October 10, 2022

Does human interaction still have a place in modern selling?

traditional buyer journey

Aaaah, the trusty, reliable traditional buyer journey. We all know it, use it, and some even swear by it. But there’s a problem…

New buyer journey image

What the heck’s happened to the buyer journey?

Let’s face it, the modern buyer journey is a mess. The path from awareness to purchase is a labyrinth of touchpoints, dead ends, communications, and choices. It’s almost a miracle anyone buys anything.

But to understand what happened in the buyer journey story, we must introduce two main characters: people and technology. Each of our protagonists has a role play. But before we get to that, let’s set the scene a little.

How did we get here?

The buyer journey we all grew up with was born of a time when people were at the heart of every single step on the journey. Relationships were built, friendships made, tears shed, and products sold. But as with all reminiscing, it’s very easy to paint it as a happier time, the golden age of this process. 

The truth is, there was a big problem with the original buyer journey. It was people. They were lovely, but busy buyers didn’t have time for people anymore, and meetings with sellers take time, time they don’t have. So they wanted a way to buy, without all the face-to-face time and calls. Was the romance over?

Enter technology. Our suave, sophisticated new character with all the answers. Fast and a little wild. Technology didn’t play by the rules and got sh*t done. People fell head over heels in love with technology. And they used it more and more every day. And they lived happily … oh wait?

What’s wrong with today’s buyer journey? 

New technology and processes have transformed how buyers buy, and sellers sell. No doubt. Today, buyers have the power to make smarter decisions faster, with all the answers they could need on hand every step of the way. But as a seller, that’s probably not what you’re seeing. Instead, buyers are getting lost somewhere in the mix, and sellers are struggling to keep up.

Forrester Unique Value Quote

Part of this is because we forgot about people in all the innovation and excitement. Either in a well-intentioned belief that technology offers a better “user experience” or by mistake amongst all the craziness. 

But you can see the problem, buyers and sellers are not “users.” They’re people. And the best relationships happen when they connect, support, and guide each other. Especially in B2B, the purchases are complex, and the process is a two-way conversation, not an auto-form-fill. 

What do people add to the future of sales?

The buying journey has changed, but that doesn’t mean it’s finished changing. As people (buyers and sellers alike) become more confident with the new tech and processes they use, they can begin to see opportunities to connect once again.

Gartner digital deal rooms drive engagement quote

So successful sales teams of tomorrow need to elevate the human part of the new buying journey. And weirdly, they probably do this using technology. Using its speed and integrations to increase personalization delivers difference and stands out every step of the way. Whether it’s with digital sales rooms where they support and guide buyers, with hyper-relevant content that resonates with the buyer’s needs, or something else innovative, is open to the imagination.

And your sellers can then use all the engagement analytics and insights to gauge buyer interest and deliver additional value. As knowing what buyers use, and how that impacts if they buy is invaluable. It also tells you how you can support buyers better, showing you what they need to know and when. And this is the cornerstone to creating content and buying journeys that truly make buying easier. 

Gartner ease of purchase stats

Welcome to Modern Selling

Realizing the combined power of people, new technology and better processes will change the game for sales. This is Modern Selling: full circle sales enablement optimized for today’s buyers and tomorrow’s. And it will be powered by innovative sales enablement tools that finally bring your confusing buyer journeys together and find room for people once again. 

It’s worth noting that despite technology’s explosive growth in all areas of sales and marketing, Gartner found that only “33% of all buyers desire a seller-free sales experience.” So the role of sellers and the relationships they build in the buyer’s journey still has value.

And the power of working this way is reaping results. Companies already adopting Modern Selling are seeing:

  • a 30% reduction in admin times
  • a 25% increase in marketing productivity
  • an 80% increase in content shares with customers
  • and an ROI on their investment in just six months

Is it time you considered modernizing your selling? 

To find out how, book a demo with one of our experts today, and see how modern selling can make it easier for your sellers to sell.