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For EBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals

Death Of A (B2B) Salesman: Two Years Later Vision: The B2B eCommerce Playbook by Andy Hoar March 29, 2017

Why Read This Report

Key Takeaways

Two years after forecasting that 1 million B2B salespeople would be displaced by 2020, Forrester sees B2B buyers both accelerating their shift to self-serve and demanding higherquality interactions with sales pros. This report, a follow-on to “Death Of A (B2B) Salesman,” explores how and why leading digital business pros are automating the order-taking process and digitally enabling sales reps for unified, fullspectrum B2B commerce.

The Shift Toward Self-Service Intensifies Today, 68% of B2B buyers prefer to research online on their own, up from 53% in 2015. Forrester sees hundreds of thousands of ordertakers, and 1 million reps overall, at even greater risk of displacement by 2020. Buyers Expect Higher-Quality Sales-Assisted Commerce Forrester predicted in 2015 that the number of consultant sales reps would grow 10% by 2020. Two years later, digital business pros are making progress with self-service but struggling to deliver digitally enabled hybrid and full-service commerce. The Digitally Enabled B2B Sales Model — 2.0 B2B companies are actively automating for both self-service and full-service buying scenarios. They’re also upskilling and crosstraining employees as they operationalize for ubiquitous commerce.

forrester.com

For eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals

Death Of A (B2B) Salesman: Two Years Later Vision: The B2B eCommerce Playbook by Andy Hoar with Martin Gill, Jacob Milender, Jaclyn Galan, and Peter Harrison March 29, 2017

Table Of Contents

Related Research Documents

2 Sellers Still Fail To Align Service To Circumstances

Digitize Your Business Strategy With A ThreePhase Road Map

5 Make The Case For Channel Shift And Sales Enablement

Digital Is Busy Transforming B2B Commerce

7 Expand And Enhance The Digitally Enabled Selling Model

Elevate Your Sales Training Impact With A Strategic Framework

Recommendations

11 Build A Unified Digital Commerce Experience 13 Supplemental Material

Forrester Research, Inc., 60 Acorn Park Drive, Cambridge, MA 02140 USA +1 617-613-6000 | Fax: +1 617-613-5000 | forrester.com © 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Opinions reflect judgment at the time and are subject to change. Forrester®, Technographics®, Forrester Wave, RoleView, TechRadar, and Total Economic Impact are trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. [email protected] or +1 866-367-7378

For EBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals

March 29, 2017

Death Of A (B2B) Salesman: Two Years Later Vision: The B2B eCommerce Playbook

Sellers Still Fail To Align Service To Circumstances Successful B2B firms win, serve, and retain customers as effectively online as offline. They leverage digital content to attract leads, use sales enablement technology to qualify prospects, and harness websites and apps to scale order-taking transaction volume — all of which frees sales teams to focus on higher-margin solution selling and value-added services selling. But the gravitational pull of oldschool, offline-centric selling and phone-based order-taking is still strong in many organizations. However, B2B buyers no longer care what channel they research, buy, and service in. They just expect a seamless and compelling digital-first buying process experience across all channels — online and offline. While digital business pros excel at delivering self-service, they still fall short when it comes to delivering digitally enabled, hybrid, and full-service commerce. Whereas yesterday’s digital leaders could be right- or left-handed, today’s must be ambidextrous and capable of delivering selfservice commerce for low-consideration purchases as well as digitally enabled commerce for highconsideration purchases.1 Demand For Digital Self-Service Speeds The Demise Of Order-Takers In 2015, Forrester predicted that channel shift from offline-only to online-only and omnichannel purchasing would displace 1 million salespeople in the US between 2012 and 2020.2 We identified the most vulnerable group as “order-takers” — sales and call center representatives who mostly deal with easily identified, low-priced items.3 In 2017, we believe that order-takers are at even greater risk of being displaced, as B2B buyers increasingly shift low-consideration purchases online. Two years ago, B2B buyers indicated that buying online was more convenient than buying from a sales representative.4 Today, those preferences have intensified. In addition, we’re seeing technologies such as voice-activated search, Amazon Dash Buttons, and the Staples Easy Button beginning to impact the small-business side of B2B at a minimum. Digital business pros must be responsive to buyers who: ›› Insist on doing their own pre-sales research because it’s more convenient. In 2015, B2B buyers said that they considered gathering information online on their own superior to interacting with a sales representative by a margin of 53% to 17%.5 A year later, that figure grew from 53% to 68% (see Figure 1). In addition, B2B buyers who said that they do not want to interact with a sales representative as their primary source of research grew from 59% to 60%. B2B digital pros must recalibrate their investments to match where their customers are starting their journeys, which is increasingly online. ›› Use digital self-service to make low- and medium-consideration purchases. A growing number of B2B sellers are routing “easy” purchases through self-serve channels online.6 For example, distributors of electrical parts and supplies estimate that nearly 68% of all transactions are “simple or transactional in nature,” meaning customers have a preferred brand and are often just reordering or replenishing (see Figure 2). Digital business pros must offer these buyers a compelling option for selfservice or risk losing them to web pure plays and Amazon, which cater to online buying.

