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Sales Effectiveness

How Hybrid Work Environments Affect B2B Sales Cycles

June 1, 2022

As businesses across the globe have transitioned to fully remote and hybrid working environments, building successful business relationships has been a challenge. B2B buyers and sellers have had to quickly adapt to a new digital environment. 

According to a survey of 3,600 B2B decision-makers, there are many emerging trends in the B2B sales world following the COVID-19 pandemic. 

B2B Sales Trends Include:

  1. 96% of B2B sales teams have fully or partially shifted to remote selling
  2. 79% of B2B companies said they are very or somewhat likely to sustain these shifts for 12+ months post-COVID
  3. 2X increased likelihood of companies that provide outstanding digital experience being chosen as the primary supplier 
  4. B2B sellers have adapted by offering the human touch whenever customers need it– whether for inside sales or field sales

According to a blog by McKinsey & Company, more than three-quarters of buyers and sellers say they now prefer digital self-serve and remote human engagement over face-to-face interactions. However, in some cases, sales cycles are taking longer because sales representatives are not having in-person relationships and connections. 

In order to successfully create digital relationships, companies have had to think outside the box. Sales teams have had to tap into creative ways of thinking that make representatives more human in a completely digital environment. 

“In the past, trust was naturally built by spending quality time with people during a sales cycle and showing the integrity of how you sell in person and all of that has been changed. So we've really tried to get creative with how to get prospects engaged in normal human interaction during remote meetings because you're really missing that hallway conversation that you have during a break,” said Colleen Bashar, SVP of global solutions sales at Guidewire and an Ombud user, during a recent webinar.

In the webinar, Basher also explained how the goal of her team is to help accelerate the sales cycle. By doing this, her team has run into conflicts regarding speed and quality. During one opportunity, her team made a deliberate decision to work extensively on the depth and detail of an RFP. Since her team was using Ombud to automate RFP responses, they were able to achieve this goal. 

“We were able to go above and beyond because we had the building blocks completed of that RFP very quickly. Then, we were able to collaborate and iterate and really build out these responses with visually compelling, consistent, synchronized answers. The RFP was hundreds of pages, but it differentiated us from the competition because we were still able to complete it within the timeframe. I think it was the first time in my career that after we submitted the RFP, they decided to sole-source the POC, so we're now the only player going into the POC after this RFP. It ended up resulting in a faster sales cycle.” Basher said. 

Ultimately, when your organization can produce ROI that aligns to and maps the success metrics that your customer or potential customer are looking to achieve, that is when you are really starting to speak their language and can start to move through the sales cycle. This makes the sales cycle move at a much faster pace and this is also when companies can move past their competition as well. 

Automation tools like Ombud help support hybrid and remote selling by automating ML/AI based content recommendations. Compete for more business by automating tedious tasks, and engaging content experts to import the most complex documents, saving valuable time to focus on winning business. Ombud’s RFP automation software provides easy access to your organization’s best content. For more information, visit our website or request a demo here.

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