marketing, businesses expect to get more leadsin the following year. Whether the economy is fast or slow, it will be essential to keep pushing content marketing in order to be competitive. Video is becoming increasingly popular as a tool that sales and marketing teams are using to close deals. Sales people are becoming more versed with videos, which are helping them get noticed more frequently. Video content is providing to be a great way to expedite the sales process. It is a potent tool to increase sales productivity and proficiency. Using videos are changing the ways that sales people prospect and sell to clients. However, high-performing, effective videos can be difficult to create. They require a script writing, editing, digital editing, and much more. Using the data you receive from prospective clients and partners will also help sales teams iterate based on feedback to achieve success this year.

2. Changes in Buyer Behavior will impact sales techniques

Innovations in technology have provided buyers with more information than they have ever had before. This has huge implications for the sales person. Whereas earlier a sales person would have the advantage of providing the customer with a majority of the information the customer knew about the product, now the customers can access most of it online. The former advantage of the sales person was due to the fact that by possessing the information, he had more power to dictate the conversation and sway the customer based on his beliefs.

Now, however, customer are able to gain more insight from unbiased sources regarding the true value of the product, and thus they are more equipped with rational information by the time that they reach the sales person. Buyer behavior will largely be influenced by marketing, which will also change significantly this year. 3D marketing will be playing a significant role in b2b sales for the first time ever. Virtual reality will be able to evoke more intense emotions from viewers than traditional commercials. Whether its showing a customer their ideal vacation, putting them behind the wheel of a new car, or implanting them inside a TV show, virtual reality will be a very persuasive form of marketing. Customer experience will be forever changed as 3D technology marketing becomes more standard. From the gaming industry, to the automobile and home buying industries, this will provide highly effective visual marketing.

3. Software is changing

Sales software has taken a leap in recent years. CRM software and lead generation tools have become major aspects of the sales office, and dictate much of the process. These software enable sales people to have increased awareness of their pipeline, and a greater understanding of the stage that the buyer is currently at. Without technology like this, a sales person is forced to rely on their own memory and physical notes to recall earlier conversation and appropriately prospect the lead. With innovations in technologies, CRMs are providing very helpful tools to sales people, who now have access to abundance of information on their customers which helps them close the deal.

This article is taken from, written by AJ Agrawal on December 19, 2015 and has been edited to fit into this blog.