When the world is throwing up barriers to doing business and trade, some sales teams keep finding ways to look beyond their borders. There's no need narrowing your view of opportunities with the right tools and a virtual and digital, buyer-first approach.
We live in a time of macro-and microeconomic uncertainties, from wars to global supply chain crises and trade disruption. And this happens following two years that brought levels of disruption few had imagined!
If it's not the pandemic and the aftershocks, it's the excellent reshuffle that's come hard on its heels. Goods and supplies find it challenging to move – but decision-makers are more motivated to leave their roles than ever, leaving potential business stalled in their wake and crucial customer relationships undermined.
So what do modern sales teams and reps do in a world that seems determined to keep hemming approaches and throwing new obstacles? Do they retrench? Do they lower their sights and focus closer to home? Do they try to find markets that aren't affected by the uncertainty surrounding us?
Modern sales teams and reps find a way; they have a determination to keep looking further – expanding prospecting to build broader and more varied relationships and finding ways to turn those relationships into business opportunities. Modern sales teams and reps keep finding ways to open it up even when the world threatens to shut itself down.
Thinking virtual means thinking bigger
When F2F meetings dropped off the agenda and sales organisations were forced to pivot to virtual, motivated salespeople quickly saw the opportunity to think beyond their borders. The disruption to trade and barriers to movement proved no barrier to the rise of international selling and business.
The circumstances that made this disruption possible in the beginning of 2020 are still with us today – because even though the original effects of the pandemic are waning, potential and existing customers still prefer virtual engagement. In addition, most B2B buyers I know think remote working has made purchasing decisions easier.
When your buyers prefer to work remotely and deal with salespeople virtually, the right solution doesn't have to come from the same city, region or country. When you build your relationships, offer trusted advice and develop solutions together, it's incredible what's possible. You can go global from anywhere.
International selling includes challenges in supply chain disruption, regulatory change and more profound uncertainties.
Nevertheless, it's also true that you can overcome these challenges. The expansion of international and global selling at a time when trade barriers go up and supply chains struggle proves as much.
We all see the shift to 'borderless selling' play out online and digital because it provides the tools that enable it to happen. Online and digital data allow sales operations to think and plan globally, mapping out white space opportunities and identifying addressable markets across territories.
Online and digital is the engine that drives these borderless sales approaches, enabling relevant and value-adding outreach whether a potential customer is in the same city as the salesperson – or on a different continent.
To use online and digital to establish a buyer-first approach delivers the types of trusted relationships that may innovate solutions to practical challenges and the next set of uncertainties the world throws our way.
Selling is increasingly online, digital and virtual – and increasingly international. These trends that no sensible decision maker, business or sales leader would bet against lead me to one inevitable conclusion:
Keep expanding your view of where you find the next opportunity, and whatever the challenges, you'll find a way. Your potential customers think the same about prospective suppliers and their solutions, products and services.
If you're interested in discovering more about how digitalisation affects your sales, marketing and service teams, look at our in-depth digitalisation guide and download the accompanying presentation below.
Founder, CEO & Strategist since 2001. Anders provides thoughts and reflections about what and how to think about onlinification and digitalisation in B2B. Asks a lot of questions, and knows what to do with the answers.