Time is changing and has been given the wings of change through technological advancements. Across several different industries and markets, digital technology has paved ways for some unexpected disruptions.
In the past, those who sell had more power to control the buyer’s journey over the products or services sold. But the exact opposite has been made possible now because of technology.
Now, the buyers have more power and wisdom to make an impact on the seller’s approach to doing business marketing. The supply-demand chains have been disrupted already, pushing the sellers to put the customers at the center of their business strategies.
This means knowing the end consumers is more important than ever before.
If you also run a business facing the technological shifts happening in the market, it is essential for you to build strong relationships with your end consumers.
How businesses can better understand the drivers for B2B buyers, LinkedIn conducted a survey amongst LinkedIn members in the US, UK and Australia, named ‘Influencing B2B Buyers’.
The findings of the survey are discussed below –
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What Customers Think About A Sales Professional?
To make a sale, almost every business need sales professional. You might have heard or faced salesmen with an over-salesy approach to convince their customers to make a purchase decision.
But the same does not work in this digital age.
It has been found that the customers make a buying decision when the sales reps have the following traits in them –
- They are highly knowledgeable about the business of the customers.
- They know well about the customers’ business needs.
- They clearly express the value proposition of the products or services.
- They are reliable and trustworthy.
- They showcase uncompromised professional behavior.
It all says a lot about the customer’s behavior for the sales professionals who approach them. Not just that, the following statistics have also been found –
- 75% of customers said that they buy because of the influence of their sales professional.
- 74% of customers said they want to connect with the sales rep.
- Only 18% said they want to work with a different sales rep in the future.
Digital Disruption and Its Effect on B2B Buying Decisions
You might have heard of the term ‘digital disruption’ as a buzzword prevalent in modern times. It is something that almost every industry is facing these days.
Digital Disruption is about the advancements that digital technology has made for consumers to connect and interact locally as well as globally with businesses. It has empowered them to make wiser purchase decisions.
Here is a brief outlook of digital disruption across different industries over the past 20 years –
- In the mid-‘90s, the digitization era began, and information of diverse kinds became available with online search engines.
- In the late ‘90s, digitization changed to productization, wherein products became buyable online. It led to the rise of e-commerce business model, disrupting the brick-and-mortar retail business alongside.
- In the early 2000s-decade, the next-level change was on the line of interactivity, wherein user-generated content came up and rose.
- In the late 2000s-decade, collaboration era began, making the world more socially active digitally. Social networks came into the picture and became a part of everyone’s life.
- In the 2010s, the experiential era began in which the user experience became the central driving force for making business decisions.
What Businesses Need to Understand?
Firstly, it is important for business owners to anticipate possible impact to their businesses, along with the opportunities that will come up because of digital disruption.
- The graph of disruption is not linear. Even the same industry can be disrupted more than once. The future of disruption can’t be predicted, but the possible risk can be mitigated. Businesses need to be proactive and know their customers more than ever before.
- Digital disruption can’t be controlled. So, businesses need to continually innovate and make the most of the opportunities created by digital technology.
- Customer experience fulfillment defines competitive advantage. To compete in this digital world, organizations need to learn from other businesses on how they approach and interact with their customers. Business model can be changed to the one that has customers as its center.
It has been found that the buyers consider ‘relevant approach’ and ‘valuable insights’ as the most significant variable defining their purchase decisions.
Both these variable if covered well, can have a positive influence on the seller’s NPS.
A strong NPS shows that a seller has clients who are most likely to recommend him to others. As a measure of loyalty, it can have a significant impact on return business.
How Can Businesses Improve with the Wave of Digital Disruption?
Summing up the results of the conducted survey, it can be deduced that the sellers in diverse industries need a new framework to do business. It should have targeted customers at its center, improved supply-demand relationship, and higher influence on the buyer’s purchase decisions.
Three-step strategy can be followed to drive B2B sales success –
In this step, businesses need to work upon building their social presence. It is one of the platforms where buyers want businesses to have a profile upon.
Knowing and understanding the targeted customers is very important, be it in terms of their pain points, aspirations, and needs. It will also help in understanding what the customers want and delivering what is expected.
It is crucial for businesses to engage with their targets over valuable insights. The sales reps can use their knowledge about the customer’s business to become thought leaders in a specific niche. It can help them beat the competition and gain referral business.
Truly said, power lies in the hands of buyers in the modern, digital age. A business should be where its customers want it to be. Plus, the business owners need to know exceptionally well about their customers and engage with them to succeed in making more sales.
This survey also shows how sales rep can build a stable, positive NPS for the organizations they work for.