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B2B Digital Selling for SaaS

Podcasts | Video | Live Streaming | Face2Face

Traditional Digital Marketing for B2Bs Has Failed

Every business wants to consistently attract new B2B prospects and increase pipeline and profits.  The trouble is B2B marketers employ tactics, strategies and technologies designed for consumers and it keeps failing.  The salesXchange New Business System is a new framework that delivers maximum exposure and engagement and most importantly - keeps all costs to a minimum. 

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Gartner Forecast

Gartner says 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels by 2025, which supports a move towards exploiting a digital sales infrastructure.


  1. What is Digital Selling vs Digital Marketing
  2. Why is Digital Selling Necessary
  3. The Role of Digital Selling
  4. The Role of Digital Marketing
  5. Digital Selling Organisational Chart
  6. Digital Selling and Your Prospects/Customers
  7. The New Role for Salespeople
  8. Prospecting to Your Total Addressable Market
  9. Your New Live Show & Podcasts Host
  10. Writing (Articles, White Papers, social media posts)
  11. Business Development Representatives (BDRs)
  12. Conclusion

What is Digital Selling vs Digital Marketing

Digital Selling in its most accurate form requires a change to the way businesses sell their products. It requires a change in understanding about the role of salespeople and marketers, understanding how to restructure written content and the role of copywriters, and learning new technolgies inhouse such as podcast productionlive streaming and B2B video.  It also entails a change in the way direct selling is executed as much of the engagement can be done via Zoom or Teams, as well as face-to-face.  Once complete and has become part of your standard practice, your new business ratios will change as your profitability will increase too.

This article explains what digital selling is, why it’s not worked in the past and what can be done to put it right, without breaking the bank.

Google Search tells us that Digital Selling is the ongoing process of leveraging digital channels to find, engage and connect with prospective buyers. Another example says Digital sales are sales that take place through virtual channels. There are multiple ways digital sales manifest, but all are online and most allow the customer to navigate their own way through content (rather than being personally guided by a sales rep). 

Ostensibly they’re right but there’s a big issue; no one has defined the digital channels or the demarcation between digital selling and digital marketing. 

  • Digital Marketing was designed for B2C, for consumers and is to make buyers aware a business exists and what it offers.
  • Digital Selling, designed for B2B, is the process of educating a buyer and expectation to seek out and close new business deals face-to-face or online.

Entering ‘What is Digital Selling’ into Google, there are pages of results, however, one stuck out which was on LinkedIn, posted in 2016 and still top of the search engines.  Yet it fails to mention podcasts, video, or live streaming.

Whilst the consensus about digital selling is about using digital tools to make virtual contact, that also includes CRM and social media, which doesn't really help in closing deals.  Digital Selling is to exploit every digital tool at your disposal to create a comprehensive selling structure to consistently sell your products, naturally starting with engagement.  

I recently hosted and produced a live stream series about digital selling which is available here:-

Why is Digital Selling Necessary

Over the past twenty years sales and marketing have followed what they’ve been told by the software manufacturers and big tech and as a result most businesses follow the guidelines for demand generation, lead generation and ABM.

Digital Selling incorporates many aspects of traditional selling, apart from cold call visiting and cold telesales.  More importantly it is an approach that complements digital marketing.

Digital strategies as they stand today work reasonably well for consumer businesses (B2C), but not B2B.  To see how this has affected B2B take a look at the statistics below: -

  • According to Gartner, 83% of buyers want to self-educate and self-serve, they also stated 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels by 2025, which supports a move towards exploiting a digital sales infrastructure.
  • According to Forrester and Inc. Magazine only 1% of prospects through a funnel become customers
  • Businesses abhor telesales cold calls
  • Business refuse to comply with pay-per-click to landing pages demanding contact details in exchange for content
  • The average turnover per person per annum is approx. $145,000, Amazon is $300, Microsoft $1m and Google $2m

The simple truth, current digital marketing tactics do not work.  If they did, no one would use telesales and salespeople would not be employed because of their previous contacts. But we have all been suckers for new software; the MarTech SaaS market has gone from 150 platforms/apps in 2008 to over 8000 to date.

