Is your organization struggling to close sales? Is your sales cycle increasing?
Chances are – you’re feeling the effects of a changing B2B buying process.
How Has B2B Buying Changed?
CSO Insights states three ways:
(1) Access to information: Buyers have tremendous access to info. Why? Social media among peers. Content marketing from vendors. Forrester stated, “$10B was spent on content by U.S. marketers in 2016,” and budgets were up in 2017.
(2) More buyers/roles: CSO Insights’ research shows “on avg. 5.8 decisions makers are involved in complex buying situations.” Roles have changed. Buying involves individuals from various org. levels, from different departments, and across multiple time zones, each with their own agenda. And, as the buying group progresses through the buying journey, its makeup often shifts. Consider procurement’s stronger role late in the process.
(3) The need to create value: Buyers are looking for trusted advisors to guide the buying process. They seek assistance to understand specifically how a product or a service will meet their needs, jobs, and goals.
What’s the solution?
There are many – but start by understanding your buyers, their buying journey and how you generate value for them. Building a customer acquisition program that connects the dots between your brand and the buyer as well as your marketing/sales activities and the buying journey.
In addition, hire and train your sales team to become trusted advisors. What does this include? Here are seven ways, identified in a RAIN Group study, buyers are looking to receive from salespeople:
- Educated me on the new ideas and perspectives
- Collaborated with me
- Persuaded me that we would achieve results
- Listened to me
- Understood my needs
- Helped me avoid potential pitfalls
- Crafted a compelling solution
These aren’t the only solutions but it’s a start towards getting on the right path to align with the new buyer.
Need help? Contact Kevin.