The Pandemic’s Impact on B2B Selling

Buying and selling changed dramatically in the last year, accelerated by the pandemic, forcing both parties to use digital channels. Back to discuss COVID-19’s influence on global selling, Christoph Schell, Chief Commercial Officer at HP, talked with Calvary TV host Joe Gemma.

The second conversation focuses on eCommerce, social selling, omnichannel and other paradigm shifts.

Schell described HP’s response. “There is a decentralization of decision-making, and the shopping journey moved online for B2B. Regions don’t work anymore; it’s a global strategy to ensure consistency.”

HP redefined its sales process and included centers of excellence. The two most critical are the HP store, where customers interact directly with the brand, and building an omnichannel team. “The customer is getting more information and leaving footprints, which we use to understand what they want, sometimes before they articulate it. That’s caused me to hire data analysts in sales,” Schnell said.

More data about customers offers companies the chance to have one-on-one engagement and more personalized experiences. A global message is the bedrock, but Schnell noted that localization in individual markets customizes it.

Schnell also spoke about forecasting. “Historical data wasn’t important last year. We went to scenarios looking at the accuracy of ambition of what we want to achieve. It’s a bigger focus on outcomes.”

How people sell is different now, too. Schnell thinks that some traditional approaches will remain, but that social selling and data analytics will thrive. “Social selling works. It’s relationship-building –virtually. Both traditional and social will co-exist, but the pandemic accelerated digital channels.”

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