And we are not talking about PPT here…
As B2B marketer, one of your priorities is to provide your sales professionals with the tools they need to support the interactions they have with prospects, from emails to digital meetings to face-to-face. A good sales toolkit will include a wide range of content topics and types, in easy-to-digest digital formats that your sales reps can pick and choose from, to guide their sales conversations and respond to the challenge or question at hand.
Even before Covid, the B2B sales process was increasingly shifting to digital. The pandemic gave that shift a powerful boost. Veeva, global leader in cloud software for the life sciences industry, offers a compelling example. In its recent analysis of engagement over the course of the pandemic, Veeva found huge increases in the use of two of its product platforms, Veeva Approved Email, through which sales teams can send tailored, approved content to healthcare providers, and Veeva Engage Meeting, where sales reps send email invitations for online group meetings that are managed in an easy, compliant way. Over the course of two years, emails sent via Veeva Approved Email increased by 289%, with a 41% open rate, while use of Engage Meetings increased by 288%, with an average duration of 17 minutes per meeting.i
These figures are for all of Europe – in Belgium, uptake was even higher, with an increase of 303% for email and an open rate of 46%, and 52% more Engage Meetings started, with an average length of 29 minutes. (Veeva also took a look at the devices people are using to access these tools, which for Belgium skewed heavily to a web client – 82%, compared to all of Europe with 31% using a web client, and a more equitable split between iPhone and Android.)
Veeva attributes these increases primarily to Covid, but the thing is, now that both buyers and sellers are accustomed to this approach (and in a lot of instances have come to prefer the time savings and productivity gains), there’s no going back.
So how do you ensure that your sales teams have the digital tools they need to support their sales conversations, whether they’re online meetings or in-person events?
Adding value with the right digital tools
Digital sales tools need to provide prospects with the information that they’re seeking, tailored to the relevant phase of their buyer’s journey. With the right digital tools, conversations are shorter, more efficient and to-the-point – increasing the value for all involved. Brief and visual slides to reinforce a specific point, screen-sized formatted documentation, short customer success stories – these are some examples. Sales has the right tools and stories, and your audiences receive information that is relevant to them.
Veeva’s email and meeting tools, and the Veeva Vault PromoMats digital asset management tools for the creation, review, and distribution of compliant content, streamline interactions and help to manage content – with benefits for both sides. Showpad is another important platform for B2B, with sales enablement tools that let sales present prospects with quality content, that prospects can easily access whenever they like. These tools also ensure that only up-to-date, approved content is available to prospects.
Another key point about the digital buyer’s journey is that it’s important for your prospects to be able to keep track of the content you’re sharing. If your sales reps are sending a follow-up mix of email attachments, web links, etc., to a large purchasing team, they’re not really adding value. Content management and sales enablement platforms like Showpad and Veeva offer a way to make the process a lot easier for your prospects (and for your legal, regulatory and compliance teams).
Access to in-depth marketing analytics
The analytics that solutions like Veeva and Showpad provide are also important. When you know exactly how an email or a piece of content performs, you can understand the ROI of every piece of content, and whether it’s supporting sales in an optimum way.
At Living Stone, we’re experts in creating digital B2B sales support tools. Our process starts with a collaboration with sales and marketing, to ensure that the digital tools we develop reflect both marketing goals and the needs of sales reps. We’re a certified partner for Veeva, Showpad, HubSpot and others. We’d be glad to talk with you about how you can use these powerful digital tools to strengthen the sales process at your organization. Contact Anne-Mie, by email at email@example.com, or call at +32 (0)55 59 10 01.
i Source: Veeva. Time periods assessed: for Veeva Approved Email, January 2020 to January 2022. For Veeva Engage Meeting, March 2020 to January 2022.