It’s worth noting that 500,000 business start-up every year and virtually the same go bust.  According to The Financial Times, 20% fail in the first year, 30% in the second year, 50% by the third year and by the tenth year, 91% of business will have failed completely.

According to Harvard Business Review, 40% of business that receive investment fail.  75% fail to achieve the targets they set for themselves and 95% fail to achieve an ROI for the investors.

Over the past 10 to 15 years, the same numbers of businesses fail, each year as they did in the previous ten years.  Investment makes no difference as 40% fail, 75% fail to achieve their own targets and 95% fail to achieve an ROI for the investors - and every B2B reverts to cold calling when failure starts to set in.

The decision you make over the next few days will determine the future of your company.

Graphic - Rogers Technology Adoption curve

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

In my opinion, sales have been maligned.  The narrative is that sales and marketing don’t speak, there is friction between the two and so on.  This happens for good reason.  Sales say the leads are no good and marketing say sales can’t sell.  Now we have a fight.  The reality is, no amount of digital technology will make a buyer buy. 

Just because marketing has implemented automation forms in exchange for content, the filled-out forms do not constitute leads, only the fact that people want to learn.  Using marketing automation to track visits through a self-created funnel, using lead scoring reveals the dark funnel does exist – something marketers do not want to tell the C-Suite because it means they were never right in the first place and the technology was a white elephant – or more akin to The Emperor’s New Clothes.

The Role of Digital Selling

The digital selling function is combined with the activities of a salesperson, because your salespeople are (or should be): -

  • Consummate networkers
  • Engaging personalities
  • First-class negotiators
  • Hold some of the best feature, attribute, benefit (F.A.B. what it is, what it does and what is means) analogies in your company.
  • Most qualified group of people to write compelling content for articles, show scripts and any other written content required to sell products.

They’re also great at presenting one-to-one or to a group of people and it’s for all these reasons salespeople make the people to present your business at scale.  Another reason is that salespeople sell, and marketers do not, therefore it is important to keep people in the aeras they are expected to be expert in.   

The Role of Digital Marketing

B2B organisations have been told the same thing year after year; Marketing automation is the lowest cost and essential go-to-market SaaS everyone must have.  The trouble is the statistics used to convince and persuade B2Bs is based upon B2C data. 

Over the past twenty years, marketing departments have become more influential with the C-Suite and primarily because the board have experienced the same sales patter from Big Tech/MarTech, and no one knows anything different, making everyone a marketer, and no one can criticise a C-Suite member, even if they’ve never researched marketing issues or have any formal qualifications. 

Today, anything goes because very few businesses can categorically state their marketing, digital or otherwise, has had a positive financial impact on the business and contributed to year-on-year growth.

Increasingly, sales teams have become more impotent with marketing being given more budget and more responsibility such as managing sales enablement and the BDR (telesales) teams. 

Marketers have become responsible for first contact when it comes to connecting with prospects, however, it is being driven the same people who think that gifting and ABM is a good idea (i.e., low level bribing that can lead to high level bribing and spamming boards of directors because demand gen failed).

Putting their sales inexperience to one side, the digital marketing department is responsible for the following activities: -

The above is only a fraction of what modern digital marketing entails, which makes no sense why they are being leaned on to drive sales when they have so much else to do!  I cover some of the specifics in a separate page called Digital Marketing, here.

The Digital Selling Organisational Chart

I have included this reference to provide some context how digital selling and digital marketing become important factors when it comes to digital transformation.  I created this spreadsheet as an illustration of the path a business could follow or adapt accordingly as it impacts the distribution of work and responsibilities.

New Organisational Chart


Click here to learn more about The Digital Selling Organisation Chart Video, you can watch the video, read the article and download the above spreadsheet

Digital Selling and Your Prospects/Customers

To be 100% clear, digital selling is ALL about your prospects and customers.  Digital Selling sends a clear signal to your market that you fully acknowledge their plight as buyers.  You are a buyer too, so treating them as you want to be treated is the simplest strategy you could adopt.

