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The B2B sales process is more effective now than pre-COVID

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The B2B sales process is more effective now than pre-COVID


Congratulations to all you B2B sales and marketing warriors! You’ve made lemonade from COVID lemons by dramatically improving efficiency of your sales process during the pandemic.

Three-quarters of B2B sellers say that they are more efficient than prior to COVID, according to a recent McKinsey & Company survey. A third said they were “much more” efficient; 41% said they were “somewhat more” efficient.

Ninety-four percent said their sales organizations were at least as efficient compared to pre-COVID times.

Digital self-serve is increasing during consideration phases of purchasing

The trend of buyers doing their own research has accelerated during the pandemic. Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they “identified and researched” new suppliers online in the latest version of the survey, an increase of 13 percentage points compared to the August 2020 edition.

The trend was directionally similar at the “consideration and evaluation” stage. Digital self–serve accounted for 34% of activity in November 2021, an increase of seven percentage points from August 2020.

The three methods of interacting with supplier sales reps were nearly equal in November 2021. Digital self-serve (websites and searches), remote interactions (phone calls, video calls, email) with people, and traditional interactions (in-person meetings, direct mail) all garnered approximately a third of the responses.

“B2B suppliers must continue to adapt to meet this new omnichannel reality. Undoubtedly, shifting to a more varied selling approach is not a straightforward process. But selling organizations can take confidence from the increasing comfort that many of their peers (and their customers) have with omnichannel as an effective way of doing business,” McKinsey concluded.

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Read next: The B2B customer journey is set on a digital track

The 3 martini lunch was a dinosaur — now close to extinction

This McKinsey research documents a continuation of two trends in B2B marketing: omni-channel marketing/sales is accelerating, and sales organizations believe they are more efficient in this remote and self-serve world.

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Face-to-face sales was already on its way out prior to the pandemic for a variety of reasons:

  • Meetings and the travel required to get sales reps to those meetings are expensive. Estimates are the average cost of a face-to-face meeting is $400, compared to $50 for a phone call.
  • We’re all busy. Meeting in-person is an inefficient use of the buyer’s (and seller’s) time.
  • Buying involves many stakeholders. Getting them all in the same room at the same time is nearly impossible.
  • Perhaps most importantly, buyers are capable of, and prefer conducting, research online… long before contacting a sales person. That has been a trend for many years and is continuing. 

Finally, explaining the value propositions, use cases and benefits of marketing software and services don’t require a face-to-face interaction. For software, users will be in front of a screen. And for services, most of the collaboration will take place remotely.


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About The Author

Chris is a founding partner and CEO of Third Door Media, the publisher of MarTech and Search Engine Land, and producer of the MarTech Conference and Search Marketing Expo – SMX. TDM accelerates customer acquisition for its clients by providing trusted content and targeted marketing programs that deliver qualified prospects. You can reach Chris at chris[at]thirddoormedia.com.

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Old Navy to drop NFTs in July 4th promo update

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Old Navy to drop NFTs in July 4th promo update

Old Navy will update its yearly Fourth of July promotions by saluting the metaverse with an NFT drop, going live June 29.

In honor of the year they were founded, the retailer will release 1,994 common NFTs, each selling for $0.94. The NFTs will feature the iconic Magic the Dog and t include a promo code for customers to claim an Old Navy t-shirt at Old Navy locations or online.

“This launch is Old Navy’s first activation in web3 or with NFTs,” an Old Navy spokesperson told MarTech. “As a brand rooted in democratization and inclusivity, it was essential that we provide access and education for all with the launch of our first NFT collection. We want all our customers, whether they have experience with web3, to be able to learn and participate in this activation.”

Accessible and user-friendly. Any customer can participate by visiting a page off of Old Navy’s home site, where they’ll find step-by-step instructions.

There will also be an auction for a unique one-of-one NFT. All proceeds for the NFT and shirt sales go to Old Navy’s longtime charitable partner, Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Additionally, 10% of NFT resales on the secondary market will also go to Boys & Girls Clubs.

Support. This activation is supported by Sweet, who’s played a major role in campaigns for other early NFT adopters like Burger King.

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The Old Navy NFTs will be minted on the Tezos blockchain, known for its low carbon footprint.

“This is Old Navy’s first time playing in the web3 space, and we are using the launch of our first NFT collection to test and learn,” said Old Navy’s spokesperson. “We’re excited to enable our customers with a new way to engage with our iconic brand and hero offerings and look forward to exploring additional consumer activations in web3 in the future.”

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Read next: 4 key strategies for NFT brand launches

Why we care. Macy’s also announced an NFT promotion timed to their fireworks show. This one will award one of 10,000 NFTs to those who join their Discord server.

Old Navy, in contrast, is keeping customers closer to their owned channels, and not funneling customers to Discord. Old Navy consumers who don’t have an NFT wallet can sign up through Sweet to purchase and bid on NFTs.

While Macy’s has done previous web3 promotions, this is Old Navy’s first. They’ve aligned a charity partner, brand tradition and concern for the environment with a solid first crack at crypto.


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About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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