B2B Sales Trends You Should Care About In 2024
Are you sure your sales team is prepped for 2024?
Want to make sure they know what trends are going to be big this year?
Join us for B2B Sales Trends You Should Care About in 2024 on January 11th when we’ll be joined by founder of @officialsalestips, with over $100m in sales and 100m views across socials, Mike Manzi, to discuss what are going to be the major trends in sales for 2024
Webinar topic detail
What You’ll Learn in This Webinar:
🚀 Revolutionizing Customer Connections:
Unpacking the influence of marketing and scalability on how customers engage.
🎯 Mastering Personalization at Scale:
Tactical approaches to make your interactions genuinely personal, even on a grand scale.
📣 Content Powerplay on TikTok and Beyond:
Grasping the game-changing impact of content distribution, especially on dynamic platforms like TikTok.
🚀 Future-Proofing with AI in Sales:
Anticipating and preparing for the evolving role of AI in sales processes.
The landscape of B2B sales is evolving, and so should your approach. Arm yourself with the latest insights, cutting-edge strategies, and a roadmap to success by joining our conversation.
The future belongs to those who are bold enough to seize it—let’s make sure you’re one of them! Join our conversation with Michael Manzi, January 11th and get prepared for success in 2024!
B2B Sales Trends You Should Care About in 2024
Joe: Hello and welcome to this Lead Forensics webinar, B2B sales trends you should care about in 2024. I am your host Joe Ducarreaux from Lead Forensics and I am joined today by Mike Manzi, Fractional VP of Sales. He helps people build, fix, or train their sales team, creator of official sales tips with over 20 million views across all of his various platforms.
Mike, how are you doing today? Are you having a wonderful start to 2024?
Mike: Absolutely. Glad to be here. Great way to start the year off.
Joe: Excellent stuff. So yes, we’re here to talk about all the big, the biggest sales trends that we’re going to see coming up this year. Obviously, the start of the year being the best time to do that.
So, Mike, my opening gambit to you is a broad one and it’s basically just putting the title of the webinar to you. So, what do you see as being the biggest sales trends we’re going to see this year?
Mike: Yeah. So, there’s a lot of trends and we’ll say what I think we should say every time we do one of these conversations, which is make sure you’re taking notes.
And if you’re not taking notes, save this for later. Because there’s going to be a lot of very tactile advice whenever I talk about stuff with my approach, but I think that really, there’s three major trends that we can spearhead off. The first is relationships. The second is personalization and the sexiest is AI.
We can dive into any of those things, but I think that at a high level, the TLDR is people are craving more real relationships. And so that’s going to be a trend that we see because they want relationships at different points in the process, they demand more personalization as every company has tried to do everything at scale.
And then finally, AI, I think is going to both build and kill itself in some areas of the sales process. So, let’s dive in wherever you’d like.
Joe: Let’s start with the first point that you bring up then let’s go straight in with that one.
Mike: Yeah. So when it comes to relationships, people are craving relationships more because I think that when you go back, 50 years, it was a one to one relationship.
With your sales rep, even when you go back 10 or 15, your sales rep really knew a lot about the product and about you. And there wasn’t such a push on scale so much. So, reps weren’t like freaking out and just running from demo to demo to demo to demo. Like they had to do their own research to get you on a call.
They got you on a call like they were excited about that. And so, they were more involved in that relationship and that’s removed over time as we get marketing involved, which I think they should be doing to drive more demos and the sales reps are just like churning and doing their one task.
So, for the client, the relationship with the salesperson has diminished. It’s just become like a transactional relationship. So, people are now basically like what, if you have any level of good relationship that in itself can become a selling point. Because the other relationships are so poor. And, since so many people have gotten funding for their products, a lot of companies are similar.
So you go, “I got company A, company B, similar features, similar pricing. But Tom was much easier to deal with. I like him, or whatever. So, I’m going to go with that company.” So, they’re craving that relationship and reps can stand out a lot by just knowing what customers care about versus knowing what customers care about as it relates to their product.
So that’s the first bit with relationships is creating a relationship. Can’t actually create a better buying experience and therefore conversions. The second thing though, with the relationships that, that I think is. They’re demanding these relationships at different points. Here’s what I mean.
I’ve said this a few times on this podcast in particular, that the marketing funnel used to be awareness, engagement, conversion, then they get the value. And it’s now awareness, engagement, value. And once they get the value, then I’ll convert. But in a lot of ways, that value is a relationship. So, here’s what I mean.
If I create a relationship with a brand because I like their content, which a lot of people are putting out great content – HubSpot, puts great emails out and templates and everything else. Me and that brand are creating a relationship and it’s only then that I’m willing to spend more money on it or use it or whatever I’m going to do.
