The COVID-19 outbreak is still growing at a rapid pace and as governments and organizations strive to contain its growth, businesses across the globe have progressively adapted well to the sudden dysfunction in the economy. The optimism of the European B2B landscape is something we all can gain from. To have a thorough understanding of the same, McKinsey surveyed B2B decision-makers across Europe to help identify how consumer expectations are being met and to better comprehend on spending patterns and behavioral changes.
Findings from this survey state that B2B decision-makers still believe in the economy coming up gradually as they prefer reducing marketing spends and gaining more from digital sales interaction since the onset of COVID-19. Between finding traction on digital methods like live chat, sales emails and texts and prioritizing online sales, the European B2B industry believes it might pick pace at recovering the economic challenges it faced faster than ever.
Moreover, a majority of respondents from the European sector find remote selling more effective that any other medium and have shifted their GTM (Go-to-Market) model during COVID-19. A wider range, remote selling/ virtual sales provide the European market a platform to explore prospects beyond their borders. Remote selling proves to be an ideal alternative to combat the challenges faced with traditional sales. Be it reaching out to prospects from various geographies, to handling different time zones with ease, saving extensive travel costs and even tackling physical contact is an option virtual sales or remote selling deliver effortlessly and would be the first preference going forward.
Speaking of the confidence level on economic conditions to improve post the COVID-19 situation, Europe might appear to be slightly less optimistic in comparison with countries like China, South Korea and Italy. However, what drew our attention was the change in sales model due to COVID-19 is quite likely to stay post the pandemic. Considering remote sales and digitization in marketing are drawing more acclaim, the idea of saving cost and gaining more prospects will leave a lasting impact.
Findings from McKinsey COVID-19 B2B Decision-Maker Pulse
- With European B2B decision-makers pessimism being relatively low, 39% strongly believe that the economy will rebound in 2–3 months. This has seen a single percent rise since early April.
- With ~60% of B2B companies have already reduced their budgets, it is estimated that there will be ~40% spend reduction in the next two weeks.
- There has been an increase in preference for digital techniques now, doubling more than the traditional sales interactions, leading to the digital ordering method being prioritized.
- Remote selling is now being perceived as the new norm with 97% of B2B companies shifting their GTM model during COVID-19. 60% of these companies believe this new model will be just as effective or will be more than before.
- 28% of the European B2B decision-makers are “very likely” to sustain the changes made in the sales model 12+ months after COVID-19. Another 50% are “somewhat likely” to do so.
Our conclusion is clear: The survey indicates that the European B2B landscape clearly anticipates a brighter horizon with recovery in sales and probably ensures a better sales model to continue that has been formulated with COVID-19.
Furthermore, the strategic posture redesigned to suit the change in consumer behavior gives rise to the participation of sales specialist organizations to accentuate the digital journey. To cater a wider range of prospects and increase revenue, lead-generation companies will be an added asset without incurring major investment in marketing and sales efforts.
The postcrisis world based on the survey result displays how quickly Europe is bound to recover and how the crisis has transformed the traditional sales outlook for good.