Sales Productivity Series: Buyer 2.0 or, The Way People Buy Has Changed

Today, sales teams must sell to self-empowered, highly informed “super” buyers. These potential customers are incredibly savvy when it comes to tracking down information about possible vendors and solutions and vetting their options. They are getting information about companies and their products from an unprecedented number of sources: Internet searches, company websites, their social network (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter), their professional communities, news outlets—you name it!

Put simply, today’s buyers can access virtually any information, easily compare options, and instantly validate their decisions with the click of a mouse or touch on a screen.

“Today, with buyers now controlling the majority of the front end of the sales process, sellers must learn to facilitate a buying process—not conduct a sales process.”

– Colleen Francis, Founder and President of Engage Selling Solutions

Buyers no longer want to be sold to

Along the way, most buyers prefer to keep sales reps at arm’s length as long as possible. Who can blame them? No one wants a hard sell if they can avoid it. As a result, because buyers are more in control of accessing information, they no longer depend on sales reps to narrow down their options and make a shortlist.

Digital signals are key

This sea change in buying has altered the nature of engagement and ways that organizations interact with buyers. That’s not to say traditional interactions—such as those via email, on the phone or in person—are dead. It does mean, however, that cold calls and unsolicited emails are less effective than ever at sparking a conversation with potential customers.

Just look at the stats: a cold call is only 3% effective, according to an IBM preference study. Now compare that to reaching out via a LinkedIn Inmail—recipients are likely to respond to those outreaches 67% of the time.

So what does this mean for today’s sales reps? Read the other posts in the Always Be Closing blog series to find out.

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