So, I’m converting when I have that relationship created through HubSpot, but I think we’re going to the next level now where people are going to want to create a relationship with individuals there. We see a lot of people who have a relationship with the CRO, who’s posting a lot of content on social or with the VP of marketing, post a lot of content on social and their friends hit them up and go, “Hey, I follow you on social would love to learn more about your product.”
They’re not even sold them the product. They’re sold in the person. So, there are people are looking for creating a relationship with a company, but the individuals in addition to the actual company itself. So, what I think is going to happen here and I’m seeing in my own personal life is influencers becoming critical for companies because people want relationships.
Influencers allow you to create relationships with many people. Companies want those people. And so, the influencer in itself can be, becomes the marketing channel because we’re create, we’re the ones who creating relationships and as somebody, those are my thoughts there, but we can, we, we can dive in more.
Joe: I just wanted to pick you up on, I’ll just pick your brains on something you mentioned there. So as somebody who is, done huge numbers with that putting out content and gets, x number of 20 million views I think you’re on currently.
Mike: Yeah. At least, yeah.
Joe: Where does somebody start? Where does a company start with that sort of thing? Is it literally as simple as pick up your phone and go, “Hey, ever thought about this?”
Mike: Yeah. So this is a part where I think a lot of companies are getting wrong. So, everybody thinks the answer is LinkedIn- “LinkedIn is business. I will go to the business place.”
But not as many people are active on LinkedIn first of all and second of all, it’s really expensive on LinkedIn to advertise if you want to push stuff on LinkedIn. And third of all there’s so many- it’s only learning stuff- all professional. So, if I throw something professional learning out on LinkedIn I’m competing with 10 million other people putting out professional learning stuff on LinkedIn. So I actually want to move away from where it didn’t be somewhere like where I am primarily which I know gets a giggle, but it’s TikTok. Because on TikTok, it’s like salt and pepper.
You’re sometimes you’re getting learning stuff. Sometimes it’s entertainment. Sometimes it’s learning, sometimes it’s entertainment. So, if you see 50 pieces of content and 45 are entertainment, then I’m only one of five pieces of learning content, where on LinkedIn, if I see 50 pieces of content, I’m one of 50- it’s not valuable.
Second, when you think about content, there’s two items, the quality of the content and the distribution. The quality of the content is important. So, I recommend that we have people talking about what they know about. You don’t have the head of marketing talk about the importance of your software.
They don’t know. We should have somebody who deals with software talking about the importance of the software. We should have the head of marketing talking about the importance of marketing. Maybe how the software helps that market, but it needs to be an expert in the space of what you’re selling that’s creating the content.
If you’re a company that sells, I don’t know, pens, you should get a pen guy who talks about pens, and it shouldn’t be just like a marketing guy talking about that, but more importantly, so that’s the quality side.
On the distribution side, on Instagram only your friends see your content. On YouTube, only subscribers see your content.
In a lot of ways, when you’re starting on LinkedIn. It’s like the guy who you might see if somebody liked something else. So, it goes second level Facebook- nowhere. So TikTok, right now, is the only place that actively takes your content and pushes it to a bunch of strangers.
And that’s like the best distribution method because it’s free. Also, you can boost your posts on TikTok. So, for example, if I spend $100 to boost a post, I can almost guarantee 25,000 views of that post. So, my answer to everybody is yes, if you would like to, make content and create a relationship with your people.
There’s two simple ways you can do it. Number one is you start doing your own top 10 lists, or your own tips, top 10 ways to, best sales jobs, top 10 places to get whatever or you do tips about anything you can give tips on.
And then I’ll give you a hack which is: go interview ten customers. Ask them ten questions that are all like their top five ‘blanks’ of whatever the topic is and you now have 500 pieces of content because you can do two here’s this customers one piece of content Here’s these top five customers top five pieces of content or whatever Push that out both to LinkedIn as well as TikTok reels everywhere else.
Now you can create a real relationship with your customers.
Joe: Okay. So, we’ve covered off, I think, quite a bit on the relationship piece of the three ideas that you initially offered up. Mike, let’s go to the personalization piece then. How’s that gonna change this year, do you think?
Mike: So the personalization and the AI thing are gonna go hand in hand a little bit here.
So, with personalization. Everybody is going to be panicking with the way the economy went last year and the way that it’s probably going to be going this year. So, everything’s going to need to be at scale. There are all these companies that have a bunch of funding. They got to do everything in scale. No one’s going to be ready to slow down and sell bigger deals and longer periods of time.