Talking from personal experience, I will buy something for my business when I believe there is a problem that requires a solution and if that involves spending company money, I want to know the background of the technology, the alternative solutions available, who are the main and most competent suppliers and how much does it cost.  I also know similarly specified technology or SaaS costs a similar amount of money.  For my money, I am looking for the most engaging and transparent company I can buy from.

If I want to learn about something relating to my business, I will search, select, and read, watch, or listen.  How I consume my content depends on the subject matter and what I am doing.  This means I will choose to read a download, listed to a podcast, watch a video, or watch a live stream.  All four have their pros and cons.  I can’t watch a video when driving my car, so I can listen to a podcast – you get the picture.

If I am forced to reveal my contact details, I click away.  Conversely, If I want to learn about something from a personal perspective, on Facebook, Instagram or anywhere else for that matter, I have no problem allowing my Autofill to kick in and providing my contact details, as I know they will never contact me!

Digital Selling content must connect with your prospects on their direct level.  No business can determine their prospects only read, doing so severely restricts your ability to reach your intended audience.  However, this is exactly what B2B marketing departments do because they are driven and targeted on KPIs that measure pay-per-click to landing pages to forms being filled in and creating other content is less measurable – or so they think.    

A final note: Prospects, us, we want to maintain anonymity and privacy, allow this and your overall reach increases.

The New Role for Salespeople

This is where it gets interesting.  Salespeople have the training and expertise to communicate either one-to-one or at scale.  It is only a hop-skip-jump to doing everything they have been trained to do, but this time in front or a camera or microphone. 

I want to make a distinction here.  When talking about digital selling I am not referring to webinars.  These are typically ‘by appointment’ and fall into the same category as providing contact details to watch.  A webinar is different to an online meeting or group presentation.

The new role for salespeople is to drive digital selling and to champion the technologies because no one else is, and the technologies happen to be the most desired engagement tools or activities your prospects use on a daily basis. 

Your salespeople will change the face of your new business market, but only in conjunction with the digital selling engagement strategy that marketing will be responsible for, which is the next section.

Prospecting, Pipeline, Profits & Your Total Addressable Market

Everyone knows how difficult prospecting and generating new business can be.  It goes back decades from publishing short and long-form adverts in daily newspapers, sending out mailshots by post to the futile email spamming activities we receive today. 

There is a better way.  This is where you are able to turn prospects into pipeline and into profits - and commission.  Prospecting and selling is a numbers game, get it right and everything changes.  Here’s what your digital marketing team need to do: -

  • Obtain a database (if you haven’t already got one) of your total addressable market (TAM). In the UK there are 212,000 business who have 10-49 employees. 38,000 with 50-249 and 8,000 with 250 employees and above.  The average turnover per person per annum in the UK is about £120,000.  For this example, let’s get a database of 10,000 business turning over approx.  £10m (because we know they can afford your product).
  • Create a series of emails to be sent to the above list inviting the TAM to watch a live show. They will also set up a pay-per-click banner campaign on LinkedIn, after uploading the same 10,000 name database to LinkedIn to ensure the same people see the same messages.

Of your TAM, it is known that between 1% and 15% of your TAM begin their buyer journey each week.  This equates to 100 to 1500 businesses every week being open to engaging with you.

A percentage of these people will watch your live show and the recordings, because not everyone will be available when you broadcast live.

If fifty people watched your content and engaged with your company and you were to compare that number in today’s terms using BDRs, LinkedIn Sales Navigator and telesales, the current success rate is approx. 300-1.  300 contact attempts to find one person interested.

To achieve the same, you would need fifty BDRs costing somewhere in the region of £2.5m per annum.

To reach 10,000 every week by email is pennies.  Pay-per-click is £1.00 and you’re after CPM’s, not clicks, so the costs are lower.

There is no other strategy that costs so little yet delivers so much, because it is what prospects want; to be informed you exist, and they can engage with you anonymously until they’re ready to buy.  And it costs a fraction of what you’re currently spending.

Combined Cold Calling & Live Streaming Infographic

Your New Live Show & Podcasts Host

Now you can see why this approach is so scalable and why the only way to engage with prospects at scale is via the systems they already use, and why the role of the salesperson will change.  Salespeople want to close deals all day every day.  So let them do it from the comfort of a studio at your offices.