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. [email protected] or +1 866-367-7378

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March 29, 2017

Death Of A (B2B) Salesman: Two Years Later Vision: The B2B eCommerce Playbook

FIGURE 1 B2B Buyers Intensify Their Desire For Digital Self-Service

2015

68%

60%

2017* 59%

53%

I prefer not to interact with a sales rep.

I prefer gathering information online on my own.

Base: 224 US B2B buyers and sellers *Base: 162 US B2B buyers Source: Forrester/Internet Retailer Q1 2015 US B2B Buyer Channel Preferences Online Survey *Source: Forrester/Internet Retailer Q1 2017 Global B2B Buy-Side Online Survey

FIGURE 2 Electrical Distributors Estimate That 68% Of B2B Purchases Are “Simple” Or “Transactional”

Distributors admit that a large and growing percentage of purchases from their customers are simple or transactional in nature. The internet is helping customers do their own research. 13% Mixed purchases Simple purchases • Brand already specified • Customer knows product • Requires no value-add • Simple reorder

19.1%

67.9%

Complex purchases • New product • Needs value-add, such as job-site delivery, integrated supply, tech support, special pricing, staging, etc. • Projects

Base: 40 B2B distribution companies Source: National Association of Electrical Distributors/Frank Lynn & Associates, June 2014

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. [email protected] or +1 866-367-7378

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Death Of A (B2B) Salesman: Two Years Later Vision: The B2B eCommerce Playbook

B2B Buyers Want Skilled Consultants For High-Consideration Purchase Scenarios With high-consideration purchases, especially those that involve solutions or services, B2B buyers often prefer assisted sales experiences. They require such help when buying scenarios are complex, expensive, necessitate a price negotiation, or involve installation or servicing.7 For these types of purchases, they’re expecting more informed and effective consultative salespeople as opposed to sales “navigators” or sales “explainers” (see Figure 3). Forrester predicted in 2015 that the number of consultant sales reps would grow 10% by 2020, and that B2B companies would either have to hire them if they could find them or create them via upskilling. Interviewees told us that they want to talk to “consultants” who know their business — at their convenience and with less buy-flow friction. They want easy and seamless interaction with sales professionals who think strategically, and they don’t want to play games with escalations to sales senior management.8 But just 36% of B2B executives believe that salespeople understand their business problems and offer clear solutions for them. B2B sellers must train their “consultants” to:9 ›› Know their B2B buyers’ circumstances both deeply and broadly. B2B buyers report that just 20% of meetings with sales pros focus on their specific needs. B2B sellers must come prepared.10 B2B buyers expect them to do their homework ahead of time, know their prospect’s challenges, understand the competitive context, and define specifically where they can create immediate value. In addition, several interviewees said that they use salespeople now as outsourced research partners, commissioning them to provide objective data and case studies. ›› Be more responsive, and find innovative ways to add value early in the process. B2B buyers expect B2B sellers to engage with them early in the buying process.11 They also expect B2B sellers to communicate with them by way of email, chat, and collaborative software, as opposed to via a traditional phone call.12 B2B buyers now seek guidance in the awareness phase of buying and are willing to reward timely responses disproportionally with their business.13

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. [email protected] or +1 866-367-7378

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Death Of A (B2B) Salesman: Two Years Later Vision: The B2B eCommerce Playbook

FIGURE 3 Consultative Salespeople Are Vital For Highly Considered Purchases

Buyer says “show me”

