Sales Technology, Social Media, and Trust: The Foundation of B2B Sales in Australia
Findings from our 2017 State of B2B Sales Report underscore the role new sales technology and tactics play in achieving B2B sales success in Australia.
August 2, 2017
The writing is on the wall: Today’s B2B sales professionals must embrace new tactics and technology to stay in lockstep with evolving buyers. Our latest report – the 2017 State of B2B Sales in Australia – bears this out.
Ninety-two percent of the top Australian salespeople report using sales technology on the job, keeping Aussies on par with their UK and US counterparts, who weigh in at 94% and 98% respectively. Eighty-six percent of these same sales pros report that sales technology is either “important” or “very important” for closing deals.
Which technology are we talking about? The modern B2B sales technology stack has three layers:
· Professional and social networking platforms for culling insights and connecting (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook)
· Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools for promoting stronger and more productive relationships (e.g., Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics)
· Collaboration tools for facilitating work between teams (e.g., Dropbox and Google Drive)
Insights Lead the Way
It’s not about using technology for technology’s sake. According to respondents, it’s about using technology to gain valuable insights that facilitate stronger connections with prospects, leads, and customers.
Today, engaging with insights isn’t merely a competitive advantage. It’s a must. Roughly four out of five Australian buyers say they won’t even engage with salespeople who don’t have insight into their business.
Being Social Still Matters
Sales professionals who are savvy on social media continue to reap the benefits, particularly as it relates to the modern expectation of personalized outreach. In fact, 64% of B2B decision-makers in Australia say they won’t engage with a salesperson unless the communication is personalized. Being in tune with a buyer’s social media activities makes it easier for sales pros to connect the dots and reach out with context.
This modern expectation of relevance also helps explain why 52% of B2B decision makers believe it’s important for salespeople to reach out through LinkedIn, and why 73% of millennial decision makers are more likely to engage sales reps with a professional social media presence.
Given the statistical trends above, it should come as no surprise that more than half of Australia’s sales professionals plan to invest more time learning about social selling technology over the next twelve months.
Other Key findings From the Survey:
· 78% of Australian sales professionals use digital sales stack technologies to shorten sales cycles, close bigger deals, and grow revenue. This puts Australia behind both the UK (90%) and US (91%).
· Top performing salespeople in Australia (those who exceeded their projected target revenue by more than 25%) are more likely to use a multi-layered, technology-first approach.
· While they still have some catching up to do with millennial sales professionals, 38% of Australian Baby Boomers now use networking platforms such as LinkedIn as part of their sales role.
· 73% of decision makers agree that the negative Hollywood portrayals (e.g. Wolf of Wall Street) don’t do the industry justice. B2B decision makers in Australia are more likely to describe sales professionals as “trustworthy” and “fair.”
These results should come as no surprise. We’ve witnessed the growing role of technology and social networks in B2B sales globally for some time now. Australian sales professionals are either on par or a bit behind their UK and US counterparts when it comes to leveraging modern sales tools. Overall though, the data indicates that Australia’s sales professionals are evolving to meet the changing expectations of Australia’s buyers.
To learn more about the current state of B2B sales and where it’s headed, download LinkedIn’s 2017 State of B2B Sales Report.