Looking Back at 2021: B2B & Manufacturing Sales Challenges and Lessons Learned
2021 saw the evolution of B2B sales accelerate in response to a changing world.
Two major inside sales trends emerged from the pressures of the pandemic.
- First, inside sales teams developed greater capabilities in virtual meetings and digital sales.
- Second, companies shifted strategic focus to customer retention.
Mastering Video B2B Sales Meetings
In 2020, due to pandemic risks and restrictions, B2B inside sales teams pivoted to digital sales tactics. Teams further developed skills and best practices during this past year, including mastery of the video meeting.
Best Practices for Video Sales Meetings
- Allow time for introductions and establishing rapport before discussing business.
- Keep the camera on to share nonverbal communication and to encourage prospects to share their video, too.
- Summarize the conversation before ending the video meeting.
- Send a follow-up email with the following components:
- Thank the prospect for the meeting
- Provide any additional information you promised
- Ask if they have any questions.
Renewal and Subscription Sales Models Increased
The second major sales change this past year was an increased emphasis on customer relationships.
As new orders diminished, we saw more companies developing and promoting renewal or subscription models. These models increase loyalty and somewhat automate the sales pipeline.
Companies with products and services that fit regular interval renewal model can add annual revenue with this approach. Renewal sales also add predictability and repeat revenue.
However, consistent cash flow depends on predictable renewal intervals. Below are best practices to make the most of renewal models.
Best Practices for Renewal and Subscription Management
- Dedicate resources to ensuring on-time renewals for predictable cash flow.
- Set up regular touch points with renewal customers.
- Train sales reps to prioritize understanding each client and eliciting quicker responses.
- Monitor and communicate with long-tail accounts.
- Track and analyze renewal rates.
What stands out for you with the evolution of B2B sales in 2021? How do you anticipate bringing best practices into 2022? Get in touch with us on LinkedIn or Tweet us. We’re always happy to talk!
Image data source: Statista