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sales effectiveness and competitive standing.


EVOLVING B2B SALES PRIORITIES When the pandemic forced com- panies around the world to pivot to remote operations, just 22% say they were very prepared. Now, sales lead- ers are focusing on modernizing pro- cesses with technology to adjust to the new remote selling environment. This shift coincides with a significant change in priorities, too. Unlike past surveys, where custom- er experience and digital transforma- tion ranked as very low priorities, this year’s research found that customer experience is king. It’s the top priority across companies around the world, and 67% say it will become even more of a priority in the next five years.


PRIORITIES OF B2B SALES TEAMS OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS Driven by these new priorities, sellers and buyers are getting more com- fortable with remote sales. They’re also starting to see extra value in flexible selling workflows. McKinsey found that 75% of sales teams say remote engagement is at least as ef- fective as traditional in-person sales, compared to only 54% early in the pandemic. This mindset is pivotal, since remote selling will only become more important for sales teams that want to continue to win.


TECHNOLOGY’S ROLE IN TRANSFORMATION As B2B sales teams consider new technology investment, it’s critical to acknowledge that investment alone is not enough; success is determined by how technology is implemented and used. DocuSign’s research shows that, despite overwhelmingly self- identifying as “innovators,” respon- dents struggle to unlock the potential of their technologies: 93% of B2B sales teams are not fully utilizing their tools. However, proper implementa- tion of more intuitive solutions can overcome challenges such as poor


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… 80% of sales teams execute more than 500 contracts a month …


… there’s plenty of potential for teams to improve how they are operating and closing deals in a more digital and remote selling environment.


integration, training, and ease of use. Looking more closely at the actual tools sales teams use, CRM is the most common technology (used by 53% of sales teams) – leaving signifi- cant room for growth. Teams also rely heavily on sales analytics tools and performance management technol- ogy. There is, however, opportunity for them to better leverage other technologies like quote manage- ment (CPQ), electronic signature, and contract lifecycle management (CLM), especially as the volume and com- plexity of deals grow.


THE IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY ON SALES CONTRACTING Within the sales process, one process in dire need of a transformation at many companies is contracting. The volume of contracts most teams deal with is significant: 80% of sales teams execute more than 500 contracts a month, according to Forrester research commissioned by Docu- Sign. DocuSign’s research shows that the value of B2B sales contracts is significant, too: 87% of contracts are over $10,000 in value, 44% are over $100,000 and 23% are over $1 million. As this value grows, it becomes even more important for sales teams to ex- ecute flawlessly and provide a seam- less, efficient customer experience. Using automation, CLM plat-


forms can alleviate the complexity of generating, negotiating, signing, acting on, and storing sales contracts. Simply put, CLM delivers a more efficient end-to-end contract pro-


cess, which results in a much better customer experience. Today, however, less than 10% of sales teams have fully automated any part of the sales contracting process – leaving room for sales teams to get an advantage. Ultimately, the disruption caused by COVID-19 was a wake-up call – change is always around the corner, and organizations have to be ready. DocuSign’s detailed research explores current trends, the role of technol- ogy, and what leaders are changing based on future expectations. The insights should be relevant to any sales organization looking to adapt to an ever-changing future. 


Jeffrey Piper is senior director, Strategic Services Group, for DocuSign, and he can be reached on Twitter or LinkedIn. For more detailed data on the state of B2B sales, key


trends, and future expectations, down- load DocuSign’s B2B Sales Trends Report. Jeff came to DocuSign through the


acquisition of SpringCM, the industry- leading contract lifecycle management (CLM) solution, where he was a co-founder and chief customer officer. In this capac- ity, Jeff’s teams led the implementation, support, enablement, and success of more than 1,000 CLM customers. He brings a wide variety of software best practices, thought leadership, and perspectives to our customers, partners, and internal teams as the leader of DocuSign’s Strate- gic Services Group.


SELLING POWER JULY/AUGUST 2021 | 21 © 2021 SELLING POWER. CALL 1-800-752-7355 FOR REPRINT PERMISSION.


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