Salespeople are already the face of the company through their contacts, engagement, and meetings.  Now is the time to capitalise on that extrovert nature and make them the voices of the company too and get them to lead the following: -

  • Podcasts
  • Video
  • Live Streaming
  • Face2Face (Zoom/Teams)
  • Writing (Articles, White Papers, social media posts)

B2B Podcast Impact - graphic

Link to read the article: Launch Your B2B Podcast

Podcast Host

In the same way a salesperson would attend a meeting with one, two or more people, it is no different to hosting a podcast.  It’s about a host, your salesperson, asking searching questions to their guests, who can be customers, partners, suppliers, co-workers, or directors.  Anyone who has a story to tell can be a guest on the show.

Unlike B2C, general interest or news shows, B2B podcasting is just as much about connecting with buyers to simply state “we hear you and we have podcast to demonstrate we get it too”.  In selling it’s what not said as well as what is said.

From a practical perspective there are a number of areas to deal with when it comes to Podcast Production, such as the technology, the location, the planning and frequency.

  • Podcast Technology: Fortunately, it’s straightforward, there are microphones, headphones, recoding consoles and editing software.  But your show host only needs to turn up and talk, the rest of the technical stuff will be dealt with by your ‘techies’ and we have a separate page regarding podcast production here.
  • Podcast Location: There is a reason a radio show should so good.  It’s because they’re talking in a room that is sound proofed and acoustically treated.  For your podcast, you don’t need to go to these lengths just yet.  I do recommend you invest ion some sound panels that will reduce or eliminate reverb, which is the sound bouncing off the walls or reflective surfaces and hitting the microphone a split second after speaking.  Sound panels absorb the reflections.
  • Podcast Planning:  Simply putting a microphone put in front of someone doesn’t mean you have a show.  That said there are many formats to a podcast show and millions of them around the world to learn from.  Deciding on the show type and then planning the show into segments is the easiest place to start.  We have a separate page that explains typical show planning, formats and show flow here.  
  • Podcast Show Frequency:  Before you embark on doing a podcast, it’s best to decide upfront who is going to host the shows and how frequently they are going to be produced.   It’s not just about internal logistics, it’s about setting an expectation for your prospects and listeners.  If you have panned your content as mentioned above, you could record weekly or even monthly.

Live Show Host

With the addition of cameras, lights and broadcasting switchers, technically speaking live streaming is no different to recording a podcast.  In fact, Anchor actively encourage people to create video podcasts.  So what’s the difference between a podcasts and a live stream?  Apart from the obvious, one you can see and the other you can’t, it boils down to preference on behalf of the audience.  Can they watch or are they prevented because, say they’re driving, so they can listen instead.

My recommendation is to do both, especially as some guests my prefer podcast only, also, from a practical point of view, if a podcast was going to be recorded at a customer’s premises, taking all the live streaming gear might not be practical.

In any event, I recommend you record a live stream and convert it to a podcast.

From a visual perspective, there’s so much you can do with a live show, starting with the fact people-buy-people.  Prospects get to see you, meaning they get to know, like and trust quicker than a podcast only show (my opinion).

When it comes to show flow, the sky’s-the-limit.  From your audio, the video intro, animated graphics and adverts, there is nothing you can’t do that you’ve seen on television. What makes this different today is accessibility to low-cost prosumer technology, editable software templates and SaaS, from traditional to A.I.

Your salesperson-come-show host can present with all the panache and professionalism of a television personality, using multiple cameras being switched manually or automatically, all from a business studio set up at your office.

B2B Video

Whilst your live shows will be recorded allowing your audience to watch on ‘catch-up’, you will now have in place all the necessary technology to record videos too.  These can range from simple social media clips, through to recording explanations for presentations, training, customer success, adding better context to your FAQs page. Product launches, events, and interviews etc., the list is almost endless.  Whether the video is hosted, or narrated, you have both the technology and human resources to make this happen.  Click to learn more about using video for business.

