I am excited to have an upcoming live event with Mary Shea PhD from Forrester, and as I was prepping my interview questions, I was taken aback by several of Forrester’s recent research results.
First, B2B sellers are seriously struggling with internal purchase decision challenges, with:
- 78% indicating that their top internal decision-making challenge is dealing with multiple stakeholders with different agendas,
- 49% indicating that their buyers and customers are taking longer to make decisions.
B2B buyers have more stakeholders than ever on the decision committee, have too many choices to sift through, and are inundated with more information than ever to distill. Paralysis and friction are the results. There is a great opportunity for the solution provider who can simplify their offerings, streamline the content they provide, while proactively facilitating the decision-making process. Think concierge.
Second, B2B buyers are spoiled in their personal lives with point and click ecommerce, and are seeking similar experiences in their work life. The research reveals “Death of the B2B sales rep “level metrics, where:
- 62% of B2B buyers say they can now develop selection criteria for finalizing a vendor list based solely on digital content
- 70% of prospects say that buying from a website is the most convenient way to buy business products or services
- 67% of buyers prefer not to interact with a sales representative as their primary source of information.
Your customers want choice in how they engage and buy. They want consistency between digital and offline experience, yet the messaging and content they get between your on-line resources and sellers is often restricted and different. They want to buy when they find it most convenient and have the flexibility to do so from digital or offline channels, yet many B2B providers don’t provide on-line purchase options. Think buyer empowerment.
Third, buyers indicate that even though they are leveraging on-line resources and channels, sellers still have a great opportunity to add value and be relevant. In fact, the research reports that seller engagement will increase by 10% even as more transactions close digitally. However, sellers are falling short:
- 77% of B2B buyers want integrated customized data or insights from sellers and 77% also want sellers to “help me learn something new”
- 75% of B2B prospects want sellers to “show how their products and services impact my business”, providing relevant use-cases, business value communication and quantification and success story proof-points
- 2/3rds of B2B buyers want access to products, parts and inventory availability online
Sellers who “show up and throw up”, just providing the same information the buyer can find on-line, won’t make it. Sales enablement, content marketing and value engineering need to deliver the insights and tools to help direct and channel sales diagnose issues, deliver personalized insights and benchmarks, map use cases to challenges and business impact, and improve value articulation. Think value-add.
Accelerating use of digital requires you to rethink your offerings, content, commerce and selling.
As B2B buyers go digital, are you aligning and simplifying your digital and off-line content, empowering buyers to make better, faster decisions and reshaping the engagement experience to focus on diagnostic problem solving and business value?
Join Mary Shea PhD and I to discuss this research in a live interview, and then network with fellow EVOLVERs to see what others are doing to address –
Checkout our recent podcast with Mary Shea, discussing this research and trends – https://anchor.fm/thomas-pisello/episodes/14-Predictions-You-Can-Use-to-Up–Level-Your-Sales-Enablement-In-2020—with-Mary-Shea-e9e0ov
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