Updated: Sep 15, 2021
B2B buying process has evolved, especially since 2020. There have been radical changes in what modern buyer’s want and expect from their buying experience as well as people they do business with. They want to be more empowered and in control through their journey than ever before. They rely on self-service for seeking relevant information necessary for purchase rather than looking to sales reps. (they spend only 17% of that time meeting with potential suppliers).
In order to keep up, you need to adjust with their new buying behavior and preferences. Understand their challenges deeply and focus on building more meaningful relationships rather than transactional ones as you might have done in the past. You need to streamline their buying journey in order to increase their ease of doing business with you.
Here are 6 critical things modern buyers want -
B2B buyers aren’t really looking for sales reps to be persuasive as much as they need them to act as partners and coaches to engage and assist them through their buyer’s journey. While they already have all the information they need on your product, pricing, capabilities, technology through online research, they need you to be there when they require answers to questions or have doubts or confusion to clear. They expect you to understand their needs, goals, objectives, pain points and requirements. They also need your guidance and reassurance when they need it, that they are making the right choices. For example, any large-scale digital transformation such as migrating from legacy to a modern ecommerce platform solution, needs education and collaboration internally as well as from your sales reps. Buyers want confidence that they are making the right decisions for their organization. Vendors who can provide such an experience, one that is filled with empathy are more likely earn their business.
We are all accustomed to speed and ease of doing things online, be it making an online purchase or paying our bills. B2B buyers are no different. Despite the complexities involved, they want to be able to make decisions quickly and complete their purchase. They expect and want buyers to simplify things by making this process fast and more efficient via necessary tools and personalized, high-quality, data-driven content. Think buyer enablement.
3. Honesty and Transparency
If you were buying something from a company that you were unfamiliar with, would you expect transparency into the product you were buying, company/people you were buying it from, return policy, pricing etc.? Would you do due diligence researching their reputation, look at their beliefs, core values and what they stand for? Would you prefer an open buying experience where you had access to everything that you needed to know before making a purchase decision? B2B buyers expect the same from you. They want to know everything there is to know about your technology offerings, its claims, pricing, implementation process and after sales service. They want to have a level of comfort and trust in your capabilities as a supplier. They expect openness and honesty.
How invested are you in your buyers? Are you genuinely interested in getting to know them and what is important to them? Buyers want to see your level of commitment. They gauge that by the time and resources you invest in your people and processes to demonstrate a deeper understanding and appreciation of their journey and business objectives. What kind of personalized buying experience do you create for everyone on the buying team is important to them.
Buyers expect you to not only be a cutting edge technology provider but also a subject matter expert. They expect you to be on top of the latest and upcoming technology innovation, advancement and trends so you can guide them on their choices.The fact that you know what you are doing, gives them the confidence that you could be that long term partner that will not only add value to their business but also help them stay ahead in a fast changing industry.
6. Active Listening
Business buyers want to be heard and listened to, in fact they think it is the number one attribute they expect sales reps to have. However not many sales people do. They are too busy, distracted or pre-occupied. Buyers want to make sure you understand their business, challenges, goals and outcome they want to achieve. Actively listening to them will allow you to build a rapport, engage and better understand their world. You can them better serve them, tailor your solution and pitch accordingly.
To sum it up, buyers want their buying process to be frictionless across all of their preferred channels. They are like you and I making purchases. We want things connected, open and hassle-free, so do they. Think of how you can deliver such an experience through your people, processes and technology. Keeping these in mind will help you build effective sales, marketing and business strategies.