They’re going to want to close more deals. So that means that personalization at scale will continue to be. A big element of how we connect with the customers in our sales processes. So, as I mentioned with the relationship bit, I think people are craving relationships to handle that one, create content to do it at scale.
So, the first thing I mentioned before I mentioned like create good quality content, which would be a post and put it on TikTok so you can get scale. That’s a distribution method. So too is the one to one. My content is the demo, let’s say, of my software and my distribution method is me telling you about it.
If that’s over email or over video or call or whatever, that needs to be personal um, as much as possible. Ways that I recommend people personalize, what I do, at least. I’d like to go to their LinkedIn to pull either where they’re from, how long they’ve been somewhere down to the month or what they posted recently, or if they’ve been, or their bio or a reference that they got.
So I’ll put all of that stuff. I just have someone on Upwork collect all of that for me, for my ideal customer profile. Then I go to chat GPT and I use a prompt to say, Hey, look at all this information. Please create a PS for an email that either says, mentions their tenure, mentions their city and something cool about their city, their bio.
And I put that into my emails. Now the emails themselves can all be personalized. But then when I’m putting that through my email tool, Uh, I’m using dynamic variables in the same way that it says hi, first name, but then it says hi, Mike, in reality, it’ll say, hi, Mike, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and then I just put PS and the PS will include something that’s personal.
So that’s one way you can be personal. I think personalization is going to be more and more important to a point.
Joe: So then you said that the AI side of the, of that answer is going to come into it here. Just before we started recording this, you said something, which I think, perhaps it is a controversial statement, but it’s a bold statement.
Certainly. Do you want to just talk everybody through what it is that you think AI is eventually going to lead to?
Mike: I think AI is going to kill the BDR role. And I think AI is going to kill email. I think in two years, three years, most big companies will not use their email. The only use Slack or teams or whatever, because,
email will become fake news. So here’s the deal people are When your people are reading an email, the first thing they’re scanning is this a real person? It’s like when you get mail the first thing you’re scanning when you pull up your mail You’re just like these bots. It’s just like bullshit from the credit cards or whatever, right?
So is this real? It’s not like we hope as we’re writing it that they’re thinking. Oh, is this relevant? Is this really harping home to like your challenges? It’s no, the first thing is real from a real person too. So if we believe that we can pass that test and we can test, is it real? And we can dictate, yes, that’s real or no, that’s not, we’ll continue to read emails, but at some point.
As AI gets better and better, you’re already seeing how I’m using it, and I’m just some nobody. One of these big companies doing it, and there’s a million new softwares being created to do this faster. But when that’s happening in your inbox, you can’t tell. I don’t know if it’s real or not.
It’s super personal. It’s extremely relevant. How the heck would they know that? For a while, you’ll be like, holy cow, I gotta respond. And you’re gonna, people are gonna respond. Heck, I the way that I do my email? Which is, very manual. But with this AI bit and everything, with my clients, I had two clients.
They showed, one showed me an email that was like, I needed to respond because I also love that burger joint. And so they thought it was a real human and were being nice mentioning some burger joint, but it was fake They’re not fake, but it was automatically made and the other one was I remember he literally wrote with an email as personal as that I had to write back again completely automated email and that’s in 2023 with no real good automation to make that happen.
I have some tools for it, but So when you now fast forward and you look at an email, you think it’s personal, but you don’t know if that’s a real person that personalized it or a bot that’s personalized it, you’re going to disengage. Imagine if you imagine if the news, imagine if there were CNN, let’s just say if CNN said stuff, they had news and then you didn’t, sometimes it was AI, Don Lemon or whoever, I don’t know who the people are in the CNN.
Sometimes it was AI, sometimes it wasn’t. Eventually, you would probably stop watching or sometimes the news stories are true, sometimes they’re not. Eventually, you just go, I’m just going to turn it off because I can’t know if it’s true or not. If your email, sometimes it’s actually a real person personalizing it, sometimes it’s not, and eventually you will turn off your email.
So I think what we’re going to see is a huge spike in response rates and people replying to emails because they’re going to get way more personal, way more relevant. We look at Zoom info, adding intent data. So if you say ooh, I got a list of everybody who’s high intent. Listen to my content and I can send out emails to them that are all personalized, all relevant.
Holy shit. You’re going to get 80 percent reply rates. But then when you fast forward and everyone’s this is probably fake. We’re going to start getting zero and people’s inboxes are going to keep getting crowded and they’re just going to move over to Slack or Teams. And they’re going to say, we don’t use email.
