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Monday, May 6, 2019

B2B Sales Congress Barcelona. It's time for changes


Last October 4th we attended the B2B Sales Congress in Barcelona for several reasons:
  • Because we have been following Álex López for a long time and we think his proposals and reflections are very accurate.
  • Because the speakers and the topics that were going to try seemed very interesting to us.
  • We are a company focused on sales solutions and we need to be up-to-date in these aspects. We think that "Social Selling"  will help us get closer to our customers, and generate new opportunities.
We were three colleagues, representing the sales, marketing, and management departments of inaCátalog and also belonging to 3 different generations. This data is not trivial and later we will see why.

We went out delighted with what we heard and we put it in common, in a round table, to apply it in our company. This is a summary of our reflections and conclusions.

Question: What did you think about the event in general?

Jose Obiols (Key Account Manager):

"Very interesting everything that was talked about and, above all, by the naturalness that the speakers generally showed. I have the impression that those who attended, were there because of friendship towards Alex and did not try to sell a product, but to transmit their experiences and this gives a lot of credibility to his words. "

Alberto Micó (Deputy to Direction):

"The information they gave us about social networks and Social Selling, will be very useful to help us focus on improving the brand, from home, have an impeccable letter of presentation, be well positioned, and that the client perceives us that way".

Jose Antonio Enguix (Marketing Communication Manager):

"We are very open to the vision of what is coming. The speakers represent leading companies in the market that give us clear clues about what companies have to do to be ahead of us and when we first climb into the car in the best position we will be to face the future. "

We wanted to collect, some of the central ideas of each of the speakers and together, we think they can be key.

'EL NUEVO VENDEDOR DIGITAL' by Iban Solé (B2B Sales Congress 04.10.2018, Barcelona)

The client has changed. The profile of the seller has to change because the clients' scenario has already done so.

Current customers have much more information than before. They can research on the internet and they do it, they look for references, they look at our websites, they evaluate and they know the product before buying it. The current client has the power; 'let me decide what I want to buy'.

The new salesman can not go with the traditional arguments, he has to become an advisor to accompany the client. It has gone from merchant to vendor of a briefcase, and from there, to expert advisors.

The current client asks: "How will I be more competitive with you? If you do not offer me a competitive advantage, I'm not interested in your product. " The new seller has to prove it.

Therefore, we must do a 'digital transformation of the sales team' and the formula to achieve this is:

"Listen + Build trust + Efficiency + Sales history"
  • Digital listening: As the client has the power, the expert 'listens' to what the whole market says instead of talking so much.
  • Build trust: Demonstrate what is sold with facts. Explain clearly and transparently
  • Operational efficiency: Being where the client is, being transparent, controlling the purchase process and surprising the customer.
  • Digital sales history: To have and be part of a 'digital history' with sense and coherence. 
MILLENIALS AND B2B by Francesco d'Italia , Daniel Ferreiro , Xavi Escales (B2B Sales Congress 04.10.2018, Barcelona)

Let's talk clearly, maybe you do not like being digital, but what about your customers? And your competitors?

The LinkedIn social network allows a small company to reach the same audience as it would a large one, but with less money, and it gets it, above all, through its employees.

'The content shared by employees gets 8 times more engagement than the content shared by the brand's channels' (source: Social Media Today). To achieve this, employees have to be ambassadors of the brand and we will only have it if the experience is interesting for them. They have to believe it, be convinced and obtain some benefit, in addition, the CEOS and managers have to set an example.

By 2020 Millennials will be 35% of the workforce and have a different way of understanding work, just as we have it from our parents and them from their parents, our grandparents.

A Millenial wants to work 'with us', not 'for us', with a worthwhile boss and in an 'irresistible' company :
  • Give him the opportunity for meaningful work.
  • That makes collaborative management, training, and recognition.
  • In a positive work environment.
  • With opportunities for mobility and growth within the company.
  • With bosses to trust and inspire.
  • This new generation has energy, adapts to change and wants challenges. Think of the social return Will companies be at your level?
To achieve an optimal 'Employees Experience ', companies must work on these aspects: the physical, emotional, intellectual and virtual or technological environment and aspirations.

