65% of the sales process is over before prospects talk to one of your salespeople.

Wanna talk through how an insight like this can impact your company?

Actually depending on your B2B market and the survey it could be as high as 72%. This should make you think pretty hard about the state of business development affairs in your company. It forces you to ask some pretty important questions

 “What is the market doing to get that far along in the decision making process without us”

Hopefully they are not without you, just without your people. Businesses look for solutions (product or service) differently now. 10 years ago, that salesperson cold call was the gateway to knowledge. Today they can learn more on a 2 minute Google search. So your market is using information freely available to diagnose their own need and begin to formulate potential solution providers…even cost analysis sometimes…before engaging the sales team. Some of this freely available information is:

  • Consuming reports, analytics, articles, blog posts
  • Peruse LinkedIn, Twitter
  • Watch videos, Attend webinars
  • Research potential solution providers on the web

How good are we at providing really great content, so when the time comes…the market naturally comes to us?”

Let’s make this one rhetorical. Get some help here gang. We understand that it may not be a core competency to develop streams of great content that connect with the market, before the market connects with your people, so you may have to get some professional help. That said, the cost of doing nothing could be far greater than sitting still while your market continues to make more and more of their decisions without your influence.

“If this is true, just how consultative can my sales team be if that much of the decision is made beforehand?”

Remember the days of driving the inputs of the RFQ through consultative selling?  That’s if an RFQ was even needed? Consultative selling still has its place at the head of the class, but because buying behaviors are changing, maybe the consultative approach needs a slight remodel. One that includes the use of the content items mentioned above as part of the sales process, not just the marketing one. (they are really the same thing, but I’m speaking so everyone will understand.)

“If our business development machine feels a little horse-buggyish, how to we get with the times”

Invest is marketing that can connect with your differentiated messaging and your sales team. But most of you are scared of that sentence. You don’t understand marketing, in a world where marketing content and information is more heavily influencing the buying process than ever before. So you have a choice, adapt and change or…well…you know how the story ends.

If you ever want to chat about how the buying process of today’s market can better work for you, give us a holler.

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