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4 B2B Sales Trends to Get Ahead in 2024

2024 B2B Sales Trend by Ibukun Onitiju

These are my predicted B2B sales trends for 2024. 

Over the past year, I’ve engaged 1,000+ businesses through various channels in a sales-led B2B growth motion. Then, as part of a sales team, I’ve had the opportunity to interact with B2B clients, handle objections, win new business, lose some, experience the sales rollercoaster, and ultimately learn through the process. 

Here we go!

1. More Clients Will Appreciate a K.I.S.S.

The days of getting a quick sale or transactional relationships are fast coming to an end. Clients are looking for rapport building, relationships and a consultative selling approach. According to Hubspot, salespeople say one of the biggest changes between 2022 and 2023 was the increasing importance of building trust and rapport.

 I call it the KISS approach to sales. 

Know Me

Find out about me (my business, industry, competitors, challenges, opportunities etc). Do your research. 

Interest Me

Reach out to me, but lead with something that interests me and my business, and let’s discuss them. 

Sell To Me 

Match my interests to your solutions. Show me how they can truly meet my needs. I want to hear it but If there’s no match, don’t force it. 

Satisfy Me

I want a long-term relationship, not a quick sale. 

The idea of consultative selling also impacts how you use different channels to communicate with prospects and clients. Be open to engaging for longer periods via multiple channels – Email, Phone, In-person, virtual meetings, and WhatsApp. Etc. 

For example, WhatsApp has been an effective channel to engage potential customers through extended conversations professionally without being pushy. The platform also makes it possible to share digital files, video, audio, images and even in some cases invoices and signed contracts. David Bentham predicted this in 2023. Remember to maintain professionalism in every interaction. 

2. B2B Brand Building will drive more growth

Multiple times in the past year, I’ve heard some B2B prospects say ‘we don’t do marketing’. While this is traditionally true, market forces will force many companies to reconsider their approach. B2B companies don’t need to compete with B2C companies in terms of marketing approach and intensity, however, your business will benefit from more top-of-mind awareness. This could be through sponsorships, brand campaigns, thought leadership, impact stories etc. Sales and Marketing teams know this is true, and convincing senior management has been a challenge in the past, but more companies will say yes this year. 

Are you planning to reach high-income earners, decision-makers, business and political leaders in Africa? Ethiopian Airlines Media is a great way to elevate your brand and tell your story. Contact me to discuss your business goals. 

3. More B2B companies will explore product-led growth. 

Product-led growth focuses on the product itself driving customer acquisition and retention. This has been effective in the SaaS industry. More B2B brands will explore how their products can contribute to customer acquisition, retention and expansion. The first caveat is that this won’t work by doing copy and paste. It will require a concerted internal effort. You must rethink, rewrite and re-establish your growth strategies to make this work. 

During a LinkedIn audio session, Leah Tharin shared why a product-led growth approach could benefit B2B companies beyond getting more sales. 

  1. Customer interactions with your ‘freemium’ product provide useful feedback to help you improve the product, thereby improving the value to paying customers.
  1. Self-serve product demos will help you qualify prospects better and shorten the close cycle. This makes follow-up interaction from the sales team more productive for the informed prospect. 
  1. If executed well, product-led growth can be a new source of revenue from a segment of your Ideal Client Profile (ICP), especially the ones with lower Annual Contract Values (ACV)

4. Data and analytics will create a competitive advantage

According to McKinsey’s The Big Reframe, data-driven decision-making is increasingly critical across all teams, especially in sales. The rise of generative AI tools and the ability to train large language models (LLM) with proprietary company data will give some companies a competitive advantage in knowing how, when, and what to use to influence buying decisions. Which sales outreach message has a higher close rate for XYZ industry? What signals can we use to predict clients who will renew or churn? 

Every organisation can make better use of existing data to make informed decisions coupled with additional data from sales tools like Cognism, Zoominfo, Lusha etc that provide customer enrichment and intent data. It is not about sophistication, it will be about getting meaningful insights that will improve results. 

That’s it from me. Now let’s go and K.I.S.S. more clients, and deliver amazing results for them (and us) in 2024! 

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