Adapting to changing buyer behaviour

The New Sales Function

The latest research from Forrester demonstrates the critical need for businesses to adapt their sales function if they are to succeed in the Age of the Customer.

Nicola Cook reports back form Forrester’s Annual Sales Conference, USA and hosts a Business Blast event on the topic of Adapting to Changing Buyer Behaviour.

Download my FREE ebook series on the topic – here.

5 questions to ask yourself:

1. Do you have a slick e-commerce option for simple transactional opportunities?
2. Do you have a strategy in place to win the ‘mindshare’ of your client before you come into contact with them?
3. Are your sales and marketing digital platforms integrated?
4. Do you know where to find your prospects, when and what they are looking for, before they come into contact with you?
5. Do you have a plan in place to future proof your sales team and therefore your profit given the evidence of current buyer behaviour?

If you are in any doubt, please read on.

Companies misaligned with B2B buyers

Face to face meetings do not secure clients like they used to and it doesn’t impact sales revenue at the same rate as other methods, when so many buyers are online and not in a meeting room.  It still has its place, but only with certain complex purchases.

Online surpasses offline research

Research confirms that the majority of B2B buyers are already using e-commerce – in fact, 59% of B2B buyers have been making online business purchases for the past six years or longer.

In particular, when it’s a simple transaction or they’ve already made up their mind, this is no longer a future trend, it’s already happening. But most businesses are not set up to deal with this changing need – and the 59% figure will only continue to increase.

Look at these statistics from Forrester’s latest research:

3:1 – said “I find gathering info online superior to interacting with  a sales person”

3:1  said “I prefer to do research online and prefer NOT to interact with a sales representative as my primary source of research”

74% said buying from a website was preferable than talking to a sales person

 93% of B2B buyers interviewed said that once they have decided what they want to buy – they prefer to make that purchase online

So…do buyers still WANT salespeople?

Yes!

  • 91% when negotiating price
  • 82% when complex
  • 67% when expensive
  • 67% requires installation
  • 64% requires service

Source: Q1 2015 Forrester/internet retailer B2B channel preferences survey 

We unpacked a number of the issues around this theme, that particularly caught my attention at our recent Business Blast event.

About the Author Nicola Cook

Nicola Cook is an award winning entrepreneur and twice published international best-selling author on professional selling and personal & business growth. She is CEO of Company Shortcuts, a business devoted to improving business results by injecting skill, passion and strategy to help those entrepreneurs and sales enthusiasts achieve the sales results they desire.

follow me on: