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These eight charts show how COVID-19 has changed B2B sales forever


The COVID-19 pandemic forced B2B buyers and sellers to go digital in a massive way. What started out as a crisis response has now become the next normal, with big implications for how buyers and sellers will do business in the future.


Recent McKinsey research on decision makers’ behavior globally across industries since the crisis began reveals that the big digital shift is here to stay.


Both B2B buyers and sellers prefer the new digital reality

More than three quarters of buyers and sellers say they now prefer digital self-serve and remote human engagement over face-to-face interactions—a sentiment that has steadily intensified even after lockdowns have ended.


Safety is one reason, of course. But self-serve and remote interactions have made it easier for buyers to get information, place orders, and arrange service, and customers have enjoyed that speed and convenience. Only about 20 percent of B2B buyers say they hope to return to in-person sales, even in sectors where field-sales models have traditionally dominated, such as pharma and medical products.


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