June 14, 2021

Frictionless Selling: Where Modern Selling Meets Modern Buying

With a restarting economy, many B2B go-to-market teams are at risk of being left behind as competitors lean in strongly to digitally transformative selling and buying strategies. Part of the reason is that buyers have also changed. They are more informed than ever and have higher expectations of sales interactions; returning to the old normal is not an option.

How have buyers changed?

70% of B2B decision-makers say they are open to making new purchases over $50,000 in a fully self-serve or remote fashion, and 27% would spend more than $500,000.*

Old school personal relationship selling no longer works. Previously, a deal’s loose ends were sorted out during in-person meetings where sales reps could fall back on their techniques and experience. We know the trench stories of lost deals that became successes due to the personality of an individual sales rep.

The new approach of modern selling is how go-to-market teams become more effective in a remote/hybrid world. Revenue teams must work together; marketing, sales, services, customer success and even partners need to be aligned and properly enabled.

Today, they need to be properly coached to guide and engage with prospects via high impact experiences. Most importantly, they turn the buying process into a value-add exchange of information between selling teams and buying teams.

Reducing friction is key to modern selling

Modern selling is not only about orchestrating valuable interactions with buyers. B2B buyers are used to conducting easy B2C transactions in their own lives. From one-click shopping, to ready access to information about a potential purchase, business buyers expect the same on the job.

That’s why today’s modern selling organizations need a new type of team. Different skills are required to succeed in today’s environment. But that’s not all.  To make the B2B buying process easier, go-to-market teams today need the tools and technologies to make the buying process easier. That’s where revenue enablement technology comes in.

It’s getting your entire go-to-market team trained and prepared with the right knowledge and skills. Not only this, it’s also about removing many of the existing barriers – the friction – that exist in selling processes that slow deals or worse, drives them to your competitor.

Buyer engagement, a little less conversation, a little more digital

How does frictionless selling translate in the B2C world? Tadaam, a cable broadband service provider, tuned into the effects of remote working. In many households there was a bandwidth battle going on between working from home partners, remote studying kids and a rising consumption of streaming entertainment. The company wanted to offer a wireless modem with unlimited internet subscription within the hour service.

But how could they do this without the often typical complicated sales process that leads to an unpleasant customer experience? By simply partnering with an existing pizza delivery service to deliver a wireless modem and a free pizza to one’s doorstep in less than 60 minutes! By taking a modern selling approach across its organization, Tadaam delivered a seamless buyer experience from order to delivery, complete in line with modern buyer expectations.

Addressing a person’s primal needs: internet, television and pizza

But the real success was in the frictionless setup of the offer. In a couple of clicks, order fulfillment was done. This way, by removing the traditional obstacles in the selling process, customers were enjoying the benefits of the offer, within the hour.

The lesson learned here is in the asynchronous 24/7 mindset that buyers have made their own. The buyer is in control, more than ever, of the pace of the digital buying process.

Revenue enablement technology removes friction

In today’s B2B world, modern revenue enablement technology is specifically designed to remove these barriers, so go-to-market teams can deliver a frictionless selling experience.

According to Gartner,** the biggest problem is that sales processes are inwardly focused, creating friction between how products are sold and the buyer’s journey. Enablement has always been an important factor in untangling this problem.

Only a single, cohesive, integrated platform delivers all the needed capabilities from sales content management and sales readiness to sales effectiveness and buyer engagement to support a frictionless selling approach.

Let’s touch on a few ways that revenue enablement platforms equip go-to-market teams to remove friction so they can execute from the modern selling playbook.

The digital deal room comes of age

Today, B2B transactions often involve large selling teams and often even larger buying teams. The exchange of information and content, delivery of value-based presentations and ensuring all stakeholders are informed and up-to-speed throughout the deal cycle is crucial. Emails, missing Zoom participants and calendar misalignment are the definition of ‘deal friction.’ That’s where revenue enablement technology comes in.

Since March 2020, Showpad has measured an enormous spike in our customers creating “Shared Spaces.” These collaborative microsites are digital deal rooms that let go-to-market teams and all buyer stakeholders easily exchange files and marketing material, and supplement them with actionable comments and real-time deal notifications. With sales discussions suddenly occurring asynchronously with multiple stakeholders, buyers and sellers immediately saw the benefit of a secure, central place to come together.

Buyers are in control of how they want to be updated on changes in a Shared Space

A key metric with digital deal rooms is the participation of your buyers. Ask yourself:

  • Did buyer teams access the deal room?
  • Did they engage with the content and to what extent?
  • Was there active two-way communication on those assets?

Making these interactions seamless drives an authentic frictionless buyer experience. What makes the process even easier is a secure, one-click login process that makes Shared Space access not only secure but also a convenient way for new users to join your digital deal rooms.

Further reducing the friction in the selling process:

  • Notifications keep all parties informed of changes and new comments
  • Buyers can invite other stakeholders to the Shared Space to quickly access everything and immediately get up-to-speed
  • All content is continually updated live (there’s no need to send out updated docs to everyone)
  • Obstacles are more easily identified and overcome as your team (from Sales to Content to Enablement) all have insights on the buyers’ engagement with content, so you can see where there may be issues to address

When Showpad customers are asked about the impact of Shared Spaces, the answer in unison is positive. Deal velocity goes up and more importantly, closing rates even tripled in some cases. Modern selling teams that rely on revenue enablement technology work more effectively and see significantly greater results.

Turning modern selling into a high impact experience

In a world where a buyer’s need for a technology solution is hooked into something as simple as buying a pizza, customers see the buyer experience as the ultimate differentiator in B2B as well. Businesses tend to put a lot of effort in the customer-facing part of the experience, but soon realize that it takes more to achieve frictionless selling.

It starts with preparing the revenue generating teams in a modern way. Traditional, in-person training sessions have shifted to consumption models shared with mobile content and entertainment streaming on-the-go. Now, the user is in control of their learning experiences which are on-demand, easily consumable and customized to achieve needed sales readiness.

These experiences have tools such as integrated live training, video, reading and interactive eLearning along with practice and role-playing via video, screen recording and writing.

Showpad Coach customers acknowledge that go-to-market teams learn faster and more comprehensively, and managers can more effectively identify skill and competency gaps and provide actionable coaching. By removing friction from the readiness process, they ensure faster onboarding and a continuous learning environment for their employees who can educate themselves at their own pace.

Too often, the traditional sales process is hindered by sellers struggling to explain a broad product portfolio or complex solution in a compelling and engaging way.  Too many slide decks and static presentations, whether in a live or remote selling setting, slow down the process of buyers understanding what you’re offering – and how it can solve their own problems. Simply put, when your go-to-market teams can’t deliver a compelling experience, you’re again adding friction to the selling process.

To engage prospects or customers, modern selling teams use enablement platforms that let them deliver interactive, digital selling experiences that connect with their audience. Showpad is unique in offering the capability to deliver high impact, customized experiences. Go-to-market teams can move away from low-engagement, static slideshows to fully-branded, interactive selling experiences that transform the selling process.

Sellers can engage remotely with their buyers through interactive, visual interfaces

By facilitating non-linear conversations, teams can respond instantly to any issue and drill into exactly what’s relevant to their prospects and customers. Solutions even can be shown using 3D models and augmented reality that let buyers immediately understand how your solution can work and the value it provides. And by being integrated into the Showpad revenue enablement platform, these differentiated experiences work seamlessly with your sales process, moving deals swiftly to close.

Finally, immersive buying experiences are a game-changing approach to sharing deal information and communicating among both selling teams and buying teams.  With branded, collaborative microsites such as Shared Spaces, go-to-market teams finally have a way to securely engage with all buyer stakeholders. Buyers get the comfort they know from the B2C world when it comes to asking questions asynchronously with their sellers and can consume and share targeted content at their own pace.

Companies who master all these experiences that simplify their selling motions are already looking into the next step, transforming their virtual meetings into learning and engagement moments.

The moment right after a virtual session is a critical one for engagement

We hear often that solutions that support only one or limited capabilities (or from those that try to combine disparate point solutions) can’t deliver a consistent modern selling and buying experience.

One example is with the adoption of conversation intelligence tools. When all prospect and customer meetings started being held virtually, there was a rush to conferencing tools with recording and analyzing capabilities. And while various tools provide some of these functionalities, the resulting impact for sellers and buyers is typically limited.

What we often find is that companies are sitting on graveyards of endless recordings made by a tool that’s not integrated into their enablement program, often with a license cost that does not justify its value.

Showpad’s revenue enablement platform has conversation intelligence built-in. Our MeetingIQ solution allows automatic consent processes, recordings, transcriptions and keyword analysis. But most importantly, it’s a frictionless process for the seller that includes integrations with calendars and conference tools (such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams) that all are automatically linked to your CRM.

This lets managers analyze and review live sales and customer calls to identify teachable moments and areas of improvement. This way, the selling process can be continually improved and more effective conversations can be held.

As one of our customers, the head of sales enablement at an enterprise consulting and services company, explains:

“MeetingIQ has fundamentally shaped the way our sales leader does their job. They can now easily review calls and provide feedback to all of their reps (including 14 direct reports and counting), even when they can’t be in the room.”

The new global reality where customers are using MeetingIQ also pushed development. Transcription support for more than 30 additional languages in addition to English is now available and most importantly, the process is automatically triggered, with MeetingIQ automatically recognizing the participants’ language.

The real value of meeting recordings is in the capability to share the moments that matter

A new MeetingIQ feature, Meeting Snippets, transforms the recording graveyard into shareable tidbits of information. Buyers and managers can use these as coaching elements and examples of best selling practices. And when a seller shares content right after a virtual meeting, why not guide the customer to that one moment that matters in a meeting by adding a snippet of the recording.

The frictionless selling framework

The customers’ new reality of modern selling and buying is a reality, delivering great buying experiences powered by the right selling experiences, all while working remotely.

The common feedback they report includes:

  • Faster and higher converting closing rates
  • Bigger deal sizes, even in pandemic-impacted conditions
  • Accelerated remote onboarding of new go-to-market team members
  • Faster market introduction of new products in a digital environment
  • Rapid implementation of best practices among teams that drives value

Friction anywhere in the selling process is the enemy of quota-achieving teams.  Modern revenue enablement platforms eliminate friction and allow the modern selling behaviors that high performing teams use to win today. Organizations who follow these practices, from conducting non-linear conversations to following asynchronous selling motions are best positioned to succeed in our new environment.

Nearly all businesses have moved towards virtual selling. Regardless of what happens, the business world will look different after COVID-19.  It’s clear we’re not returning to how things were before.

Smart businesses are embracing revenue enablement as the key accelerator in this new reality. With ten years of experience working with B2B go-to-market teams around the world, we welcome you on your modern selling journey.

Contact us today to learn more about Showpad or request a demo.

*  Source: Selling Power
** Source: Gartner