Buyer says “enlighten me”

High

Complexity of product/service

Explainers

Consultants

Buyer says “serve me”

Buyer says “guide me”

Low Order-takers Low

Navigators High

Complexity of the buyer dynamic

Make The Case For Channel Shift And Sales Enablement Today’s B2B buyers move freely between self-service, hybrid, and full-service commerce.14 They decide which space to operate in on the fly, based largely on whether the purchase is low- or highconsideration. For low-consideration purchases, digital removes costs, drives incremental revenue, and increases customer satisfaction. For high-consideration purchases, digital improves the quality of customer engagement and enables field salespeople to earn higher margins by more effectively selling solutions, services, and subscriptions. Channel Shifting Low-Consideration Purchases Is Both Cost- And Customer-Effective Self-serve B2B eCommerce websites have a much lower average variable cost-per-sale than offline models. Relatively speaking, sales forces are expensive. For example, high-tech B2B companies spend approximately 5% to 10% of total revenue on sales compensation.15 They also spend a great deal to support salespeople with staff, services, and materials.16 B2B eBusiness pros are accelerating their shift online because of overwhelming evidence suggesting that doing so: ›› Changes the cost equation. Coca-Cola reported that it reduced its average cost-per-interaction by 85% by moving offline B2B customers online.17 In an interview with Forrester, Levi Strauss said that its B2B online ordering system enabled it to cost-effectively capture thousands of momand-pop stores, expand lines of business, reduce cost-to-serve, and improve its order-fill rate.18 Several companies we spoke with during this research indicated that digital is deflecting a growing percentage of B2B customer calls and greatly reducing the cost of ordering and the overall cost to serve customers. © 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. [email protected] or +1 866-367-7378

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Death Of A (B2B) Salesman: Two Years Later Vision: The B2B eCommerce Playbook

›› Increases incremental revenue. Multibillion-dollar food distributor US Foods said that customers who buy online spend 5% more than those who only buy offline.19 Similarly, Coca-Cola said that migrating its B2B offline customers online increased its gross profit per outlet by 6% and its average order value by 15%.20 Further, Levi Strauss reported that channel shifting its B2B customers to a self-serve portal increased its revenue by 10%.21 ›› Improves customer satisfaction. A large, multinational computer hardware manufacturer told Forrester that customers who place their orders electronically give the brand a 5% to 10% higher customer satisfaction score than offline-only customers do.22 In addition, Proto Labs, a manufacturer of customized industrial products, argues that customers prefer to use an onlineonly site because they “don’t have to talk to anybody” and can order on their own time.23 B2B customers value efficiency, convenience, and time savings, and they will reward B2B sellers that streamline their ordering operations. Digital Enablement Helps Sales Pros Better Serve High-Consideration Buyers B2B buyers see little difference between channels. As such, digital plays just as important a role in full-service interactions as it does in self-service interactions. Digital helps sales reps create customer intimacy by understanding historical — and anticipating future — customer needs. Many B2B digital business professionals have focused digital efforts on B2B eCommerce for low-consideration purchases and have yet to broaden their digital horizon to better support more complex, assisted purchases. Digital enables B2B sellers to: ›› Target sales interactions to be more productive. Effective sales reps leverage tools and technology to create customer intimacy. For example, MillerCoors sales reps use a tablet app developed by Mediafly to show bar owners how they can maximize revenue per tap-handle pull by swapping out a craft beer for MillerCoors’ premium beer Blue Moon. Such technologies enable sales reps to create proposals, show business cases, make product recommendations, and assemble customized financial models — all dynamically and in real time. ›› Address high-consideration buyers making low-consideration purchases. Often, initial highconsideration purchases give way to follow-on, low-consideration transactions.24 For example, GE Water reports that its online site cuts an average, 20-minute phone reordering process down to just minutes.25 Similarly, meat distributor Porky Products recently gave butchers at a grocery store chain a mobile app to scan bar codes for meat reorders — saving butchers an average of 1 hour per day on ordering time. Now, Porky Products’ sales reps focus on large orders and seasonal buying versus transactional purchases.26

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. [email protected] or +1 866-367-7378

