Asynchronous Sales Guide: Sell more by meeting less

The Dock Team
Published
May 10, 2023
Updated
June 7, 2024
TABLE OF CONTENTs
TABLE OF CONTENT

The way we buy and sell has changed. Gone are the days of persistent follow-up calls and pressure-filled sales conversations. 

Today's buyers are less interested in sales pitches and more focused on doing their own research, often touching 3 to 5 pieces of content before engaging with a single salesperson. 

This desire to make informed decisions on their own time has shifted B2B sales efforts from a pitch-centric approach to one of buyer enablement

But how can sales leaders ensure they provide information to buyers in a way they actually want to consume it? The answer lies in asynchronous sales.

Asynchronous communication, where conversations happen over time and not in real-time, is becoming more popular in B2B sales, with 75% of buyers agreeing that sales conversations are more asynchronous than they used to be.

In this article, we’ll explore the rise of this new sales approach and how sales leaders can adapt to this new reality to benefit their close rate.

The need for asynchronous selling

Asynchronous sales refers to non-face-to-face sales communication between a seller and a buyer with a lag time in between. These sales conversations take place through emails, Slack messages, DMs, texts, and personalized videos.

Sales has always been somewhat asynchronous, with emails and files being swapped back and forth between buyer and seller. But most important sales conversations—from discovery to close—have traditionally happened in a synchronous meeting or call.

But sales is becoming increasingly asynchronous.

Why? Blame the internet, of course.

Buyers have all the power

Because of the vast abundance of information available online, most of the B2B buying process is now about doing independent research and holding internal buying team meetings.

Buyers, not sellers, lead the sales process.

And buyers don’t want sales conversations. In fact, they actively avoid them—spending only 17% of their total buying time talking to sales teams.

Instead, buyers want access to the information and advice they can’t get elsewhere, so they can take back to their team.

Therefore, Sales teams need to ditch their traditional selling methods (i.e., gatekeeping information and forcing buyers into a call) and find new ways to get into the room and in the conversations when they aren’t present.

Asynchronous communication is at the heart of this new approach. Meetings and calls are being swapped for Looms, Slack messages, DMs, and texts. Sales needs to be easy, convenient, and accessible for the buyer. 

But buyers need help

Virtual selling also means sellers need to shift to an educational approach. Sellers should curate and personalize information for a buyer, making it easier for them to make decisions behind closed doors.

Take this McKinsey research about ecommerce as a parallel. 71% of consumers expect a personalized experience when buying a product. 

By providing the buyer with hand-picked information that speaks directly to their needs, you can guide them toward your solution in a natural and supportive way.

Source: McKinsey

And when 88% of customers say the overall experience a company provides is as important as its product or services, sales teams should do everything in their power to curate the best experience possible from the very beginning. 

Combined, this approach gives buyers the flexibility to engage with sales reps when it's most convenient rather than being restricted to booking meetings.

Stephen Ruff, Co-Founder of Champify, believes, “If you arm buyers with information as early as possible in the conversation, it's only going to yield good things.” 

He believes you can’t fight the fact that more buyers are doing their research and less willing to hop on an intro call. 

Instead, the Champify team embraces asynchronous sales with open arms and equips their buyers with the right information. 

“We play into that by being transparent upfront about everything from pricing to what our product can do, to what we can't do, to customer success.”

Benefits and challenges of asynchronous sales

The benefits of asynchronous sales are many: 

  • Sales reps can reach more buyers in less time since they don't have to be available for a real-time conversation.
  • Buyers have the space they need to make informed decisions without feeling pressured by a sales pitch. 
  • Selling conversations are more productive, since the focus is on education and information-sharing rather than just making a sale.

Perhaps most importantly, asynchronous sales allow for buyer enablement—which means the fewer barriers for your buyer to buy, the better. 

The more stakeholders involved in the buying process, the easier it is to get the necessary information in everyone’s hands. By curating information for them in one place, sales reps can empower them to make informed decisions on their own time. 

