Despite technology, the B2B sales journey is more complex and has more detours than it ever did, judging by The New B2B Experience, a study by Showpad.
Among other things, buyers are spending more time researching products, and a growing number of stakeholders are involved in purchasing decisions.
Left to their own devices, buyers spend 20 hours researching before they reach out to a sales rep.
Of the 656 buyers polled, 64% go to vendor websites and 59% see peer reviews on sites like G2Crowd and 49% have conversations with peers.
When it’s time to contact a sales rep, 56% email their reps and 54% prefer to call.
Videos are critical for high-ticket deals, both for personal information and for selling the C suite. However, 60% of C-level types prefer peer reviews over all other types of research.
The study doesn’t offer insights on email marketing per se. But the import is clear: Follow-up is critical, and so are triggered emails based on buyer behavior and preferences.
In a recent survey of 229 marketers by Ascend2, 47% said email is an effective nurturing tactic, which beat out content or video marketing (45%), social media (40%), web personalization (33%) and search engine optimization (33%).
Clearly, relevance is paramount in whatever channel you use. And content must be clear and complete. Here are the main obstacles to purchasing:
And there is no question that the process is taking longer. The buyers say that timing has:
In the end, 70% of buyers crave contact with sales reps above all else. And 38% say interacting with reps beats doing research on their own. Preference for sales reps is especially prevalent in the C suite.
Here are a few other tidbits to keep in mind: