Isn’t it Time You Take Back Control of Your Sales Process?
Dealing with the Disruptive Buyer
A recent Forbes article points out that the digital transformation of industrial sales, marketing, and supply chain management is proving to be more challenging to adopt than the advanced technology and production processes used on the floor. There are a few factors influencing this challenge, they are all discussed in the article, but we found this one to be the most interesting: today’s buyer is now in control of your sales process.
Forget the traditional buyer’s journey. We are living in the Information Age and buyers take full advantage of having millions of data points at their fingertips. In fact, buyers are often 70% of the way through their buying process before they ever engage with a sales rep. This is a colossal change in how business is done, and it means that companies need to change how they reach, engage and sell to those buyers.
How? Well, for starters, companies need to make sure they show up during the buyer’s research phase, or they will lose buyer awareness and sales opportunities.
Besides having a well-designed and well-functioning website (something every company and brand must have), this means producing content that buyers will see and use as part of the buying process. In today’s digitally transformed world, this means more of a focus on content that educates and informs, and less of a focus on an outright sales pitch.
Recognize that buyers independently assimilate information and help them find the best possible data to make their decision. Here are what today’s buyers rely upon:
- 82% on white papers
- 78% on webinars
- 73% on case studies
- 67% on eBooks
- 66% on infographics
- 66% on blog posts
It’s best to use a variety of formats and to consider what type of information your buyer needs at every stage of the journey. For example, perhaps in the early stages they want an infographic, in the middle stages they need a white paper, and in the end stages they want specific content like a use case.
This brings us to our next point: recognize that the buyer’s journey can follow any number of paths. This new journey can be thought of as one made up of interconnected cycles featuring 8 distinct stages:
- Pre-awareness, awareness
- Ongoing delivery (retention)
When potential buyers do finally interact with you at some point along their journey, they’ve hopefully seen some of your educational content, but they’ve likely also seen contrary information, and may have been bouncing back and forth between stages of the journey for a while. They need help, and the best way to provide this help (and make a sale) is to understand how, when, and for how long a buyer has been interacting with your website and/or content. Sales and marketing leaders must work together to be more predictive and prescriptive in sales enablement. Identify all buyer journey entry points and respond appropriately depending on where a buyer is – and remember that the path the buyer took to get to their current stage was likely not linear.
It’s a challenging process, but a necessary one to adopt if you don’t want to be left behind. For help establishing a nimble sales process, one that enables your sales team to respond to multiple different buyer journey scenarios, contact us at RedRock Leadership. We will help you form a foundation for success and build a process with our high-impact sales consulting.
Founder & CEO of RedRock Leadership