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Digital Sales Rooms: the unfair advantage to crack B2B sales complexity
60%. This is the number of sales opportunities that are lost in B2B due to complex sales cycles.
How did B2B sales get to this point?
Here's a look back at an infamous sales story.
You've just got off the phone with your prospect. Everything's going well: he's qualified and you've piqued his interest. You start your sales cycle confident!
But as you progress, the stages pile up, the subjects multiply and the contacts follow one another. Each one demands that you respect their stakes, constraints and timelines. You soon find yourself entangled in a muddle for which neither you nor your prospects are prepared.
You can guess the rest of the story: faced with the complexity of the process, your prospects disengage, your opportunity gets bogged down and you end up losing your sale.
Back to square one ❌
Does this story sound familiar?
In this article, Katalyz explains how to master the complexity of your sales cycles with a new solution: the dealroom.
Let's face it, B2B sales have never been easy. But in just a few short years, its complexity has exploded. Several factors are behind this evolution.
Reason #1: on the buyer side, the number of decision-makers is increasing
As a B2B salesperson, today you interact with 6 to 10 decision-makers in the course of a deal (1). That's a lot more than you used to!
Moreover, regulatory inflation and the growing technical complexity of solutions have led to a specialization of roles within companies. As a result, decision-makers are increasingly involved in a variety of specialized areas: business, technical, purchasing and legal, to name but a few.
Coordinating these different topics and taking into account the constraints of each is proving extremely difficult in practice.
Reason #2: Competition is intensifying
Today, you need to convince your prospects in the face of a growing number of competitors. Particularly in the SaaS sector, where competition has increased 3-fold over the past 10 years (2).
In such an environment, differentiation through your product is increasingly difficult to achieve.
Reason #3: your prospects are less and less available
B2B prospects are turning away from salespeople and giving them less and less time. During their buying journey, they now spend just 17% of their time meeting potential salespeople. This figure drops to 5% when comparing several solutions (3). In return, they spend more time consulting online resources about your solution and customer reviews. They also consult their peers and buying groups.
To win your deals, you now need to engage your prospects more strongly, right from the start of their buying journey.
Reason #4: covid has profoundly transformed B2B sales
Covid has made remote selling widespread. While 50% of B2B sales interactions are already made online today, 80% of them will be by 2025.
Gone are the days of face-to-face meetings and handshakes. Face-to-face interactions have given way to an (almost) completely digitized sales journey. In practice, however, collaborating and building trust with prospects in such an environment becomes a real challenge.
Sales teams must evolve to maintain their targets
Faced with the growing complexity of B2B sales, sales processes have shown their limits. To continue achieving their targets in the long term, B2B sales teams are forced to rethink their organization and the way they interact with their prospects.
We shared our findings with around a hundred VP Sales, Head of Sales, AEs and CSMs. Our aim: to understand how they work to master the complexity of their sales cycles.
Here's what came out of our discussions: when it comes to prospecting (beginning of the sales cycle) or closing a deal (end of the sales cycle), sales teams are well equipped. But in between, during the entire process of evaluating your solution for your prospects, the path is often chaotic. Emails and visios are proving insufficient in practice to coordinate multiple contacts on multiple subjects. What's missing is an environment that facilitates collaboration between deal participants and simplifies the application of commercial processes.
When we asked salespeople what they would need, many described a tool that would act as an extension of their CRM. In other words, a tool that would enable them to interact in a shared environment not just internally, but also with prospects.
It was on the basis of this survey that we at Katalyz came with our own digital sales room or - to put it more simply - dealroom: a collaborative online space in which all participants in an opportunity - salespeople and prospects - interact. This space centralizes all information and interactions, which today are scattered across multiple tools.
The dealroom, a solution designed for complex sales
The dealroom should be understood as a sales project management solution. Here's how it works in a nutshell.
The roadmap for your sales opportunity
Milestones for your opportunity
The dealroom is built around a roadmap, mapping all the steps up to closing and beyond, once your prospects have become customers.
These stages reflect both your sales process and your prospects' buying process, so that everyone involved can find their way around. You therefore incorporate all the experience you've accumulated during previous sales cycles, as well as your prospects' specific constraints.
Example: your prospect requires an RGPD review? Add this step to the roadmap to show him that you're adapting to the way he works.
By integrating the issues of all participants in the deal, and your prospects in particular, you maximize their commitment right from the start of the sales cycle.
During the course of an opportunity, each of these stages can be modified to ensure that the roadmap accurately reflects the progress of your discussions with your prospects. You adapt along the way to keep them engaged.