This approach puts the buyer in control of the sales process and can lead to stronger relationships between buyer and seller.

Asynchronous sales still has its challenges, however. 

  • Curating information can be overwhelming for the buyer, especially with so many communication channels available. 
  • Communicating with buyers over emails, texts, and DMs can lead to fragmented information.
  • You must rely on the buyer champion to share information with stakeholders vs. being in a meeting where you know who is listening.

Some companies have recognized this and embraced the shift to multi-channel selling tactics. 

“Before the pandemic, our sales team relied heavily on in-person meetings to generate leads and close deals. But with the rise of remote work and social distancing, we had to pivot to asynchronous sales strategies that allow us to communicate with prospects across multiple channels,” said Maria Harutyunyan, co-founder of Loopex Digital

“By making our outreach more personalized, authentic, and asynchronous, we've increased our conversion rate and closed deals faster than ever before.”

Still, without a typical synchronous approach, some sales reps may feel disconnected from where their prospects are in their journey and how interested they are in the product. 

That’s why it’s important to give buyers the personalized sales content they need to enable their decision-making process while in the remaining 83% of the buying process. 

Asynchronous sales doesn’t mean less effort—it means giving sales teams flexibility and efficiency to make the sale as easy as possible for their buyers. 

The cure for curation

Buyers have access to an overwhelming amount of information—from social media, review sites, word-of-mouth referrals, and ads—making it difficult for them to make sense of all the available options. 

Your job as the seller is to make your buyer’s life easier. 

In fact, customers who received helpful information from suppliers were 2.8 times more likely to have an easy buying experience and 3 times more likely to make a bigger purchase without regretting it later.

Source: Gartner

In the world of asynchronous sales, having the right curation tools can make all the difference. 

That's where Dock comes in. 

By consolidating all relevant materials into one customer workspace, Dock simplifies the sales process and makes it easier for buyers to stay organized and informed. 

Sales reps can create a personalized page for that prospect, complete with all the information they need to get the decision-makers on their side to buy. 

Dock workspaces make life easier for your buyer

Using Dock, sales teams can track buyer engagement throughout the sales process. Sales reps know which materials the buyer has viewed and what content resonates with the buyer. 

Are some links going unclicked or videos going unwatched? Perhaps they aren’t resonating with your buyer.

If your buyer champion engages with your sales content, that’s a good sign of interest. But if their CFO is engaging too, it’s an even better sign that internal discussions are moving along. 

These insights can help you adapt your messaging and strategy to better align with your buyer’s needs. 

Unlike other tools that focus solely on communication, Dock offers a collaborative workspace that enables Sales to work with buyers in a more personalized and buyer-centric way.

You can also use Dock communicate on multiple channels. Sending one link—whether via email, text, or DM—you make it easy to meet buyers in their preferred channel without losing the context of the deal.

5 tips for selling asynchronously

Asynchronous sales are all about collaboration. Building trust and credibility is about giving buyers the right information to engage them more in the sales process.

Here are some best practices to keep buyers engaged when selling asynchronously.

1. Use async product demos

Rather than relying on live one-on-one demos, use asynchronous tools to create product demos tailored to your buyers' specific needs that they can watch on their own time. Make them easy to access and navigate in a short and focused format.

Tools like Navattic and Usetiful are great for creating interactive, async product demos. 

2. Leverage async videos

Tools like Loom or meeting recordings can be powerful ways to create personalized videos for buyers. These videos can speak directly to your buyers’ pain points and give them easy access to the information they need to drive their purchasing decisions.

📖 Related reading: Loom also has a great article on using asynchronous communication for sales.

3. Use mutual action plans

One big reason people meet during a sales cycle is to keep the deal moving forward.

Mutual action plans keep buying and selling teams aligned by clarifying responsibilities, necessary actions, key dates, timelines, and what a successful deal looks like. 

The seller benefits from greater sales velocity, while the buyer benefits from a smoother, more transparent buying experience. It's a win-win situation that's hard to beat.

