Changing Buyers and the Future of B2B Sales – An Interview with DSG Consulting
From time to time on the ANNUITAS blog we have the opportunity to sit down with those in the B2B Marketing and Sales industry and get their take on the market and trends that are happening in the space. We recently were able to sit down with Tanner Mezel of DSG Consulting and get his insights into the world of B2B Marketing and Sales.
ANNUITAS: Tell us a bit about yourself and how DSG Consulting helps their clients?
TM: I’m the Head of Marketing and Strategy for DSG. We work with B2B companies to enable their sales teams, particularly when the strategy or sales message is changing. What makes DSG unique is our playbook approach to how content, tools, and training, are delivered to the sales team, which creates alignment between marketing and sales teams.
ANNUITAS: With the change in the way B2B Buyers buy today, what impact has this had on sales teams?
TM: It’s now common knowledge that buyers are more educated and buying processes are more complex. This buying behavior is devastating for salespeople who are stuck selling products and simply presenting information. The felt impact of this reality is:
- longer sales cycles
- no decisions
- significant price reductions
- lost deals
It’s easy to say that the solution is to give the sales team better insights, better stories, better collateral, and better training. It’s another thing to create what salespeople actually need and get them to use it.
ANNUITAS: How important is it for sales teams to be involved in the demand generation approach for their organizations?
TM: This is an interesting question, as it gets to the heart of a major divide between marketing and sales that creates so many problems. All too often, demand generation is disconnected from the sales conversations that the field and partners are leading every day. Whether salespeople are simply receiving leads from demand generation or actively involved in the creation of demand, it’s super helpful to have salespeople involved in the creation of new demand generation messaging, content, and tools. This collaboration ensures sales conversation alignment with the demand generation approach and tactics.
ANNUITAS: Do you believe marketing and sales alignment is the key issue organizations struggle with or is it the symptom of a greater problem?
TM: It’s just a symptom of a larger challenge around aligning the sales organization with the company’s growth strategy. When a company says that growth will come from this new product or selling solutions or cross selling or penetrating a specific vertical, the real issue is how demand generation and selling activities will align with that growth strategy.
ANNUITAS: You speak a lot about the need for change management within B2B sales, can you elaborate on that in terms of how sales leaders can drive this in their organizations?
TM: It’s rare for us to see a company win the day in terms of sales behavior change through the rollout of new content, tools, or training. Change occurs when first-line sales managers lead the right coaching conversations with their people, ask the right questions, and reinforce the right behaviors. This basically means that sales managers need be equipped to drive implementation of the growth strategies and any supporting demand generation.
ANNUITAS: What do you see for the future of B2B sales?
TM: First and foremost, it’s not going away. Regardless of how educated customers can become on their own, they still need to be consulted to create the best solution for their environment, and win the support of all the necessary stakeholders within their organization.
Secondly, the research is showing that B2B salespeople who can bring fresh insight to the customer are more valuable and ultimately more successful in truly influencing the customer buying process.
Big thanks to Tanner for giving us the time to connect and provide his insight on the impacts of the changing buyer on B2B sales organizations. To learn more about DSG and the impact they can have on your organization visit them at http://www.dsgconsulting.com/