A smiling woman with short silver-blonde hair stands at the front of a conference room, facing an audience of employees sitting in black plastic chairs. A blank whiteboard stands to the right of the woman.
A good business strategy for 2023 is to personalize your sales demos. Instead of describing how your product or service works, explain how it could benefit the client. — Getty Images/VioletaStoimenova

As business leaders start to look forward to the new year, it’s worth taking stock of how B2B and B2C sales strategies are evolving. Fears of a recession and new digital technologies are changing buying behaviors and disrupting the way sales teams interact with leads and existing clients. Here are some sales strategies to embrace in anticipation of 2023.

The expansion of digital touchpoints

Hybrid selling is essentially an omnichannel approach to sales that brings together digital and offline outreach. And while many sales teams have the offline outreach part down to a science, some small merchants lag behind on the digital side.

[Read more: How to Create a Hybrid Sales Model]

By 2025, Gartner predicts that 80% of B2B sales communication between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels, such as email, social media, text, live chat, or all of the above. Self-service options will become increasingly popular as more people seek convenience, speed, and a tech-first relationship with sales representatives.

“When asked what they wanted most from their sales rep, one executive told us, ‘Please stop asking to meet with me in person. I’m busy enough as it is,’” reported McKinsey. Their study found that 90% of companies were willing to complete high-value deals without a single in-person interaction.

Small business owners can enable these interactions by expanding digital touchpoints and training sales representatives on the hybrid sales approach to customer service.

Focus on customer retention

There are dozens of stats quantifying just how important it is to retain customers, such as:

Customer retention has long been the goal for many business owners, and today’s business environment is leading sales teams to zero in on this key metric. Sales teams can start improving retention as early as the onboarding process. The language app Duolingo, for instance, reinvented its onboarding process to reduce customer churn by 13%.

[Read more: B2B Sales Techniques for Building a Loyal Customer Base]

When asked what they wanted most from their sales rep, one executive told us, “Please stop asking to meet with me in person. I’m busy enough as it is.”

Lisa Donchak, Julia McClatchy, and Jennifer Stanley, McKinsey & Company

And it’s not enough to simply maintain existing customers. Your sales strategy should incorporate opportunities to upsell and cross-sell to current customers. Consider increasing your upsell and cross-sell abilities by adding apps to your online store, launching a targeted email campaign, and reaching out with personalized offers to each individual client.

Sales culture is king

A healthy culture in which your representatives feel supported is shown to make a difference in reaching your sales targets. Invest in meaningful initiatives that help you recruit great sales talent, promote healthy collaboration, and drive results. The key word here is “meaningful.”

“Within the sales team, steer clear of symbolic moves such as suddenly sending the CRO into the field to support deals, if their presence will only intimidate sellers who’ve never interacted with them before,” wrote Forrester.

A supportive sales culture isn’t something you can mandate or buy. Instead, consider investing in long-term initiatives like a mentorship program, a sales advisory council, and a compensation structure that shows employees you value their hard work. Not only will you motivate your employees to work productively, but you can also improve your employee retention—a metric that’s just as important as customer retention.

Use demos wisely

Many organizations offer demos as an inbound marketing lead magnet. These demos can be incredibly powerful ways to connect with people who are interested in your product or service. But it’s also likely that a potential customer is asking for demos from a number of different vendors at the same time.

To make your product or service stand out, Dan Tyre, Inbound Fellow at HubSpot, suggests focusing on the problem someone is trying to solve, rather than the solution your product offers. "Prospects are less interested in 'seeing how it works' and more interested in making sure you understand their needs, have a comprehensive idea of their requirements, and that the product will work," he said.

Use your demo to separate your brand from the competitive landscape. Instead of talking about your product or service features, speak to the customers' goals and personalize your pitch.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

Become a small business member and save!

Become an integral voice in the world’s largest business organization when you join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as a small business member. Members also receive exclusive discounts from B2B partners, including a special offer from FedEx that can help your business save hundreds a year on shipping. Become a member today and start saving!