In the new normal era, the business style will change greatly. Above all, it is thought that sales and marketing strategies will need to be reviewed from a new perspective. Online sales activities are changing from the sales style of going to the customer and negotiating with the customer to grasping the customer’s needs and concluding a contract. So what does it take to make these changes successful? This time, we will consider the shape of the changing business and the points to succeed.
Market changes in the new normal era
What exactly will the new normal in the B-to-B market change? For example, go directly to the customer, provide information on products and services that you want to encourage purchase, match the customer’s needs and ideas, build a relationship of trust through repeated meetings, and reach the conclusion of the contract. , is the business style that has been seen so far.
We have also held exhibitions to raise awareness of information about our products and services and used them as opportunities to meet new customers. However, in the new normal era, it has become difficult to conduct business negotiations to meet customers directly. This means a radical change in the way we do business.
At the same time, the new normal era has changed the behavior of customers significantly. For example, until now, it is thought that products and services have been purchased from business partners with whom a relationship of trust has been established to some extent, and that has been done continuously. When choosing new business partners or more convenient products and services, I sometimes chose from companies that frequently came to explain.
However, as opportunities for direct delivery of product and service information have become extremely rare, it has become the new common sense to collect, examine, select, and decide on necessary products and services online. It is.
About online sales activities
Visiting customers and dealing face-to-face was the basis of business in Japan. It’s called field sales. Meeting the other person directly, listening to what they have to say, and providing a convincing explanation face-to-face have been thought to be the first step toward building a relationship of trust. have they provided enough satisfaction and understanding?
It can be said that sales activities in the new normal era will begin to review what has been common sense until now. From now on, it is believed that sales activities called inside sales will become mainstream. So what is possible with inside sales?
Enables sales activities from the customer’s point of view
The basis of the new business is online activities. Remote support (remote support) is used for conversations with customers, responses to consultations, and understanding of needs. Not only will it be possible to provide more detailed information more quickly than in the past, but it will also be possible to constantly deliver new information and increase customer options. In other words, it can be said that sales activities that satisfy customers are possible.
Furthermore, in online sales activities, it is also possible to respond quickly to inquiries from customers. Comparing the speed and the abundance of information, we are now able to respond from the customer’s point of view compared to our conventional sales activities.
More detailed and up-to-date information than exhibitions can be provided at any time
As an alternative to exhibitions, it is thought that webinars, etc., will become mainstream, in which customers who need them can participate anytime, anywhere, using a web conference system. Webinars allow companies to be well-prepared and keep up-to-date with the latest information.
In addition, by archiving webinars, customers seeking information will be able to obtain the information they need anytime, anywhere, without being restricted by location or date and time, as is the case with exhibitions. After comparing information from multiple companies, if you want more information or want to sign a contract, you can contact the company you want on your time.
Major Challenges of Online Sales Activities
In an era where online sales activities are expanding, customers will have the opportunity to rationally select information by being able to obtain detailed information without being bound by location or time. It can be said that there was a possibility that various factors such as the enthusiasm, communication skills, and personality of the person in charge who had previously met were combined to decide to buy from this person.
However, if they have the opportunity to rationally obtain information and compare multiple similar products and similar services, they will choose more efficient and less wasteful products and services. At the stage just before the contract is concluded, the possibility of the project disappearing may also increase. In other words, in online sales activities, it is more important than ever to build a relationship of trust that customers feel they can trust.
Utilization of data to improve customer satisfaction and the problem of “my customer”
In the new normal era, what is needed to increase customer satisfaction and achieve results in B-to-B business? What you need is nurturing. It is to provide interesting information promptly to the other party it becomes easier to make calm judgments (cold standby state) and change it to a hot standby state. There are several ways to do this, but the most effective would be the use of customer data and information sharing.
Utilization of customer data
If you can conduct sales activities in a way that makes customers feel that they can reach out to you, there is a high possibility that you will be able to build a relationship of trust so that they will choose that company if they want to consult with you. To realize such sales online, it is necessary to accurately grasp the latent needs of each customer and provide information promptly.
For example, it is necessary to understand what kind of situation customers are in, what kind of products and services they use, and what direction they are considering corporate activities. We will provide information that is assumed to be, or give specific advice on how to use the product. In addition, by proposing measures to strengthen the environment that should be pursued, customers will say, “Actually, I wanted to do this, I wanted this.”, it is thought that sales activities that can provide information in advance are required. To that end, it is necessary to enhance the customer management system and create an environment in which accumulated data can be used strategically.
Resolving the “my customer” problem
In sales activities up to now, it is fundamental that another person conducts sales activities or provides new information in a supportive manner to customers with whom one person has frequently visited and built relationships. has been considered a violation of the rules. It can be said that the idea of “my guest” has been inherited. Such an environment is nothing but negative from the perspective of providing optimal information and support to customers. In addition, it can be said that it is hindering the growth of business performance as a company. It is necessary to build a system within the company that can share information and provides more appropriate information.
By sharing information not only in the sales department but also across departments such as the production department and the public relations department, it becomes possible to provide customers with the information they need in more detail. Such a system leads to customer satisfaction and fosters customers who are always on hot standby.
It is important to be a company that has flexible ideas, precise strategies, and the ability to change.
Sales activities and business styles that have been considered common sense, such as how to conduct business, how to respond to customers, and how to provide information, are changing to the “new normal”. It is believed that being a company that can change is what leads B2B businesses to succeed in an era of rapid change.
From now on, we must flexibly and quickly respond to three major changes: changes in customer service, changes in the environment for securing and training human resources, and improvements in the work environment. For example, it is necessary to be a company that can analyze accumulated big data, devise precise marketing strategies, and develops flexible ideas.
In addition, it is important to improve the environment that supports these corporate activities, especially the digital environment, and to develop human resources who can understand it at the same time. Even in the way of working that was basically to come to the office and work, it is becoming possible to work from a remote location, as represented by telework. To enhance the work environment, it is necessary to strengthen security measures, improve the network environment, and educate employees to use applications.
When changing the environment to one that corresponds to the new normal era, it is best to start by consulting with a company that has the experience, expertise, and technology, such as Softbank, rather than trying to handle everything in-house. It’s one of You who will be able to propose concrete and effective methods such as customer support measures and strengthening of the business system.