Research shows that the number of people involved in the average B2B sale is growing and all of those people are doing more research on their own.
Consider the stats: HBR says that an average of 6.8 people are involved in an average sale compared to an average of 5.4 in 2015. Forrester reports that nearly three-fourths (74%) of buyers are conducting more than half their research online. Which means that half the buying journey is finished before a sales rep is involved.
Making things worse is that buyers feel that sales reps aren’t giving them value — in fact, 66% say that the information they are getting from sales reps is not relevant.
This is disastrous. If prospects can’t trust the sales rep for delivering content they need, how can they trust that the prospect or service is any good either? CEB says that more than half of buyers (53%) choose a vendor based on the buying experience. While there are many factors that can make that experience a success or failure, the most obvious one is content and how helpful — or not — it is for the buyer.
Teaming marketing and sales together
Clearly, marketing and sales reps need to be better aligned to create content that buyers need. This can be content that solves a particular challenge in the buyer’s business or content that clearly reflects their business environment or regional market and offers solutions they want to solve.
In every way possible, sales reps need to show that they are the authority, which takes delivering content that is relevant and helpful, not vague. To make this happen, marketing needs to work with sales to learn more about the buyer. Analytics and other tools are available to get those insights and turn them into personalized content that buyers will value. Because it gets them closer to where they want to be.
The idea here is to unburden the buyer. Let them realize they don’t need to do all the heavy lifting. Give them content that they can’t find elsewhere. Show them you know the challenges they face. If you can do that, they’ll not only feel they have a partner in the sales process, they’ll be more likely to choose you over the competition.
How do you strengthen the sales experience for the buyer? Read Showpad’s new report, Building a Better Buyer Experience. In it, you’ll explore the components of a better buyer experience and learn practical tips and recommendations.