Have you ever been in the market for a new car and struggled to decide which option is best for your needs? You think about the benefits of each. Which one is safer? Which one is more cost-efficient? You eventually may ask yourself: do I need to make this purchase? Often, consumers are turning to online research to answer these questions and are side-stepping the salesperson altogether.
This reality applies to your B2B selling organization too. Today, salespeople garner just 5% of a buyer’s time on average during the B2B buying journey — while the buyer spends nearly half of their time researching solutions online.
Salespeople are getting little time to help buyers understand and define their pains as well as directly influence buying decisions. This means selling organizations need to put a larger emphasis on creating and regularly sharing quality insights and value for target buyers no matter the channel — digital marketing, phone / virtual meeting, in-person. Serving buyers with aligned — and widely dispersed — value is a priority. We are here to help, starting with exploring how the buyer journey has changed.
HELP EASE THE BURDEN OF YOUR BUYER’S JOURNEY
The buyer journey is not only becoming more complicated for your selling organization — it is also taking its toll on buyers themselves. Most must complete an extensive checklist of steps to finalize a purchase:
- Identifying the problem: The buyer must first recognize and define the problem that needs to be solved.
- Exploring different solutions: The buyer must then identify and compare options to solve the problem.
- Evaluating the purchase: Buyer pinpoints what they need the purchase to accomplish.
- Seeking out suppliers: Buyer finds suppliers that meet their needs, evaluate those suppliers and decide on who to purchase from.
- Confirming the decision: After choosing to purchase, buyer does more digging to further validate they have chosen the right option.
- Seeking partner approval: Buyer justifies to others the purchase and the supplier choice.
These are no small tasks on the buyer’s behalf. In fact, in a recent Gartner report, a whopping 77% of B2B buyers deemed their latest purchase as difficult. That friction is both self-inflicted by choosing to go it alone and also seller-inflicted — in which sellers too often complicate things. Buyers, now more than ever, need a trusted advisor in sales to make their purchase decisions as easy as possible — whether via direct sales engagements or through online information and insights.
Focus on how your selling organization can support buyers through each of these tasks to make it as easy as possible to acquire a solution and to start realizing the outcomes. Also remember that your buyer often consists of a troop of 6 to 10 decision-makers and stakeholders who are gathering information independently. Your organization needs to lead with not only consistent value but also strong differentiation to distinguish itself from the crowd.
When buyers were able to find high-value and relevant information from sellers to advance their buying journey, they were three times more likely to enter a bigger deal with less regret. Seek to serve™ does pay off. Here is where to focus your efforts.
SERVE BUYERS WITH A STRONG VALUE PROPOSITION
Luckily, there are a plethora of opportunities for you to answer buyer needs across digital spaces — you just need to know the “watering holes” where buyers will look. Once you better understand the buyer’s journey, focus on aligning your sales, marketing, and production teams to better serve the buyer. When your teams work together to support a consistent and powerful effort, supporting buyers will come naturally.
You should also consider assessing your online presence and messaging to engage buyers and equip them with relevant and valuable information. Once buyers are engaged, you can encourage the face-to-face aspect of sales that is often missing in present deals.
Take a look at your differentiated value proposition as well: confirm that it is compelling, consistent and aligned. This allows the buyer to see your core message rather than a diluted version. A strong and successful value message is achieved through consistency, confirming the buyer will see the same message across different platforms. Refining your value proposition is the first step to aid buyers searching for a solution.
BOOST YOUR DIFFERENTIATED VALUE PROPOSITION FOR ALL BUYING ENGAGEMENTS
If you need support in amplifying your value proposition across your organization, we are here to help. The Mereo Power Play™ Book helps companies secure differentiated value proposition messaging in one place that can be applied powerfully across your buyer’s journey. Reach out to talk more.
In the meantime, get started crafting a value message that will engage buyers online, in-person — any anywhere in-between — with the Mereo Value Proposition Worksheet.