Study: What does B2B salespeople need to know about 2020s purchasing?

KlaroCPQ solve B2B sales

Gartner has recently done a number of researches on buying trends. In this report, some conclusions are done from a few B2B sales-themed articles published by Gartner. They addressed the key trends in B2B sales today, how B2B sales has changed in a couple of recent years and will most likely transform in future.

According to Gartner, the new generation of buyers, millennials, buy with data. This is a very important fact to consider because 50% of B2B buyers today already belong to the millennials generation (born around 1978-1995) and the number of buyers of this generation is naturally growing. 

The new generation of buyers want to acquire and analyze the purchasing related information related independently.

According to Gartner, a new generation of buyers (the millennials) does not rely on vendors’ sales pitch, but obtains information about the solution to be purchased and its vendors primarily directly online. Therefore, if you are not providing easy online service, you are not serving the buyer as they require. This is a bit the same as with missing web pages twenty years ago.

Today, transparency and ease of use of information are key factors in serving the customer. Without a customer-centric sales and service operation model, and a smart sales channel, you will not be a competitive company. For sure, one of your competitors will operate with just this smart customer-oriented operating model and service channels, and in the end force others into the same model if company wants to survive.

In general, today buyers spend 2/3 of their time on procurement processes independently to obtain information when looking for possible solutions and making supplier comparisons. In total, customers give suppliers only 17% of the total time spent on procurement! And this is a total time spent for suppliers, i.e. time is shared with all other potential suppliers. For salespeople who are used to getting a lot of attention and facetime from a customer, this is a painful fact and forces them to think of new ways of working.

Buying is a complex process

Today there are many different stakeholders involved in purchasing. Addition to business lines, the corporate finance and procurement departments are often involved in the purchasing process, also people responsible for quality and safety. The procurement team consists of several different roles and the organization can be scattered in several different places of the buyer organization globally. According to Gartner, buying is very complex in 2020s organization, even so complex that buying processes are perceived as significantly hindering new investment, and thus, at worst, preventing the growth of companies.

B2B buying involves scattered data and discontinuous process

A lot of information is available today for buyers. According to a Gartner survey, 88% of B2B buyers feel that they have received top-quality information during the purchasing process. However, only 25% of buyers say that the top quality information obtained led to the actual purchase, of which the buyer is completely satisfied with.

Buyers feel they are receiving a lot of well-founded information, which, however, is contradictory to their satisfaction on making decisions based on that information. Buyers see that they need a lot of consultation help to handle information so that buyers can best find the solution that works best for them. According to a Gartner study, high-quality information production to the customer leads to up to 4.5 times higher probability of a positive purchase decision by the buyer.

Currently, the buyer takes a lot of time to gather up and go through the acquired information. The amount of information also makes current purchasing processes much more complex, and buying takes much longer than in the past. 

9 points to consider while responding to changes in B2B purchasing in 2020s.

  • Think about what your company’s strategy and goals are – which clients you want to serve and in what way.
  • Understand what information the customer feels they need to buy – contribute to knowing your customers and understanding their challenges in purchasing and create fitting information services for their need in digital customer channel.
  • The customer wants to obtain the information directly online – Enable the customer to find the right information in the smart digital sales channel.
  • The customer feels that they are receiving high-quality but contradictory information – Help by consulting the customer to understand the information and find the right facts for just that customer need.
  • The customer wants different information at different stages of the procurement process – Provide the customer with easy access to just the right information at the right time.
  • The purchasing process is complex for the customer – think about how you can best facilitate the customer’s purchasing process with an intelligent digital process combined with a channel and personal service
  • The purchasing process does not proceed in a systematic queuing model – think about what content you want to produce for the customer to support the purchasing process and in what way. Note that in the 2020s, digital marketing and sales must be considered as integrated functions, they just cannot be separated in current purchasing behavior model.
  • The buyer wants just the right information at the right time – Think about how you deliver and interpret the information to the customer so that it genuinely supports the buying process.
  • The buyer wants just well-fitted service for their need – think about which channel you want to serve your customer and at what level. This way, you both get the best solution for your needs and both are happy with the customer relationship.

This study is based on following articles:

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