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March 29, 2017

Death Of A (B2B) Salesman: Two Years Later Vision: The B2B eCommerce Playbook

Expand And Enhance The Digitally Enabled Selling Model In 2015, Forrester introduced the digitally enabled B2B selling model to demonstrate that digital is a function of selling via both people and websites. Since then, we’ve observed that B2B digital business leaders have struggled to convince sales teams to embrace their self-serve sites as enablement tools for enhancing their productivity. In parallel, many of those same digital leaders have failed to convince the eCommerce team to fully incorporate offline sales into the company’s digital-first strategy (see Figure 4). Forrester believes that the successful companies of the future will be customer obsessed, and that means being customer led, insights driven, fast, and connected.27 To win in the age of the customer, B2B digital business pros must deliver full-spectrum selling, or connected “end-to-end commerce,” as opposed to siloed point-solution commerce.28 They must automate sales tasks for low-consideration purchases and upskill and digitally enable customer-facing salespeople to better handle highconsideration purchases.

FIGURE 4 Bridging A Critical Gap In The Digitally Enabled B2B Selling Model

Customer

Account team • Field sales • Inside sales • Call center

Sales enablement

Self-serve website • Mobile • PC/laptop • Tablet

Account history

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. [email protected] or +1 866-367-7378

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Death Of A (B2B) Salesman: Two Years Later Vision: The B2B eCommerce Playbook

Sellers Must Automate To Capture Selling Opportunities And Customer Intimacy B2B sellers are increasingly migrating a greater percentage of sales transaction volume online, either by selling directly via a website or by way of sales reps booking orders online for customers. As a result, many are using technology to automate the friction-filled parts of the customer journey to increase velocity in the pre-sales, sales, and post-sales processes.29 In fact, in the past two years, the transition toward automation has accelerated because: ›› The case for automating key parts of the B2B sales process has strengthened. McKinsey & Company argues that 45% of the activities that individuals are paid to perform today can be automated using existing technology, and that 85% of the tasks that a standard parts salesperson performs, for example, can be automated.30 Automation technologies mean digital business pros can customize experiences at scale. This is why leading sites are now actively incorporating personalized product recommendations, price negotiation technologies, and workflow and order tracking (see Figure 5). ›› Automation facilitates and enables reps to sell productively upmarket. Digital not only allows customers to self-serve but also enables sales reps to be more efficient with their time by helping to qualify leads and automate communications — increasingly by way of virtual sales assistants. When one multibillion-dollar telecom company launched its self-serve portal, customers simply bypassed the sales teams — which cut their commissions by 50%. Or, to paraphrase what the CEO of US Foods said recently, eCommerce results in a sales force that’s much more productive — meaning greater sales with fewer reps.31

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. [email protected] or +1 866-367-7378

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Death Of A (B2B) Salesman: Two Years Later Vision: The B2B eCommerce Playbook

FIGURE 5 Automating The B2B Sales Process

Automating the sales process 24x7x365 self-serve website Order-taking Personalization algorithms Product recommendations Digital transaction management Contracts Price optimization software Price negotiation Robotic chat Customer service SEO/SEM Prospecting

Sellers Must Train Sales/Service Pros To Handle Complex Requests That Automation Can’t B2B buyers expect B2B digital business pros to coordinate the efforts of their outside sales, inside sales, and contact center reps. That’s forcing B2B sellers to rethink how they deliver a superior customer experience and drive agility and operational efficiency.32 Several B2B digital pros reported that the harder calls and transactions are now going to inside and outside salespeople and customer service representatives, since the easier questions and transactions are being handled online. To capitalize on the opportunities upmarket that full-spectrum digital commerce enables, B2B digital professionals must work with offline sales and service leaders, as well as their ecosystem partners, to: ›› Upskill sales reps to handle more complicated sales scenarios. In the age of the customer, all customer-facing professionals require sales training. Inside sales reps hold particular promise, as they can often have deep interactions with customers. Recently, two large B2B manufacturers told Forrester that in customer surveys, their inside sales reps scored higher than field salespeople for understanding the customer’s business. Forrester believes upskilled inside sales will play an even greater role in all phases of small-and-medium-size-business and enterprise sales than we first predicted in 2015 (see Figure 6).

