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12 August 2013

Lack of information "could harm sales strategies"

Content team

At the current time, many businesses will already be turning their attentions to 2014 and putting in place updated strategies for areas such as sales that will look to boost their performance in the coming year.

Although economic growth is set to remain sluggish, an improving outlook means many businesses are expected to loosen the purse strings and devote more resources to boosting their company. However, it was noted by Tony Zambito, founder of B2B Marketing, that many of these investments may fail if firms do not understand their customers.

He said: "A buyer revolution is in full swing with buyers now holding the cards. We are in the midst of it and the revolution shows no signs of slowing down. What buyers care about and how they resolve business issues has changed."

Therefore, having the right information about potential customers is becoming more important than ever, as business leaders demand greater predictability. He said higher expectations from senior personnel means sales professionals will have to work harder to uncover what is important to buyers and how their priorities have changed in recent years.

Mr Zambito said the key for 2014 will be for sales teams to move beyond the conventional sales intelligence solutions that they already have. It will be important to understand how buyers expect their relationships with providers to work and how their goals have evolved since the height of the economic downturn.

The expert noted that traditional hierarchical approaches to the B2B sales process could get firms in trouble, as buyers now have much wider involvement in path-to-purchase decisions.

A common mistake many sales teams make today is to focus too closely on a single buyer, but typically, the more complex the process, the more participants will be involved. This is something that businesses will need to take into account, as it will often be a shift in the way they have approached sales in the past.

He added: "As we begin to look out into the horizons of 2014, we must also look back and realise how much has changed. If you are lacking the information on the impact of these changes, your sales strategy planning for 2014 can be a futile exercise."
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Content team, Bureau van Dijk

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