With the rise of digital presence and digital tools, customers are spending more and more time exploring companies and doing their own research. As customers become more knowledgeable buyers, they are able to enter the buying process well ahead. This is forcing companies to design their digital presence tailored to the customer's needs.
According to Forrester, “60% prefer not to interact with a sales rep as the primary source of information; 68% prefer to research on their own, online; and 62% say they can now develop selection criteria or finalize a vendor list — based solely on digital content.” With easy access to information, buyers are able to self discover through review sites, social media, demos, and testimonials to aid them in their decision-making process. When it is time to talk to a sales rep, the buyer can have an educated conversation, feel empowered and knowledgeable, and enjoy the buying experience rather than just being sold to. Customers are now able to be confident when making a purchase decision.
We’ve got some tips to help guide you, the buyers, through your research:
1. Self assess.
Decide how ready you truly are for digital transformation. Do you have the resources, time, and internal assets to start your journey?
2. Create a true business case for your internal decision-makers.
Know your processes in and out. When armed with the whole picture vendors will better be able to show how and where their solutions fit best for the most ROI.
3. Find a partner, not just a vendor.
While researching, look out for vendors who provide thought leadership and consultative information, not just a sales pitch. It’s important to find a partner in the space that will work with you to understand your pain points and what solutions you will need.
Think about the Amazon experience and how it provides all the tools necessary for the customer to make a confident purchase decision. As B2B buyers are rapidly moving in this direction; it is important that vendors are prepared for this new type of buyer. Set your customers up to have an educated conversation with your sales team.