Example: In broad outline, here's what the stages of your roadmap might look like:
- Needs Analysis
- Solution presentation (Demo)
- Project scoping
- Business Assessment
- Technical & Security Assessment
- Sales Proposal & Budget
- Purchasing & Legal Validation
- Customer onboarding
- Follow-up & Success
If required, you can also integrate steps relating to a POC / pilot, the construction of a business case or a call for tenders.
Tasks to guide your contacts
Within each step, you plan the tasks required to complete it. They form a to-do list for each participant in your opportunity, whether salesperson or prospect.
- On the sales side, a task at the start of the opportunity could be "defining the scope of the project".
- On the buyer's side, it might be "validation of the commercial proposal" during the closing phase
Depending on their progress, each participant can mark their taskss as completed to inform their contacts.
Link your notes, presentations, to-dos, etc. directly to these tasks. This way, you deliver the right level of information to your prospect at the right time, in the right context.
Example: integrate the minutes of your latest meeting with the purchasing committee into your current task, or share a video on how a feature you've just discussed with your prospect works.
Visibility settings to determine what you share with your prospects
Within the dealroom, you can decide whether an item is visible to your prospects, only to your team, or even to one person in particular.
For example: share with your prospects tasks relating to the construction of a business case designed to measure the ROI of your solution. On the other hand, keep private the exchanges you have with your colleagues and managers who help you build this business case.
Thanks to the dealroom, your internal processes and prospect interactions are centralized in a single tool.
Collaborate effectively with your prospects
Within the dealroom, you can directly assign certain tasks to your prospects, discuss the blocking points of your opportunity, define deadlines, etc.
When your deal falls behind schedule, participants are automatically notified, saving you time and effort, so you can concentrate on high value-added exchanges. So you retain control over the trajectory of your opportunity, with no extra effort.
Enable the application of your business processes
A dealroom is created from a template, which maps your business process. So you never start from scratch when you launch a new opportunity.
Roadmap actions can also contain practical indications to guide you through your opportunity.
For example, insert the qualification criteria you want to test as part of an initial contact with your prospects, to ensure that you focus only on those sales opportunities that are most likely to succeed.
What are the benefits of a dealroom for you and your prospects?
Benefit #1: build a more transparent buying journey with your prospects
Thanks to the dealroom, your prospects always have clear, up-to-date information on the deal. They know exactly which direction they're taking the opportunity with their sales rep, and quickly understand the benefits of your solution.
Offering more transparency also means facilitating discussions internally within the prospect company. Their own buying journey becomes clearer, and you enable them to make a quick, informed decision.
Example: Take the situation in which your champion needs to involve the decision-makers after working with you for a few weeks.
Today, he's forced to dig through his emails and presentations exchanged with you to transfer all the elements they need.
With a dealroom, all he has to do is invite the decision-makers to join him, giving them access to all the relevant information. In just a few minutes, they understand the value of the deal, what has already been done and what is expected of them.
Benefit #2: collaborate internally on your opportunities
On the sales side, the dealroom enables you to effectively coordinate the different teams around sales opportunities. The roadmap allows you to precisely define everyone's role and actions to bring maximum value to prospects.
You also collaborate without wasting information: everything is centralized in the dealroom rather than scattered between your emails, CRM, Slack / Teams, etc.
From SDR to AE, you lock in your business opportunities. From AE to CSM team, you create upsell and cross-sell opportunities faster.
Benefit #3: ensure the application of your sales processes
The templates you use to create your dealrooms guide your actions throughout the sales cycle. This makes it much easier to monitor sales processes, and helps you apply them more systematically. Team practices are harmonized around the highest standard.
This is particularly effective when new sales people join the team. By having the company's sales know-how at their fingertips, they easily appropriate it and are therefore up and running in record time.
Benefit #4: streamline your sales pipeline
By inviting sales reps and prospects to interact in a shared universe, you gather reliable data to which you don't have access today: you know precisely which interlocutors have been involved in the dealroom and what they did there.
What's in it for you?
- In the course of an opportunity, you can gauge the likelihood of its success and adjust your efforts accordingly.
- You can also build more reliable sales forecasts.
- You understand the success factors in your sales cycle.
Ready to exceed your targets with dealroom?
At a time when B2B sales cycles are becoming increasingly fragmented, and COVID has accentuated this trend, dealroom enables you to coordinate your contacts to bring your opportunities to fruition under the best possible conditions.
In practice, Katalyz integrates with your CRM. For each opportunity, you can create a new dealroom directly from your opportunity.
So you use Katalyz as an extension of your CRM, open to your customers.
(1) (3) Gartner
(2) Whereas a SaaS company had to contend with fewer than 3 competitors in 2012, it now fights against an average of 9 competitors to reach closing.
Source : BMC