If you’ve done any research on how to sell in today’s world, you must have come across the fact that 90% of your buyers are starting the buying journey online. If not, check out this fun video introduction.
When you stop and think about it, it makes perfect sense. Where do most people turn to when they are buying anything of importance nowadays? The Internet, of course! It’s so easy to find information on absolutely any topic you can imagine. A simple real life example of this was when my wife and I purchased our new home in May of 2013:
We had finally outgrown our home with our 2 teenage boys, and it was time to expand. Coincidentally, when we purchased our first home 10+ years ago, we went straight to a realtor to do our research, but this time we took these steps before we even approached a realtor:
- We went online to our bank’s mortgage calculators to figure out what we could afford
- We researched online the area in which we wanted to buy a home
- We looked at 100’s of homes on the real estate Multiple Sales Listings boards and saw virtual tours of the homes we were interested in
- We researched the going values of similar homes in the neighbourhood to determine fair market value
- We mapped out our plan of attack for viewing homes during open houses
- We went to open houses without any realtors representing us so we would get an unpressured experience with our first impressions.
- We narrowed down the homes we had interest in to 3 (sounds like a reality TV program)
- We called our realtor for the final viewings/negotiations
As you can see, we only got the involvement of a sales rep in the last stage of our buying journey. It wasn’t until we were ready to do a final viewing and negotiation that we considered bringing in a Realtor (we called our dear friend Diane, which is a whole other post onto itself).
Without even going into the challenges within each of the buying phases, the above description of our recent buying journey should make an ill prepared sales professional feel very uncomfortable about his/her profession.
Today’s sales reps need to find a better way to be part of the buyer’s purchasing journey as they are actually looking for guidance, but many of today’s sales reps don’t know how to help. Take a look at your sales process and think about how well it maps out the typical buying process found below.
Do you still think Cold Calling will open the door with today’s buyers? Check out how much the buying process has changed:
- 78% of B2B buyers go directly to vendors’ websites. Is your website helping your buyers during their buying process or is your site a products and features brochure?
- 50% of B2B buyers turn to social media/peer reviews. What are people saying about you and your services?
- Effective use of sales intelligence increases revenue productivity per sales rep by 17%.
- When the average order value is greater than $10,000, 70% of buyers say they view four or more pieces of content online to help them with their decision making. Is your data being found?
The Bottom Line
Like the above example, today’s B2B buying process is completely different from 10 years ago, and Cold Calling and many of the traditional top of funnel sales methods just don’t cut it. Many sales organizations in North America that we speak with still have not made any significant changes to their buying process. What are you doing differently to your sales process so you can talk to today's buyers?
If you want to take action and would like to learn more on how modern Social Selling strategies can help you connect with today’s buyers, Start by downloading our 42 LinkedIn Inside Sales Tips. If you'd like to chat more about Social Selling, click on the link below to book a meeting to discuss.