Once upon a time a B2B sale was a linear process, where the buyer had a problem, sought a solution, found your company, got in touch with a sales rep who pitched your product, and then made a purchase, if your product is what they needed. Today the situation is completely different. Sales reps can no longer fill the pipeline with MQLs (marketing qualified leads) and move leads steadily through a sales funnel, because your B2B buyers are buying at multiple touchpoints.
Statistics about the modern B2B buyer
To set the scene and highlight why companies are forced to transform their B2B sales strategy, here is what research says about the modern B2B buyer:
- The average B2B buyer uses 6 different channels during their buying journey, and almost 65% are frustrated by inconsistent experiences (source: McKinsey).
- Buyers have completed 57% of the buying process before getting in touch with one of your sales reps (source: Gartner).
- 60% of buyers think that vendors provide them with too much content and that most of the content is useless (source: Forrester).
- 50% of B2B buyers have incomplete, unclear or poorly defined criteria when considering new vendors (source: Smart Insights).
- 77% of B2B buyers state that their latest purchase was very complex or difficult (source: Gartner).
The data above tells that B2B buyers have access to a vast amount of information about you and other vendors and that they do not rely on sales reps to make a purchase decision. Yet all this information seems to quickly become cluttered and confusing to buyers.
What does this mean for B2B sales strategy?
From the data above, it is evident that B2B buyers are becoming more and more like B2C buyers: They can do most research on their own, read reviews of your products and services, interact with you on social media and multiple other touchpoints and more. However, it seems that the B2B sellers are struggling to keep up with this changing behavior of their buyers. CSO Insights have made an entire report about this titled The Growing Buyer-Seller Gap.
B2B sales strategy is undergoing a transformation, because it is no longer a matter of optimizing a sales cycle – it is a matter of optimizing the buyer’s journey and helping buyers advance on their journey. In fact, Gartner has found that buyers who receive information from sellers that helps them advance on their buying journey are 2.8 times more likely to experience purchase ease, and 3 times more likely to buy a bigger deal with less regret.
Therefore, a great B2B sales strategy today highly revolves around providing buyers with engaging content that helps them progress from the buying stage that they are at. McKinsey states that a key factor in transforming the sales organization and implementing journey-based sales strategies is to build a partnership between marketing and sales throughout all stages of the buying journey. Then you will get a better grasp of your buyers and be better equipped to have meaningful interactions with them. Sales and marketing alignment brings additional benefits like higher utilization of marketing content and increased efficiency in both departments as they work together towards common goals.
Transform your B2B sales strategy with Napp
Napp is a sales enablement platform that makes it easy for marketers to provide sales reps with content that engages buyers. By using the platform, you get valuable insight into content performance and sales reps’ activities that can inform your content creation and help you adjust your sales strategy accordingly. The result is that you save time by streamlining processes and help sales reps become more productive, have better conversations with buyers and sell more. Request a demo today and get introduced to Napp.