Shelter-in-place and social distancing guidelines have changed the way B2B selling works. Field sales teams have moved inside for the foreseeable future. Most of their interactions with customers are now virtual. Many B2B sellers assume that inability to use traditional strategies such as onsite meetings and customer dinners has negatively impacted their sales process. However, we believe that this time presents a unique opportunity to learn new ways to cultivate relationships virtually and realize the full productivity potential of B2B virtual selling.
Tomasz Tunguz from Redpoint explored the unforeseen benefits of virtual channels for marketing teams and shared his findings in an article. Tomasz looked at the portfolio companies’ experiences with virtual events and observed four things:
(1) 5-10x More Attendees
Virtual events amplify both registrants and attendees by similar multiples. The number of attendees increases by a factor of 5-10x compared to an IRL event.
(2) Easier Execution, Shorter Cycle Time
Because virtual events liberate attendees and organizers from logistics, they can be executed on short notice. Provoked by the right content, audiences will register for an event two or three weeks out. With shorter cycle times between events, marketing teams can accelerate their cadence, learn quicker, and engage more of their ecosystem
(3) Viable Lead Generation Channel
For marketing teams, this is a new muscle to flex, but the immediate impact to lead generation has evinced them virtual events are the future.
(4) New and Valuable Granular Behavior Data
With virtual events, marketing teams can capture more granular data about the behavior of attendees than IRL events. Which vendors did attendees visit? How long did they tarry? Which talks did each person attend?
Is there a way for B2B sellers to leverage virtual experiences with similar success to advance sales cycles? In our experience, the answer to this question is “Yes,” and there is a real opportunity to leverage similar strategies at the later stages of the sales and marketing funnel.
What are the implications for B2B Sales teams?
B2B sellers can cultivate relationships by inviting customers to shared virtual experiences. This approach will help to (1) have additional informal interactions with the stakeholders; (2) engage more members of a buying committee; (3) better understand the strength of your connection; (4) learn more about people and develop trust; (5) differentiate from the competition.