40% of B2B buyers say they waited longer to initiate contact with suppliers this year than they did last year.*
Business-to-business (B2B) selling is changing with remarkable speed. Just a click of a button can make most people an expert, and as a result, web-savvy B2B buyers are shifting the commercial purchasing environment. The numbers speak for themselves:
67% of the typical B2B buyer’s journey is now completed online.**
74% of buyers say they research half or more of their work purchases online.***
80% of B2B buyers who are involved in both the initial research as well as the final purchasing process.~
Clearly, commercial buyers are increasingly like retail buyers, using the internet to evaluate suppliers, assess solutions and identify ways to save money during the purchasing process. They are better informed, better prepared and more powerful than ever before in their interaction with supplier sales teams.
The troubling result: B2B sales teams are often brought into the buying process late. They are forced to play catch up to differentiate their solutions. And when they are finally invited into the purchasing process, here’s what they find:
- Their customers are armed with data from the internet that enables them to position competitive solutions and commoditize the set of offerings.
- Connecting their solutions to the customer’s desired results is a struggle, so differentiating themselves, their solutions and their companies is harder than ever.
- The focus on price rather than value is more intense in an effort to commoditize solutions.
With the commercial buying process changing so quickly, commercial sellers need to be more effective than ever in selling value, and differentiating themselves, their companies and their solutions. Global Performance Group’s Dialogue-Based Selling blog series offers Nuggets of Value that will put you on the right path to making sure your targets stay well within reach.
What changes have you noticed in the selling process? How do you feel buyers have changed?
* DemandGen 2014 B2B Buyer Behavior Survey: www.demandgenreport.com/industry-resources/research/2508-the-2014-b2b-buyer-behavior-survey.html
** SiriusDecisions: www.siriusdecisions.com/Blog/2013/Jul/Three-Myths-of-the-67-Percent-Statistic.aspx
*** Forrester research, quoted here: www.internetretailer.com/2014/07/22/many-b2b-buyers-prefer-web-researching-and-purchasing
~ Google and Carat Enterprises 2013 survey of 800 B2B buyers who made purchases of 100 euros