IT Purchasing Goes Social plus Infographic
The New Buying Process
Information gives modern B2B buyers an enormous advantage over their counterparts in sales. In late 2010, international agency OgilvyOne Worldwide interviewed 1,000 salespeople in the U.S., U.K., China and Brazil. More than two-thirds of respondents in all four countries believed the buying process is changing faster than sales organizations are responding.
Purchasing has gone through a major revolution in the past two decades to emerge as a vibrant strategic force in business. Social media, has only accelerated the revolution. The biggest question now is how and when people on the sales side will react.
The average company today can access 20 times as much information about you and your competitors as they could access five years ago.
So you are no longer dealing with a customer where ignorance is a factor. Sophistication is the nature of customers today, and you need a sophisticated salesperson to be able to handle that.
Buyers receive an average of 6 phone calls and 14 emails per day from vendors. Since they’re inundated with data and sales pitches, it’s not surprising that they rarely return calls. Now that these informed buyers can thoroughly research their own options, a call from a new sales representative can be more of a nuisance than a service.
If salespeople could deliver insights to buyers at the right times, they could bring purchasing times down and make everybody happy. But if the statistics show that customers aren’t interested in picking up the phone until after they’ve scoped solutions, how can salespeople reach them early and then keep their attention?
The answer is social selling.
• Sellers can use social media to relate to customers and identify opportunities for engagement at the right time: while they’re still conceptualizing their needs.
• Social media is asynchronous and noninterruptive, which makes it perfect for reaching buyers who are still kicking tires.
• Social networks help salespeople establish authenticity and credibility online, so customers consult with them instead of deleting their voicemails.
• Continuous participation within relevant social groups allows salespeople to stay visible and valuable throughout their customers’ winding,non-linear buying journeys.
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