Face to Face

It might seem obvious, but the role of the salesperson has change. Previously every meeting was face-to-face, however, with recent changes in working practices and technology a meeting now is either in-person or face-to-face using Zoom or Teams.  However, we’ve all seen the blurred-out backgrounds with the other person going in and out of focus.  Well, that may be acceptable for an internal conversation, but it is not acceptable when talking to a prospect.

We all know the saying ‘you don’t get a second chance at a first impression’ and your first video call speaks volumes (so-to-speak).

Because you will have all the necessary live streaming technology, it means you can use the same cameras and professional delivery for your Zoom and Teams calls to prospects.  I should mention town halls whereby the C-Suite can present to all their staff worldwide, in the same professional manner.

As your team becomes more familiar with streaming technology, I believe it needs to become standard practice for salespeople to be trained in the ‘art’ of presenting remotely and not as I mentioned earlier with poor Zoom calls.

If you are going to set your business apart from your competitors, the above technology is the quickest and simplest approach, especially as I mentioned earlier, marketers are driving first contact which means they’re not even thinking about this. 

Fortune favours the bold.  It is time to become the innovators in your industry.


Finally on this new role for salespeople is the subject of written content.  Marketing has commandeered the copywriting aspect of new business.  Salespeople are simply expected to write emails and respond to RFPs!  I believe this to be completely wrong.

Firstly, salespeople have learned about how their prospects’ company’s function.  They have been trained to match the features, attributes, and benefits (F.A.B. what it is, what it does and what it means) of your products against the requirements of their prospects to win the sale.

It makes no sense to expect an internal or external copywriter to write content on behalf of the company when they are not expected to attend sales training and have rarely if ever sold a product direct and would never understand how your target market prospects operate their businesses.

Yet marketing departments appoint copywriters to act as the first point of contact, delivering the first illustration of what your business does and to present the first impression!  To make matters worse, marketing departments take great pride in telling everyone how large and complex their marketing technology stack is and automatically place any perceived decent content behind an automation form, thereby hiding it from every search engine on the Internet, hence the reason for poor or low numbers of leads.

The people most qualified to write for your business are your salespeople.  They know what questions they’re asked; they know the answers (read about FABQ), they know the vertical markets they thrive in and finally, they know how to sell. 

Salespeople might just need some training in perfecting their salesmanship in print (A quote from John E Kennedy in 1905 and later used by David Ogilvy, Peter Drucker and more.) and that’s where your copywriters can help.

Business Development Representatives (BDRs)

The fact the live streaming approach can be so far reaching and is so much more effective than BRD’s cold calling or wasting their time on LinkedIn Sales Navigator, all is not lost, they don’t all have to be let go.

Their efforts can be turned to research and compiling content for the salespeople who are writing content.  They can answer live chat messages both when your sales-hosts are broadcasting and enquiries via your website.

They can assist with the implementation and set up of the live shows, podcasts shows and so on.  Perhaps they’re already interested in video and audio as a hobby, you only have to ask. 


One one hand it can be easy to say just do it.  But the issue most businesses face is the enormous pressure exerted by big-tech MarTech convincing business to double-down, buy more SaaS and keep believing you're getting it right, even though your GP and net profit tells you otherwise.

Digital Selling is the realisation to exploit technology for the benefit of your business whilst matching or adhering to the behaviour of B2B buyers.  It's not complicated, it's not costly, far from it.  However, the real cost is to accept that we were all taken in on the promise of untold riches by the software companies and it never materialised for B2B.   They had their chance and they blew it.  Now it's your turn to deliver what prospects want and the sooner the better, i.e., get in first and start this new process and approach before your competition does.

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The author and founder of salesXchange, Nigel Maine is a B2B marketing and sales expert with a proven track record in scaling up growth for Technology, SaaS, and Professional Services organisations. With 30 years hands-on experience and unique approach, Nigel has developed an effective strategy that dramatically increases exposure and profitability for B2B organizations.

Nigel has founded multiple start-ups, is a published author, public speaker and hosts both a podcast and business live streaming show, broadcast on LinkedIn Live, YouTube & Facebook. He also has extensive knowledge of MarTech software, creative hardware and software, and A.I. prompting tools.  Contact: 0800 970 9751 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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