Understand The B2B Buyer Journey To Create More Conversations, with Scott Collins, Episode #104


As a digital sales evangelist, I’m passionate about helping sales professionals see that the B2B buyer journey is one of the most important things for them to understand. That’s because the WAY buyers are buying has changed dramatically with the rise of digital technology. If the sales community doesn’t adopt social selling strategies that transform their online profiles into a content resource, they will miss out on the opportunity to engage in sales conversations.

As I considered how to address this topic on this episode of #SellingWithSocial, I knew it was time to have Scott Collins on the show to share his expertise. I’ve heard him speak on the topic many times so I knew he could address it in a way that will help you win more deals. Scott is Vice President of Advisory in Gartner’s Sales practice where he works closely with executives around the world helping them to solve their most pressing and critical challenges.

Listen to find out how you can build trust with today’s well-informed B2B buyers by becoming the best at resourcing and helping them through their buying journey.

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Listen to learn how you can understand the b2b buyer journey to create more conversations, with @SMillerCollins of @Gartner_Sales. Join @M_3Jr of Vengreso for this ep of #SellingWithSocial. #B2B #sales #SocialSellingClick To Tweet

This podcast is brought to you by the Annual AA-ISP Leadership Summit. Receive a 30% discount on your registration. Join us this April 3rd – 5th in Chicago, IL – Visit http://bit.ly/AAISPVengreso and use the code Vengreso30%.

67% Of The B2B Buyer Journey Is NOT Spent With Sales Reps

Before the advent of the internet, one of the only ways for B2B buyers to learn about solutions to their needs was to schedule a sales meeting. But those days are gone forever. Scott shares the data Gartner has compiled regarding the modern B2B buyer journey and drives home the reasons why it is vital for sales professionals to adapt a digital selling approach that creates sales conversations. The changes we’re talking about are much more than just a fad. For example…

Gartner’s research shows that in a self-reported survey, B2B buyers report that they are spending 27% of their time during the purchasing process independently researching solutions to their needs on their own, online. They are researching early and often and doing so right alongside any conversations they might be having with sales reps. 22% of their time is spent driving consensus with bosses or stakeholders within their own organization. 18% of their time is spent doing further research offline.

That accounts for 67% of the time spent in a B2B buyer’s journey and they may not have even spoken to a sales rep yet. What does that mean for sales professionals? It means that when those buyers finally initiate a connection they’ll be knowledgeable about what the provider offers, and will come with very specific questions. Here’s the important question you need to answer as a sales rep: “Can you respond to their needs in a way that makes them glad they reached out and that truly helps them make a buying decision?” Scott equips you with the tools you need on this episode.

Today, Sales Teams Must Be Transparent Or They Will Be Found Out

In a recent purchase decision my team here at Vengreso was engaged in, we did our homework in finding the main providers who could offer a solution for our needs. Part of our process included speaking with people we know who are using the solutions we were considering. In that process, we became aware of a customer service challenge one of the providers was experiencing. But when we asked the sales team about the issues, they assured us all was well.

You could say they erred by not being honest. I’d agree with you. But I go farther to say that they didn’t do their homework by taking note of who we are as a company and what other companies we are connected with. I never saw that any of their sales team looked at my LinkedIn profile even once, which would have given them all that information. They would have seen that we are closely connected with one of their clients and could safely assume we might have information that informed our questions.

Scott says that example illustrates one of the most important points for sales professionals to get from this conversation: If you have challenges going on in your business, be forthright about them. In the modern world, savvy B2B buyers will find out about those things. You want to hear their concerns so you can address them honestly and be transparent about your progress in addressing them. That’s what builds trust and opens the door to another conversation.

Today, #sales teams must be transparent about organizational difficulties or they will be found out. Listen to hear @SMillerCollins of @Gartner_Sales and @M_3Jr of Vengreso explain. #SellingWithSocial. #B2B #SocialSellingClick To Tweet

Sales Reps Can’t Increase Time With Buyers, So They Must Increase Value

In this conversation, Scott reveals that the overall time sales reps are getting with buyers these days only amounts to 17% of the time they invest in their purchase process. For that reason, it’s vital that they make the most of the time they do have. That’s not going to be done through slide decks and rehearsed sales presentations. It will happen by listening, understanding their specific needs and questions, and resourcing them to find the answers that are preventing them back from making a buying decision.

Research shows that in many cases, the sales process that is least difficult and cumbersome is the one that winds up winning. Ease of understanding and ease of purchase is the grease that lubricates the wheels of sales conversations. As a sales rep, it’s your job to make sure every conversation you have with buyers turns their journey into a pleasant and helpful engagement. Join me as I speak with Scott about how to effectively resource and enable the B2B buyer journey, on this episode.

Are We Enabling Our Teams To Provide The Information B2B Buyers Find Helpful?

If you are a sales professional, understand this: You need to become a customizable information machine for your buyers. That’s because every buyer will come to you with their own set of criteria and their own set of very unique circumstances. They are already well down the path toward discovering their own answers without you. They come to you once they need answers to questions they can’t find online or from peers. That’s when it’s YOUR job to become intimately acquainted with their buying journey so you can provide the exact information needed. In that way, you can help them move forward in their purchase decision.

Information is the commodity you need to deal in. Providing it in the ways that are most beneficial to each client is the skill you must develop. Can you be a prescriptive resource – providing information and tools that help buyers discover their needs and understand how your solution will meet them? Can you provide the practical how-tos that will give them the confidence that you are the partner they need?

Listen to hear Scott Collins explain why the modern B2B buyer journey requires a different approach.

Are we enabling our #sales teams to provide information #B2B buyers find helpful in making buying decisions? Listen to hear @SMillerCollins of @Gartner_Sales and @M_3Jr of Vengreso explain. #SellingWithSocial. #B2B #SocialSellingClick To Tweet

This podcast is brought to you by the Annual AA-ISP Leadership Summit. Receive a 30% discount on your registration. Join us this April 3rd – 5th in Chicago, IL – Visit http://bit.ly/AAISPVengreso and use the code Vengreso30%.

Outline of This Episode on the B2B Buyer Journey

Resources Mentioned in this B2B Buyer Journey Article

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67% of the #B2B buyer journey is not spent with #sales reps. Then how do you make sales? @SMillerCollins of @Gartner_Sales and @M_3Jr of Vengreso explain on this ep of #SellingWithSocial. #SocialSellingClick To Tweet
#Sales reps can’t increase time with #buyers, so they must increase #value. Listen to hear @SMillerCollins of @Gartner_Sales and @M_3Jr of Vengreso explain on this ep of #SellingWithSocial. #B2B #SocialSellingClick To Tweet
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