Digitization in sales: What could a sustainable, future-oriented sales model look like?
Digitalization and globalization have fundamentally changed the marketing and sales strategies of B2B (business-to-business) companies. Sales requirements are undergoing massive change and digital transformation is an important factor for all businesses. It has become essential to differentiate oneself from cheap imported products. The vast availability of information online has changed the dynamics between buyer and seller. In addition, methods such as BIM are still a challenge and have not yet fully arrived in the construction industry.
- Analog reality meets the digital distribution approach.
- Network vs. trade
- What greater success in sales can look like
- Optimal use of (Building Radar) target-projects
1. Analog reality meets the digital distribution approach.
Nowadays, life without a smartphone is hardly imaginable. Whether ordering food, clothing or furniture, everything can be done digitally at the click of a mouse.
In the B2B sector, however, it is not as simple to place an order or obtain necessary information with just one click. It is lacking in sufficient client data, the right systems, and a well-structured database.
Sales no longer offer value by providing facts and figures or introducing functionality. Instead, benefits arise from the development of solution concepts that are tailored to the customer’s needs and supported by digital solutions.
2. Network vs. trade
Companies that rely on the network maintenance approach with contractors and planners often experience that the majority of appointments for sales representatives are not project related. Projects outside the network are left to the competition.
If companies purely rely on trade as a sales channel, they are especially vulnerable to well-financed e-commerce players (e.g. Contorion) entering the market. With growing competition and the increasing role of technology, many companies are wondering whether these models alone are sustainable. Following, we will take a look at the current market and discuss the available options.
3. What greater success in sales can look like
Let’s focus first on the subject of property sales: If companies do not distribute through (wholesale) trade but directly to construction projects, they should first define their target projects (building category, investment volume, phase, …).
In the next step, an employee or team can take on the responsibility of creating a comprehensive and detailed overview of all target projects (we also speak synonymously of leads). Sources for these leads can come from your own networks, trade fairs, time-consuming research, and finally – digital solutions, such as Building Radar.
From these target projects, through pre-defined criteria, we then determine which have a higher probability of sales success and select those to focus on. During the qualification process, your own CRM system or the right tools can then be used to enrich data on specific projects. For these tasks, an internal sales team would be best suited.
While in the construction industry having an internal sales team is often still the exception, this is already standard in many other industries (e.g. information technology). Here is an exemplary process:
4. Optimal use of (Building Radar) target-projects
This division allows the sales force to focus on its core competencies and maximize time on active projects. Simultaneously, the internal sales team can focus on the important but often neglected activities of researching and evaluating new projects.
Ultimately, every company must find the answer to the question: “What could a sustainable, future-oriented sales model look like?”
It can be helpful to look at successful models on the market as well as models from other industries and to analyze your own strategy in detail. In part 2 of our series, “The factors behind sales success in the digital age – Part 1”, we will be illustrating how the concept we have introduced can be implemented in terms of processes, objectives, and remuneration.