Marketing Viewpoint by Ruth Winett
Why Do Sales Reps Have Few at Bats?
After spending hours scouring the Internet to find the right recliner, we went to one store, sat in three chairs, and made a quick major purchase decision. The sales person just prepared the invoice. B2B customers also rely on their own research, not information from sales reps, when making major purchase decisions says Brent Adamson in “Traditional B2B Sales and Marketing Are Becoming Obsolete.” This means finding new ways to help customers self-educate. This also means integrating marketing, sales, and digital initiatives within your company.
Buyers spend just “17% of their total buying time interacting directly with supplier sales teams,” found the Gartner Group “in pre-pandemic interviews of 750 companies.” Instead, they spend their time on “independent learning online (27%), independent learning offline (18%), and building consensus [among] internal [22%] and partner stakeholders [11%].” Purchasers may only spend 5-6 % of their time per vendor if they research a few vendors, Adamson concludes.
To respond to this shift, get to know customers better, and set up an integrated sales approach:
Help customers find the information they need:
Customers do not care how your company is structured. What they want is the right information at the right time. Vendors must first find out what information their customers want and then make that information available where each type of customer will find it. Currently, that is predominantly online. That is why one sales manager told Adamson, “We have very few at bats to actually influence customer buying behavior.”
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