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. [email protected] or +1 866-367-7378

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Death Of A (B2B) Salesman: Two Years Later Vision: The B2B eCommerce Playbook

›› Accelerate cross-training of contact center employees. Contact center agents now often represent the frontline of interaction with customers but are still largely trained like they’re reactionary call center agents of old. B2B companies must provide significantly more training so that these agents become far more adept at accessing and analyzing data as well as facilitating and placing orders for customers. Realizing that its agents talk to customers more than its salespeople do, 3M has recently upgraded the role of agents to upselling sales opportunities, escalating leads, and closing deals.33

FIGURE 6 The Digitally Enabled B2B Selling Model

6-1

Digitally enabled B2B selling model — selling to small and medium-size businesses Expected increase from 2015 projections Size of role

Field sales

Pre-sales

Sales

Post-sales

2015 2020

Inside sales

2015 2020

Call center

2015 2020

Website

2015 2020

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. [email protected] or +1 866-367-7378

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Death Of A (B2B) Salesman: Two Years Later Vision: The B2B eCommerce Playbook

FIGURE 6 The Digitally Enabled B2B Selling Model (Cont.)

6-2

Digitally enabled B2B selling model — selling to enterprise customers Expected increase from 2015 projections Size of role Field sales

Pre-sales

Sales

Post-sales

2015 2020

Inside sales

2015 2020

Call center

2015 2020

Website

2015 2020

Recommendations

Build A Unified Digital Commerce Experience Self-service B2B commerce is here to stay. And importantly, full service is not going away. Tomorrow’s successful B2B sellers will couple an Amazon-like customer experience with an equally robust, digitally enhanced, consultative selling value proposition. If their firms are going to thrive, B2B digital business professionals must reposition themselves as more than “the eCommerce guy.” They must develop a broader vision that automates low-consideration, self-serve transactions and digitally enhances highconsideration, complex, in-person engagements. They must champion a fundamental transformation of their firms’ sales model to:

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. [email protected] or +1 866-367-7378

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Death Of A (B2B) Salesman: Two Years Later Vision: The B2B eCommerce Playbook

›› Sell more complex products across more channels. Products are rapidly becoming commoditized as suppliers broaden their distribution, and buyers seek more inventory and price transparency. In response, B2B companies must move upmarket to offer more complex products that command higher margins and leverage sales-assisted models. For example, electrical distributors expect that nearly 85% of their sales in five years will be of products that are complex versus simple, up from just 19% in 2014.34 ›› Offer new and differentiated value-added services. B2B companies must continue to augment average tickets with higher-margin services such as warranties on products, insurance for transportation and product use, and credit terms and financing. Those services are not only more differentiated but also enable digital business pros to capitalize on the value of consultative selling.35 Of note, B2B companies that offer value-added services have grown faster in recent years than companies that are not focused on service-centric selling.36 ›› Double down on self-serve infrastructure for both outsiders and insiders. Nearly 75% of B2B digital business pros say that their eCommerce systems can support self-service eCommerce.37 But just 45% say that their commerce systems enable sales staff to place orders on behalf of customers. In today’s digital-first and ubiquitous commerce environment, commerce platforms must serve both low-touch and high-touch buying scenarios equally well. Companies such as Carolina Biological Supply, VF, and Wurth have implemented such B2B unified commerce systems. ›› Expand opportunities for salesperson-free B2B business models. Zoro’s web-only, offprice, 1 million stock-keeping unit (SKU) business is now a driving force behind W.W. Grainger’s digital initiatives.38 Similarly, Systemax books over $1 billion in revenue per year on a global basis selling industrial parts with its online-centric ordering model.39 As neither property relies on field salespeople to close deals, and hence doesn’t need to pay expensive sales commissions en masse, they’re able to pass along differentiated cost savings to customers.

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Death Of A (B2B) Salesman: Two Years Later Vision: The B2B eCommerce Playbook

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Supplemental Material Survey Methodology The Forrester/Internet Retailer Q1 2017 Global B2B Buy-Side Online Survey was fielded to 225 B2B eCommerce professionals from Internet Retailer’s mailing list. However, only a portion of survey results are illustrated in this document. For quality assurance, we screened respondents to ensure they met minimum standards in terms of job responsibilities and budget insight. Forrester fielded the survey from December 2016 to February 2017. Respondent incentives included a summary of the survey results and courtesy copy of a Forrester report. Exact sample sizes are provided in this report on a question-by-question basis. This data is not guaranteed to be representative of the population, and, unless otherwise noted, statistical data is intended to be used for descriptive and not inferential purposes. While nonrandom, the survey is still a valuable tool for understanding where users are today and where the industry is headed.

