On Wednesday 24, our CEO, John Readman, was over in York with Future Present Live to host an online panel discussion on what the future of B2B sales and marketing looks like.
John was joined by Lyndon Nicholson, CEO of Future Present; Tiffany St James, Founder of Transmute; Mike Jones, CEO of Beep2B; and Phil Hesketh, Motivational Speaker and expert on the psychology of persuasion and influence.
This panel discussion was the first of many for Modo25 to use a virtual reality studio. The team at Future Present kindly let us use their state-of-the-art equipment to bring a whole new dimension to the event.
How can B2B brands stand out on social media?
Mike: In terms of LinkedIn, we’re seeing more and more messages that are purely promotion, almost spammy, and the pandemic has massively escalated this. For those in B2B sales looking to stand out, I’d say try not to be too pitchy. By being a bit more genuine and a bit more open, you are creating a much more in-bound experience that will differentiate you.
Tiffany: There have been micro-trends over the past twelve months with people getting to grips with digital interactive technology and then getting bored of it. People can’t even be bothered to do a quiz on Zoom with their friend anymore! I agree with Mike on this – my advice is to find out what people need. Build rapport with people and think about how you can help them not how you can pitch.
When and how will VR/AR become part of B2B sales?
Mike: It’s an interesting idea. With devices like the Oculus Quest 2, you just need to sign in to Facebook to access that technology. So, I think it’s only a matter of time before we are seeing more people adopting VR because it’s so much more accessible now – it’s easy. Much better than Zoom!
Phil: I think we will still be going back to live events. Nothing beats shaking someone’s hand or having a beer. But this Zoom era will definitely continue and find its place naturally, just like TV and radio did.
Tiffany: We’ve been working with holographic technology recently. Last year, we live-streamed a singer who did a duet with someone in a sperate studio. As Mike was saying with VR, there is some really immersive, interactive technology coming into our day-to-day life. A lot of our clients are saying that they will never go back to a fully live event without some kind of hybrid element. Because the global reach, accessibility, and instant on-demand video options are incredibly useful.
Are we facing the death of the traditional salesperson?
Phil: I think if you take the typical salesperson making a call a month, every month, I just don’t see that happening now. I’m seeing more and more that hybrid role. It’s much more efficient to meet three times a year in terms of time for both parties. Maybe there will be more Zoom calls, but we will never get away from face to face. So, when you do, do it, it’s really got to matter and impress.
Tiffany: I don’t think we’re seeing the death of the salesperson because people essentially buy from people. But not all B2B services can be sold remotely. So, you will instead find the way they evolve and use digital technology to engage people will massively change. There’s another issue looming though which is the younger generation who don’t like to speak on the phone and much and prefer emails or messaging. Maybe we will see a generational shift there too.
Watch the whole webinar for further insights and discussions from the panel.
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