Dock's mutual action plans are a cleaner alternative to spreadsheets

4. Match sales content to buying jobs-to-be-done

A strong sales enablement strategy means providing prospects with the right sales collateral at every stage of their journey. 

Make it easy for your prospects to learn by offering a variety of assets like videos, one-pagers, testimonials, and case studies. This way, your prospects can choose what works best for them and continue learning even when you're not in touch.

According to Gartner, there are six buying jobs to be done in order for the buyer to feel satisfied with their purchase and finalize the deal. They are hardly linear, but always effective.

There are specific content deliverables to support each of these: 

Job 1: Problem identification

The buyer realizes that something needs to change within their organization, whether it's a process, a product, or a service.

Content should aim to educate, build credibility and foster trust. This includes:

  • top- or mid-funnel blogs
  • educational whitepapers
  • case studies
  • educational videos

Job 2: Solution exploration

The buyer starts researching different options and vendors to find a solution that fits their needs.

Content should showcase your product/service value prop, features, and benefits. This includes:

  • product demos
  • comparison charts
  • testimonials
  • deep-dive blogs

Job 3: Requirements building

The buyer determines the specific features and functionality that the solution must have in order to meet their needs.

Content should focus on helping buyer champion build solid business case for your solution. This includes:

  • customized sales proposals
  • ROI calculators
  • implementation guides
  • customer success stories
  • integration overviews

Job 4: Supplier selection

The buyer evaluates different suppliers and solutions to determine which one is the best fit for their organization.

Content sould focus on differentiating your product/service from competitors. This includes:

  • competitive analysis
  • awards and recognition
  • client references
  • customer support information
  • partner ecosystem information
  • social proof

Job 5: Validation

The buyer confirms that the solution they have selected will meet their needs and align with their organization's goals.

Content should focus on addressing any remaining concerns. This includes:

Job 6: Consensus creation

Buyer gets buy-in from all stakeholders and decision-makers within the organization to move forward with the purchase.

Should focus on facilitating the buy-in process from stakeholders.

This includes stakeholder-specific content, executive summaries, ROI analysis, integration overviews, change management resources and cross-functional case studies. 

Buyers will be grateful to get the right information at the right time.

5. Personalize at scale

Every customer is unique, and every sales cycle is different, which is why you should personalize your outreach, demos, and collateral. 

This doesn’t mean personalizing every message or asset one-to-one. That doesn’t scale.

It means curating information in such a way that it has personal value to your buyer—in a way that’s scalable for your sales team.

You can use digital sales rooms to create personalized client spaces that can be templatized at scale.

Dock's digital sales rooms create a personalized experience for your buyer

For example, you can create a sales template in Dock for each buyer segment. Then, your reps can make personalized workspaces for each client from that template.

You can automatically personalize these workspaces by adding in customer variables like their name and logo to the template.

This is how Champify’s sales team uses Dock to sell asynchronously.

“ We have a leave-behind Dock template that we do after our intro call and demo, which helps introduce people to Champify,” said Stephen Ruff.

“They can browse through our Dock within a few seconds and understand exactly what we do and how we compare to what's out there. We include a brief demo video, an FAQ section that covers sales and ops questions, a security overview, and customer examples.”

“As the buyer asks questions throughout the deal cycle, we update the Dock with our answers. So that not only are we answering them via email, but when they go back to the Dock, they have all the information that they need.”

Driving the shift to asynchronous sales

Conversations in B2B sales have shifted as more people are involved in the decision-making process, lengthening the time to close and implement. 

Shifting to an asynchronous sales approach can help remove some of the delaying barriers. 

And Dock can be a powerful tool to help you drive this shift—simplifying the sales process and creating a collaborative sales journey.

By equipping the buyer with the right information, sales leaders can empower them to make an informed decision on their own time. Asynchronous sales are here to stay, and it's time for sales leaders to adapt and embrace this new approach.

Try Dock for free now.

The Dock Team