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. [email protected] or +1 866-367-7378

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Death Of A (B2B) Salesman: Two Years Later Vision: The B2B eCommerce Playbook

The Forrester/Internet Retailer Q1 2015 US B2B Buyer Channel Preferences Online Survey was fielded to 224 US-based B2B professional and nonprofessional buyers from our ongoing marketing and strategy research panel. The panel consists of volunteers who join on the basis of interest and familiarity with specific marketing and strategy topics. For quality assurance, panelists are required to provide contact information and answer basic questions about their firms’ revenue and budgets. Forrester and Internet Retailer fielded the survey from January to March 2015. Respondent incentives included a summary of the survey results. Exact sample sizes are provided in this report on a questionby-question basis. Panels are not guaranteed to be representative of the population. Unless otherwise noted, statistical data is intended to be used for descriptive and not inferential purposes.

Endnotes Source: Paul Demery, “Manufacturers project a sharp rise in online B2B sales,” Digital Commerce 360, March 14, 2016 (https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/2016/03/14/manufacturers-project-sharp-rise-online-b2b-sales/).

1

Forrester predicts that 1 million B2B salespeople will lose their jobs from 2012 to 2020. The reality is that many B2B companies have already proven the benefits of self-serve models and are starting to steal share from offline-only models. Plus, as retirement-age B2B buyers attrite out of the workforce, millions of new digital-native B2B buyers are coming in and forming new buyer loyalties. In response, B2B firms are actively rethinking and restructuring their conventional selling models to focus more on selling via self-serve eCommerce websites. For more information, see the Forrester report “Death Of A (B2B) Salesman.”

2

For more information, see the Forrester report “Death Of A (B2B) Salesman.”

3

For more information, see the Forrester report “Death Of A (B2B) Salesman.”

4

For more information, see the Forrester report “Death Of A (B2B) Salesman.”

5

Nearly 75% indicate that buying from a website is more convenient than buying from a sales representative when purchasing products or services for work. In addition, 93% of B2B buyers say that they prefer to buy online rather than from a salesperson when they’ve decided what to buy and just need to make the purchase. For more information, see the Forrester report “Death Of A (B2B) Salesman.”

6

For more information, see the Forrester report “Death Of A (B2B) Salesman.”

7

For more information, see the Forrester report “What Does It Take To Win With Executive Buyers?”

8

For more information, see the Forrester report “Executive Buyer Insight Study: Defining The Gap Between Buyers And Sellers.”

9

To establish a baseline for executive buyers’ perception of sellers’ agendas, we surveyed over 400 executives about their experiences and perceptions of the sales meetings they take and the salespeople they meet. Our findings reveal that 80% of sales conversations are about selling products, and only 20% are about the executive buyer’s challenges and initiatives. For more information, see the Forrester report “What’s On A Seller’s Agenda?”

10

Regardless of whether these executive-level buyers are in marketing, finance, legal, executive management, sales, human resources, or IT roles, the pattern remains the same: Sellers who engage at the “What to do?” stage are selected by buyers 74% of the time. For more information, see the Forrester report “What Does It Take To Win With Executive Buyers?”

11

Source: Forrester/Internet Retailer Q1 2015 US B2B Buyer Channel Preferences Online Survey.

12

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. [email protected] or +1 866-367-7378

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Death Of A (B2B) Salesman: Two Years Later Vision: The B2B eCommerce Playbook

Source: Dave Elkington, “Lead Response Infographic – How Many Touches to Make a Sale,” Insidesales.com blog, April 28, 2012 (https://www.insidesales.com/insider/lead-management/lead-response-management-infographic/).

13

For more information, see the Forrester report “The Case For Omnichannel B2B.”

14 15

Source: “2012 Sales Compensation Practices Survey for the High-Tech Industry,” WorldatWork, May 2012 (http://www. worldatwork.org/waw/adimLink?id=61615) and Kevin Johnston, “Sales Expense vs. Revenue Percentage,” Chron.com (http://smallbusiness.chron.com/sales-expense-vs-revenue-percentage-30579.html).

