There has been a dramatic shift in the way consumers buy. The advent of the digital age brought along with it infinitely more choice and power to the average consumer. Buyers have come to live in an “insta” world. They have gained instant access to information which has impacted the way they feel and the decisions they make.
Today’s average buyer is two thirds into their buying process before ever reaching out to a sales rep. Prospects and customers are spending time doing research on their own. Information is abundant and prospects and customers are learning more about our brands and industry without reaching out to us, first. According to an Accenture study, 94% of B2B buyers conduct online research at some point in the buying process. They have become empowered. They no longer need anyone to guide them – they leave the closing of the deal to the final stage of the sales process while learning on their own.
Buyers are empowered now like never before. So how do we sell to them? Let’s look at four ways to approach empowered buyers.
Offer Unique Insights
According to a LinkedIn survey, B2B buyers are 5x more likely to engage with a sales professional who provides new insights about their business or industry. B2B buyers are armed with so much knowledge that they have become smarter about the way they make purchase decisions. They are looking for brands that understand their pain points and have knowledge of their industries more than anyone else. This is where there is a need to deliver unique insights to buyers. They have to provide a fresh perspective on the state of the market and the solution being offered.
Solution? Focus on delivering the right content to consumers and train your sales reps to add value to buyers beyond online information. Cut through the noise and bring the kind of information that consumers haven’t yet heard.
Cater to Skeptical Buyers
Today’s buyers are more critical and more cynical than ever. They aren’t interested in a “one-size-fits-all” approach. They are skeptical about reaching out to a sales rep because they feel like sales reps are pushing an agenda rather than helping them find a solution.
Solution? Focus on helping prospects rather than selling to them. This way trust is built between you and the customer. The more trust a customer feels towards the sales rep, the more can the sales rep appeal to them.
Reach out to Social Media Buyers
Social media has become a key avenue for buyers to research about our brands. Social media buyers are more informed and connected than ever before. In fact, an IDC study found that 3 out of 4 buyers rely on social media to make buying decisions as they learn more from their peers and brands.
As sales reps, we have to be there. We have to be available on social media sites to provide more information and content to enable buyers to make the right purchase decision.
Offer Relevant Content
We have to guide B2B buyers through the complex purchase process – from research to decision-making. On average, B2B buyers review over ten sources in their buying process. Your prospects may find your information, but is it the right information? We need to deliver content that is relevant and engaging. And address the prospect’s need at each stage of the sales cycle.
Understand the Buyer
The goal should be to understand who are audiences are and tailor the sales process to their unique needs. The more data we have on our prospects, the better we can target them. We need to know buying behaviors, interests and pain points, as well as demographic traits on each prospect. Understanding the buyer is key in a world of information overload.
How effective are you at communicating with your audiences? Have you seen a shift in how they interact with you? If you are stuck in your own ways, you may need to revisit your sales process.