3 MIN. READ
For selling business-to-business (B2B), you require a unique set of skills. While business-to-consumer (B2C) sales can hinge on a catchy slogan or intriguing packaging, you must present a convincing pitch because it’s how you address your customers' specific pain points and explain how your product or service brings relief.
While you are making your way past gatekeepers to decision-makers, competing sales reps are pursuing similar paths. To prevail, you need every advantage you can get. Ongoing education for B2B sales professionals provides the edge to seal the deal.
Industry conditions alter constantly. The pandemic compelled you to shift from a face-to-face approach to selling at a distance. That change required new technological solutions. As technology grows, sales professionals must stay ahead of the curve.
Implementing adaptive strategies involves adopting new tools and sharpening your present skills. Long-term success for your entire sales team requires positive regard for continuous learning. Openness to new ideas will also attract talented people, improve your company's standing in your industry and produce higher revenues.
As the industry continues to evolve, B2B sales representatives will be addressing new trends, including:
● Visual storytelling
● Artificial intelligence (AI)
● Account-based marketing (ABM)
● Data-Driven Decisions
● Leveraging voice-activated devices
Many of these may seem alien to veteran reps. Even the new generation will need more familiarity with some of them. Ongoing education keeps your whole team abreast of emerging developments.
Ongoing education can stay within your budget. You can find free resources at:
HubSpot offers free certification courses. YouTube lists many instructional videos. Udemy is an on-demand sales training platform. The Resource Bundle offers e-books, videos, articles, podcasts, and other options.
Not every resource will apply to every industry. Make the most of training time by choosing industry-specific resources. In particular, you can use very narrow search criteria on YouTube to yield precisely the information you need. These will save you time and, in many cases, alert you to other closely related videos. Facebook Insights offers many articles you can filter as you wish.
Launched in honor of Manufacturing Month, MNI University offers free courses on many industrial marketing and manufacturing-related topics taught by industry professionals and designed to help industrial marketers, sales professionals, and business owners sales hone their industrial marketing skills and gain a greater understanding of manufacturing in general. Subjects include project management, leveraging video and live streaming, advice for growing manufacturers, classic marketing mistakes, and much more. Registration is now open for 2023 and courses begin October 1st. Register at http://university.mni.net.
You can choose webinars and workshops that best address the needs of your sales team. BrightTalk presents a wide variety of talks and videos. Forrester, well known for industry studies, offers complimentary webinars. The professional organizations for your industry may present webinars, workshops, and conferences. Conference workshops help your team build skills. They also give you insight into the activities of your competitors.
IndustrySelect provides a webinar each Wednesday, designed to help industrial sales and marketing professionals leverage IndustrySelect's powerful database of manufacturers to find and contact new industrial prospects. The IndustrySelect blog provides a special Sales and Marketing Resources section, filled with resources on email marketing, sales tips and trends, appointment-setting, and more. Those selling to specific manufacturing industries will find their Marketing by Industry section particularly useful for gaining a more complete understanding of their target market.
Some resources highlighted above, such as the Resource Bundle, include podcasts. Fame also offers a B2B marketing podcast collection. Podcasts enable you and your team to make the most of your time. You can listen during otherwise wasted time while en route to clients or even stuck in traffic. Podcasts are also easy to share and discuss with associates.
Milestone provides an array of eBooks and white papers. Many are specific to the hospitality, SEO, and content marketing industries. eBooks contribute to in-depth marketing. They also provide handy references.
Your team's success depends on continuous education in an evolving industrial environment. Access to free events and resources will keep you ahead of the field while keeping your budget in line. As October approaches, get in the back-to-school spirit and plan on attending MNI University to expand your knowledge of the industrial world!