16

Technology vendors are spending, on average, 19% of their selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) costs, or $135,262 per quota-carrying salesperson, on support-related activities. Few are aware of this enormous amount because the costs are hidden — tucked away in many different budgets dispersed throughout the organization. See the Forrester report “Uncovering The Hidden Costs Of Sales Support.”

17

Source: Coca-Cola presentation by Marta Dalton at Dreamforce 2016.

18

Source: Interview with Levi Strauss.

19

Source: Bill Briggs, “E-commerce delivers for US foods,” B2B E-Commerce World, November 9, 2016 (https://www. b2becommerceworld.com/mobile/2016/11/09/e-commerce-delivers-us-foods).

20

Source: Coca-Cola presentation by Marta Dalton at Dreamforce 2016.

21

Source: Interview with Levi Strauss.

22

Source: Forrester customer interview.

23

Source: Nona Tepper, “A manufacturer merges its three e-commerce sites into one,” Digital Commerce 360, June 29, 2015 (https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/2015/06/29/manufacturer-merges-its-three-e-commerce-sites-one/).

24

For more information, see the Forrester report “The Case For Omnichannel B2B.”

25

Source: Bill Briggs, “A GE unit turns to e-commerce to manage sales and costs,” Digital Commerce 360, March 6, 2017 (https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/2017/03/06/ge-unit-turns-e-commerce-manage-sales-and-costs/).

26

Source: Forrester interview with Handshake.

27

For more information, see the Forrester report “The Operating Model For Customer Obsession.”

28

For more information, see the Forrester report “The Case For Omnichannel B2B.”

29

Despite U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projections in 2002 that the number of B2B salespeople would increase by 10% by 2012, in actuality, the number of B2B salespeople in the US declined by 2% in that time frame. It continues a trend where the number of salespeople per million dollars of real GDP in the US declined by half from 2.08 in 1995 to 0.98 in 2012. This is partly because salespeople have become more efficient, but it’s also due to the fact that B2B companies migrated sales online — where software, not salespeople, handles the transactions.

30

Source: Michael Chui, James Manyika, and Mehdi Miremadi, “Where machines could replace humans—and where they can’t (yet),” McKinsey & Company, July 2016 (http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/ourinsights/where-machines-could-replace-humans-and-where-they-cant-yet).

31

Source: Forrester customer interview. Source: “Q3 2016 US Foods Holding Corp Earnings Call,” Yahoo Finance, November 8, 2016 (http://finance.yahoo. com/news/edited-transcript-usfd-earnings-conference-224343169.html).

Digital business transformation is a multiyear, multidimensional challenge. Traditional wisdom encourages firms to approach such a wholesale change as a big-bang transformation program, but the reality is that too many of these largescale change programs fail. See the Forrester report “Digitize Your Business Strategy With A Three-Phase Road Map.”

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Source: Interview with 3M.

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For EBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals

March 29, 2017

Death Of A (B2B) Salesman: Two Years Later Vision: The B2B eCommerce Playbook

Source: “Alternate Distribution Channels,” National Association of Electrical Distributors, 2014 (http://www.tedmag. com/NAEDDocs/Research/Channel%20Matters/Alternate%20Distribution%20Channels_Full%20Report.pdf).

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Source: “Alternate Distribution Channels,” National Association of Electrical Distributors, 2014 (http://www.tedmag. com/NAEDDocs/Research/Channel%20Matters/Alternate%20Distribution%20Channels_Full%20Report.pdf).

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Source: Paul Demery, “Business and BOSS: key terms at a forum,” B2B E-Commerce World, November 21, 2016 (https://www.b2becommerceworld.com/commentary/2016/11/21/business-and-boss-terms-office-productsforum?utm_source=B2BN&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=B2BecNews-20160).

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Source: Forrester/Internet Retailer Q2/Q3 2015 Global B2B Sell-Side Online Survey.

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Source: Paul Demery, “Zoro.com sales rise while Grainger’s overall U.S. sales are flat,” Digital Commerce 360, April 18, 2016 (https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/2016/04/18/zorocom-sales-rise-while-graingers-overall-us-sales-are-flat/).

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Source: “Systemax Inc. (SYX),” Yahoo Finance (http://finance.yahoo.com/quote/SYX/).

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