B2B Customer Acquisition: The role of human engagement in a world of digital-first enterprise marketing
When a prospect starts their research and due diligence for a new purchase, your content must be readily available for them to find online.
How has buying changed in recent years?
There has been a big shift in the way we buy products and services, both professionally and personally. Gartner recently estimated that the average buyer completes 70% of the buying journey through their own research now, saving interaction with sales representatives for the very end of their journey when they might have specific questions. Think about buying a new TV - the first thing we all do now is to search online and establish what features matter most to us. Once we’ve chosen the right model of TV, we then compare different stores selling the same model to find the best deals on price and warranty. This same process is being followed with enterprise purchases, except the research is far more in depth because the stakes are higher. If you end up with the wrong solution at an enterprise level, it can cost millions of dollars and people can even lose jobs!
To take advantage of this shift, businesses need to be speaking to their ideal personas with the right messaging at the right time. The days of making a cold introduction to a persona are now behind us. When a prospect starts their research and due diligence for a new purchase, your content must be readily available for them to find online. To put it very simply, if a prospect can’t research you then they will never be able to buy from you!
Prospects will always prefer to do business with people that they get along with and can discuss common interests around making the purchase.
What makes a great sales representative?
In the words of the great Samantha McKenna, ‘show me you know me’. When a sales representative is talking to a prospect, they have to demonstrate a deep understanding of what matters to them. This should be on both a professional and personal level. The professional understanding is what shows the prospect that your solution can help them, whilst the personal understanding is crucial for relationship building.
We talked before about how 70% of a typical buying journey is completed independently now, but relationship building is crucial for the last 30% of the journey. Prospects will always prefer to do business with people that they get along with and can discuss common interests around making the purchase. Great sales representatives are those who take the time to research their prospects and find those killer conversation points that make doing business a no-brainer.