NEW YORK and LONDON, March 14, 2021 / PRNewswire / – According to McKinsey & Company’s 2021 B2B Pulse survey, eight out of ten B2B decision makers believe omnichannel sales are as or more effective than traditional methods. Belief in the effectiveness of the new sales model has increased significantly over the past year – from 54 percent at the start of the pandemic to 83 percent in February 2021. In addition, the conviction of gaining net new customers is being strengthened in certain regions. B2B decision makers in Brazil (74 percent), China (73 percent) and India (68 percent) believe it is more effective than previous sales models compared to those in France (42 percent) that United Kingdom (45 percent) and Germany (46 percent).
The switch to omnichannel accelerated at the beginning of the pandemic and is now the predominant route for B2B sales. When in-person sales were restricted or banned, no single type of sales interaction emerged as a direct substitute. Instead, buyers prefer a multi-channel mix to a single method and opt for personal, remote and digital self-service alike. There are regional nuances in terms of increased effectiveness for net new customers and upselling strategies. When it came to the ability to help upsell to existing customers, 72 percent of sales reps were in South Korea69 percent in Braziland 67 percent in China found the model more effective than before compared to their counterparts in Japan (46 percent), Germany (46 percent) and France (39 percent).
The role of the hybrid representatives is expected to increase. 85 percent believe it will play the prominent role by 2024
The urge for omnichannel retail triggered a restructuring in the sales team. Many moved at an admirable speed, adjusting processes on the fly to respond and adapt alongside their customer base. With omnichannel as the new buying norm, 85 percent of B2B companies expect the hybrid rep to be the most common sales role in their organization over the next three years, compared to just 28 percent of companies that have hybrid sales roles today. Hybrid sellers are a combined team of field and insider sellers who sell primarily via video conferencing and only occasionally visit customers in person.
20 percent of buyers ready to spend $ 500,000 remotely, with distance selling expected to continue
Despite traditional wisdom that selling large tickets requires face-to-face contact, 20 percent of B2B buyers are willing to spend more than $ 500,000 in a completely remote / digital sales model. And 11 percent would spend more than $ 1 million. in the China, the propensity to spend more than $ 500,000 distance selling jumps to 40 percent.
This craze for making digital purchases with big tickets tends to continue as businesses don’t expect in-person sales to continue to be the norm. Most companies say they will return to personal sales in 2021. 90 percent of B2B sellers expect to hold face-to-face meetings by the fourth quarter of 2021. However, only 15 percent of businesses expect in-person sales to represent more than 75 percent of their sales interactions.
Investment intent jumps 6 percentage points, with technology and marketing being the top spending categories
Plans to increase the investment budget have increased 6 percentage points in the past six months, up from 41 percent in 2006 August 2020 to 47 percent in February 2021. The investment intention was more pronounced India (63 percent), China (57 percent) and The United States (52 percent) signals confidence in long-term growth. Management of OPEX costs was spread across all divisions, with 40 percent aiming to bring costs down, 19 percent aiming to maintain them, and 41 percent aiming to increase budgets over the next five years. The largest OPEX reductions were forecast in France (60 percent), South Korea (52 percent) and the UK (48 percent). The three most important product categories in which spending is increasing are software and telecommunications services with 42 percent, IT hardware with 42 percent, and marketing and advertising with 35 percent.
Jennifer Stanley, Partner at McKinsey & Company Comments:
“Accelerating the conversion of B2B sales to a full omnichannel approach is the predominant path today. The effectiveness of the omnichannel approach varies regionally, which is likely due to both channel maturity and digital preferences in each market. BrazilFor example, it has significant messenger and VoIP penetration, and there is strong evidence that this channel has resulted in greater overall effectiveness for omnichannel commerce. This is also reflected in the increased trust in the region. “
Dennis Spillecke, Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company, comments:
“The realization that digital channels can play a much larger role in the B2B sales cycle creates confidence in the future of companies. More and more companies want to take advantage of the new opportunities that are now available to them and that are made possible by digitized and hybrid sales methods. This is reinforced by the respondents citing their increasing investment budgets, which is often a clear signal for reinvestment in long-term growth. “
For more information, see the full report, “Omnichannel In B2B Sales: The New Normal In A Year That Was Anything But”
The B2B Impulse Engaged 3,496 B2B Decision Makers Across America, APAC, Europe between February 12-26th. The decision makers were in the following sectors; Advanced Industries; Technology, media and telecommunications; Global Energy & Materials; Pharma & Medical Devices; Travel, Transport & Logistics; Global Finance, Banking, and Insurance; Consumer / retail.
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