This article sums up some of the latest research on B2B buyers and guess what? They are just like us!
10 years ago, we had to call a company up and ask for a brochure and if we were lucky it would arrive 3 days later in the post. We had to deal with manipulative sales people, who had been on a course to force you to say "yes". We all hated it, which is why now, as the research shows, we avoid salespeople.
And we can. No longer am I forced to talk to a salesperson, I can go on-line and do my own research. And we all do. All in salesperson avoidance mode. We do this regardless if it's B2C or B2B. And the larger the contract and more complex the deal, the more likely we are to do this.
What we want to deal with, is an expert. They can be a salesperson, but not the shark of the old days, somebody that can help us and guide us. As sales people we might think this is being a "lesser" salesperson or not macho, this is fine by me as I will get all your leads. Sorry but it's reality, so are mobile phones and so are social networks.
No, of course there are some things we want to buy, where we will short cut the long buying process. But as buyers, we are still in control and will still avoid sales people.
How you respond to the modern buyer is totally up to you, of course.
One of the major themes in B2B marketing and sales over the past decade has been the emergence of empowered and independent buyers. Numerous research studies have shown that business buyers are using the wealth of easily-accessible information to perform their own research regarding potential purchases. Some research has also shown that many B2B buyers are delaying conversations with vendor sales reps until later in the buying process. Several years ago, for example, SiriusDecisions said that 67% of the B2B buying journey was being done digitally, and CEB reported that a typical B2B buyer was 57% through the purchasing process before he or she engaged with a potential supplier's sales rep. The idea that B2B buyers prefer a "do-it-yourself" approach has become part of the conventional wisdom of B2B demand generation, but it has not gone unchallenged. For example, in the Altify Buyer/Seller Value Index 2016, two-thirds of surveyed buyers (67%) reported that they sought input from potential suppliers before they began evaluating solutions.