And anybody who emails me obviously isn’t real company. And so what’s going to happen there is it’ll then go back to what we said in the beginning. Which is people creating relationships with other people. So if the next two years you’re creating content and building an audience, when email starts to work less and less, which I’m already seeing, heck, eight months ago I was getting 80 percent open rates.
Now I’m getting 50 percent open rates. So as that works less and less, content is going to become more and more important. So, I bet you what happens is two or three years from now, people are going to be scrambling to make content, but it’s going to be too late because they’ll be like, we need leads tomorrow.
And you’re like, it’s going to take time, dude. This is we are currently in the pre SEO era, and I’m telling you that SEO is going to be very important. And people are like, I’ll just phone call somebody. You’re like, SEO is going to be really important. And if you try to do it, the day you need leads, you’re going to be two years too late.
Because we’ve got to build content, build credibility, and all that. AI is going to kill email.
Joe: It’s fascinating, really, isn’t it? Because obviously this webinar is, the biggest sales trends. It turns out that actually what you need to be doing is marketing slightly different, social selling that sort of thing.
You could almost say that. So then what you mentioned about like it getting if let’s say that you’re correct and suddenly BDR becomes defunct as a function. Is there something that BDRs can be doing now? Or is it just that it’s starting to make content and starting to lay tracks for that sort of thing, or is there something else that they can do to not combat it if that’s the way it’s going to go, can they learn new skills so that they can upskill and then, carry on that trajectory at all, do you think?
Mike: Yes, so what BDRs should be doing today is creating their own audience Creating their own content about a topic now. We should not be don’t be making content about how to be a good BDR That’s not useful unless you’re later gonna work at some company that sells some BDR tools, which I’m telling you will be defunct. But, more if you’re a BDR you can and you’re like I want to I like marketing.
I want to be in the marketing space. I just that buy 10 marketing books Go through it and just make 100 videos of you underlining one line from the marketing book that you’re reading that you found thoughtful. I bet you people will subscribe to that buy 100 marketing books read the first chapter of each book give a 10 second summary of each chapter of the book if you’re into marketing go.
Pull up the Top 10 people that you think are important in marketing, write 10 quotes for each one of them and read those quotes aloud on social media, put your comments on them. Now, over the next one or two years you’re becoming an authority in the marketing space. So when BDR goes away, a company might want to hire you to say you have an audience of 200,000 people that like marketing.
We want you to sell to marketers. In fact, a great example of this. I’ll give you two examples. There’s a guy at TikTok Will um, man, I wish I got his name right, but Will Aitken, I believe is his name. And he created a big following of salespeople. And then I believe Lavender, an email tool, picked him up to say, “Hey, can you generate leads for us?”
And so, he made content, and it was about Lavender, but it was like, because we already know you have an audience of salespeople that we want to use. Me two years ago, I was approached by a company that sells to sales managers. And they were like, you have an audience of sales managers. Can you come to our company and just basically funnel leads to our company?
So, it’s already happened in such a small scale. Imagine if I had 10 BDRs today forget the future. If I had 10 BDRs that I could interview, I could hire today. Five of them have the best BDR skills from cold call like nobody’s business. And five of them have an audience of VPs of sales and they’ve all got 50, 000 followers each.
Who are you going to hire? I’m higher than ones with the audience because they’ve got a captive audience who are interested in them regardless. All I have to do is insert my product as the thing that they can follow the audience to.
Joe: So that’s the issue. Yeah. Yeah. A hundred percent. It’s funny. As you mentioned, we’re like, so well actually, he did do a webinar with us last year.
Was it last year? So, he’s a lovely guy. Lovely guy. I’d love to get him back on. So, if you do want to catch that, go to leadforensics.com/webinars. And you’ll be able to see not only would you be able to see the plethora of content that you and I have created, Mike, you’ll also be able to find a webinar that features Mr.Will Aitken as well.
Mike, I am going to start to wrap up our conversation. I’m going to ask you the question that I asked you. Every single time we do one of these, what is the top tip that you want everybody to take away today from this webinar, all about the biggest sales trends in 2024?
Mike: If you really want to personalize it, scale, personalize yourself as a person at scale, make content.
And push it out to other people. So, my push to you today would be, you should write one or do one video, 10 seconds on TikTok, LinkedIn, Instagram, anywhere. Do one video a day for 30 days and see people commenting about how great you are. We’re how helpful that you work is or even book demos. But if you’re not doing it now, two years from now, you’re going to wish that you had a couple of years of experience,
Joe: Amazing stuff. Mike Manzi, thank you again for sharing so much knowledge with our audience here today. Do you remember to keep an eye on lead forensic socials for news of our upcoming webinars? And we will see you again very soon. Mike, thanks again for joining me.
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