No matter where they are in their journey, buyers have access to more information than ever before. While companies think that providing more content is helpful, buyers can find it overwhelming.
For this reason, buyers find it easier to put off a buying decision rather than make one. In order to differentiate from market competitors, organisations need to provide prospects with exactly the right content, at the right time, in a reasonable amount to meet the needs of the ever-changing buyer.
Making more does not make it better
A recent Gartner report shows that too much information can be more than overwhelming – it can be paralysing. The accessibility to information has buyers feeling more empowered, but the purchasing process continues to suffer. In fact, 84 percent of surveyed customers reported a longer purchase process than they expected. The more options buyers must decide from, the more challenging it is for them to make an informed decision. Remember that customers are constantly bombarded with choices, recommendations and noise, which can make their decision on a final solution difficult.
Keep in mind these three areas of the B2B buying process that benefit from a less is more approach:
- Content: It’s difficult to stay focused on the key things a buyer needs when they have to sort through stacks of content. Too much information can lead to more questions, more uncertainty and ultimately, a delay in closing the sale.
- Data: Incorporating data into sales presentations can not only impact a buying decision, it can speed up the process. According to Forrester Research, 74 percent of business buyers are inclined to buy from sellers that provide a new insight about their business.
- Options: We all second guess decisions and buyers are no different. A Harvard Business Review study found that when presented with multiple options, some stakeholders will always think there might be a better option. Even after they’ve finalised their purchase, up to 40 percent of stakeholders second-guess their decisions.
Avoiding content fatigue
Nearly 70 percent of an organization’s product information can be found by a B2B buyer doing their own research, leaving little opportunity for selling that actually closes deals. With constant information available, buyers can feel stressed by their buying experience. Not only do sales teams need to worry about overwhelmed buyers, but they also have to consider the number of stakeholders involved in making the final buying decision.
Today, customers want a customised buying experience that provides them with concise content that meets the needs of their specific business problems, which means organisations need to have consultative discussions with customers in order to better understand their needs if they want to stand out amongst their competitors. This will allow companies to manage their buyer’s priorities and align their offering with the buyer’s specific goals.
Personalising the sales process
In short, organisations need to make selling a personal experience if they want to have success with modern buyers. Here are three tips for sales and marketing teams to take their content, data and options to the next level and make selling personal:
- Interactive content: By taking content from static to interactive, sellers can focus on customers as individuals, allowing them to address their needs with the right content, at the right time in the buying process. Buyers no longer have to dig through static content on their own to solve their problems.
- Data-driven interactions: For example, when integrated with artificial intelligence, sales enablement technology can help sellers provide personalised sales content and custom presentations (in real-time) that provide solutions to the customer’s problem. Sellers can stop guessing and lean on key insights.
- Differentiating sellers: Companies armed with client-specific data and insights will have a specific course of action rather than a generic package to offer. Meeting the buyer’s unique need with data and content to support it will help lead to a clearer and faster purchase decision.
While the B2B purchase process will remain complex, sellers can cut through the clutter and guide buyers with data-driven, client-specific insights that propel deals forward.
Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person?
Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.