I NBOUD AS A B2B TOOL by Pau Valdés (B2B Sales Congress 04.10.2018, Barcelona)

Physical sales strategies such as visiting polygons, attendance at fairs and the like are ineffective. To improve the recruitment and relationship between business (B2B) in such a digital environment the best way to achieve this is to apply an inbound strategy and use powerful tools for automatic classification of leads.

The main challenges of the B2B are the quantity and the quality of the leads.

Quantity: The solution to getting quantity is a sum of factors for attraction:

Quality: When we have found quality leads and we want to approximate the moment of the meeting automatically:
  • Most valuable content near the transaction
  • Automation of recruitment marketing
  • PPC (pay per click)
  • Blogging
  • Creation of contents of interest at the beginning of the purchase process
  • You have to use specific automation tools with automatic sequences and integrated with commercial emails
  • Send correct messages with correct tempos
  • Use Chat and Chatbots 
"The landscape does not stop changing and you have to be always adjusting".

EXPERIENCES IN THE MANAGEMENT OF LEADS by Manuel Asia (B2B Sales Congress 04.10.2018, Barcelona)

Manuel told us his vision on the management of leads, campaigns and telemarketing sales. These are your main keys.
  • Measure. All actions that can not be measured and converted into clear numbers must be avoided.
  • Each campaign must be evaluated and valued to choose the most profitable ones. Knowing the cost per lead is vital.
  • Separating the qualification from the sale, are different things. The qualification of leads must be subcontracted or done with scholarship holders.
  • Lead segmentation is a marketing thing
  • Inbound marketing and outbound marketing (telemarketing) are different, they have different messages and times.
  • Telemarketing must have a structured call process. Up to 6 'good' calls cannot be reached and you have to distinguish well between 'calls' and 'business calls', which are what the interlocutor makes you something of a case.
  • Telesales: Essential "reactivity". The conversion rate if you attend before 2 hours, double the conversion. You have 40 '' to fall in love with the interlocutor.

ENVIRONMENT VUCA by Daniel Ortega (B2B Sales Congress 04.10.2018, Barcelona)

David Ortega, after an introduction to the new paradigm of ownership and the new " VUCA Environment", gave us a few absolutely clarifying sentences:
  • "Everything that can not be digitized is going to be valuable."
  • "Decide quickly under a high level of uncertainty."
  • "My product increases your benefits by reducing your efforts."
  • "The back office is fundamental":
  1. The stability of the team is crucial
  2. Team with continuity. Let them grow and stabilize
  3. Specialized
  4. Internal promotion and balance between the requirement and personal development
  5. Economic conditions, simple, fair and linked to growth
  6. The whole company must be involved in growing more
  7. You have to have a customer showcase in each sector
  8. Have a SWOT of ours and the competition
IMPORTANCE OF THE CULTURE OF EACH COUNTRY IN DECISION MAKING by Alexandre Valls-Coma (B2B Sales Congress 04.10.2018, Barcelona)

Alexandre talked about his experiences in the sale of his products of a pharmaceutical multinational in three huge markets; European, Asian and South American.

In all of them, the protocol and the keys to decision making are different and if you do not know them, failure is guaranteed. Why? Because business is done between people and the cultural context is essential.

 SOCIAL SELLING with Álex López (B2B Sales Congress 04.10.2018, Barcelona)

Alex showed us practical cases of the scope and effect of the use of LinkedIn and some essential utilities such as Sales Navigator and Talent Insights.

According to Alex, the future is about people, not companies and opinions are given by people. In this context, current commercials need a lot of 'Digital Listening'.

The clients look for referrals. First, look for references and then look at our website. In addition, there are tools that provide opinions on companies, as others do in other sectors.

The references are not solved by a community manager, but rather the employees generate content, because, as we have said before, the result of the employees generating content, improves the brand image and benefits the Social Selling. In some cases, the employee brand is worth more than the company's brand. You have to help them. They have to be provided with content, but they have to lose the fear of making their opinions public.

inaCátalog moving towards a new sales scenario

Put all our notes in common in this round table, has served us to take better advantage of this Congress. The different points of view and the importance that each one gave to certain aspects of each presentation have enriched the training received more. We have drawn interesting conclusions and a list of tasks that we are going to start up right away. We want to continue adapting the company and our solutions, to the best practices, to help sell more.