Research reveals that competitive threats, competitive labour market, increasing costs and reduced budgets are disrupting everyday responsibilities for the B2B Commercial/Sales Professionals
10/01/2022

Covid-19 continues to shape how we’re doing business, now and into the future, according to the latest research by Finger on the Pulse Research.

The FOTP Overall B2B Pulse score is 69.7. This is a solid score, based on feedback from 192 B2B Sales Professionals who took part in the survey.

Whilst the last 12 months have been tough, there is more optimism about the future.  This is illustrated by two of the four metrics that make up the Pulse Score where “Business Performance for the next 12 months” scored 75.3, 8.2pts higher, compared to the score reflecting Business Performance of the previous 12 months (67.1).

When asked about strategic priorities for the next 12 months, there is a sense that B2B Sales Professionals are “shoring up” existing business/clients, rather than actively recruiting new clients.

73% of B2B Sales Professionals indicated that “growing business with existing clients” was their top priority, compared to less than half saying the same about bringing in new clients.  In addition, 1 in 4 ranked “bringing in new clients” last in the list of priorities.

Reinforcing this sense of consolidation, the other top ranked priorities focus on “understanding clients’ changing needs”, “adapting products and services to the changing market trends”, “driving New Product Development”, and “developing current and fresh ways of advertising/promotion”.

More immediately, B2B Sales Professionals are having to counteract the impact of shortages in key product lines, with availability and supply chain disruption still causing significant issues. Businesses are developing a range of solutions to deal with this, from identifying/sourcing new or more reliable suppliers, focusing on forward planning/forecasting and adjusting product range/offering.

Finally, when providing feedback on the Net Zero strategies, survey results confirmed that businesses were more likely to support their clients’ Net Zero targets, than have any of their own.  Time, having sufficient resources, internal commitment and having to prioritise other business issues are the main factors that divert focus from developing the Net Zero strategies internally.  

Relationships, while just as important as ever, are also impacted by ongoing covid restrictions. B2B Sales Professionals report that it is becoming increasingly difficult to build relationships with clients, with account reviews, sales conversations and even meeting new customers all happening via video calls

“We’re just trying to connect with customers and reassure them that we are working as usual and here to help them.”

SME

FOTP will continue to track the attitudes and priorities of B2B Sales Professionals over the coming months. In the meantime, if you’d like a full copy of our B2B Pulse Report, please get in touch by emailing: