Commerce Vision 24 May 2022 2 min read

Where have all the B2B salespeople gone?

An estimated one million B2B sales jobs have disappeared as commercial buyers go digital with their purchase process


The B2B buyer’s landscape is changing. As digital transformation continues to accelerate, buyer expectations are shifting across all industries. Buyers have much more control over the process, being digital savvy and equipping themselves with information about you and your competitors.

Buyers also expect to be serviced online, and that's driving a new era of customer experience (CX). No matter what the industry, customers are coming to expect online, automated service that helps them resolve issues themselves. Gone are the days when people would moan "I want to talk to an actual human!" Now, if they're presented with a self-service option, they're much more likely to choose that than remaining on hold.

So what does that mean for selling B2B?

Forrester Research polled B2B buyers and found that 53% preferred researching orders on-line to dealing with a salesperson, and by a year later it had grown to 68%.

"At some point, when the client falls in love with the web portal and the company starts using algorithms to cross-sell and up-sell, pretty soon that salesperson is not doing much," said Andy Hoar, an industry analyst. Hoar goes on to say that customers' preference for online purchasing has only increased, along with an estimate that 1 million B2B sales jobs have disappeared in last few years.

This prediction seems to be borne out by figures coming out of the manufacturing industry, including that in 2021, manufacturers through their own websites and apps and on B2B marketplaces grew ecommerce 18.4% to $543.25 billion, and that it's the fastest growing channel.

Responding to these trends is not as simple as implementing a best practice B2B ecommerce solution, it is about addressing the whole B2B buyer journey, from the time a prospect starts their research through to when a transact is completed digitally. Aligning your internal resource to focus on that process is challenging, but magical when it happens.

So how can you create this magic?

The importance of aligning marketing, selling and the ecommerce channel

In collaboration with B2B marketing agency Concentrate, we're presenting a webinar that will examine how B2B selling is rapidly changing, and how companies can respond in a strategic and well-managed way.

Commerce Vision's Strategic Advisor, Paul Munkley and Concentrate Director, Greg Williamson, will go into detail about how B2B buyer expectations have changed, and how companies can get in the game.

Greg will talk about how B2B buyer expectations have transformed in the last two years, including that buyers:

  • Expect greater control and want to drive the purchasing process
  • Are more savvy with digital platforms, and have greater access to information
  • Expect a frictionless experience (omnichannel digital, less human)

Paul will then cover how companies can respond, including:

  • The importance of achieving good cadence across sales, marketing and digital
  • How to use commercially-focussed KPIs to improve sales performance
  • How pragmatic planning can align these functions effectively

Webinar_ Competing in the new game of B2B selling - 2


The webinar is on Thursday June 16 at 12PM AEST, but if you can't make it on the day, please register anyway so you can access the webinar on-demand when it suits you.

The shifting B2B landscape and changing customer expectations isn't something that any B2B company can ignore. Make sure you don't miss the insights and solutions Paul and Greg will provide in the webinar, so that you can align your B2B selling strategy and continue to grow.


Register now