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B2B buyers still prefer the human touch, despite lengthier sales cycle

September 23, 2019

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B2B buyers still prefer the human touch, despite lengthier sales cycle

The B2B Buyer Experience Report from Showpad uncovers the value of salespeople and the importance of content for customer experience in B2B sales

Lack of the right information and the inability to prove ROI is making the sales cycle longer, according to the B2B Buyer Experience Report from Showpad.  The report revealed that more than half (53%) of B2B buyers say their buying cycle is getting longer, with a third (32%) unable to source the information they need or the information they have failing to prove ROI (29%). All three slow down the sales cycle considerably.

Despite the prolonged process, the report also found that the vast majority (70%) of buyers still demand interactions with salespeople and almost two-fifths (38%) of buyers prefer interacting with a salesperson than gathering information on their own. Furthermore, the report revealed that B2B buyers rely on salespeople for additional information, with more than half of respondents calling (54%) or emailing (56%) them to find answers to questions. Clearly, salespeople play a key role in B2B sales.


Give the customer what they want

Meanwhile, the report, which surveyed more than 500 B2B buyers, also found how B2B buyers prefer to communicate with salespeople: 40% opt for face-to-face visits, whilst 38% favoured on-site demos from salespeople. The findings highlight the importance of in-person human interactions in the sales cycle and the need for salespeople to be equipped and prepared for those customer conversations.

When it comes to relevant content, the report revealed that B2B buyers find case studies (49%) and technical specs (54%) most helpful in steering purchasing decisions. Personalised content (39%) and ROI calculators (38%) are also increasingly in-demand and believed to help speed up buying decisions.

Jim Preston, Director of Sales at Showpad commented, “The sales process in ecommerce and the B2C sector has seen huge improvements, as of yet, the same can’t be said for B2B. Closing deals has become even more complex, but this is precisely where salespeople can really shine – if they have what they need.

"To get ahead of the game, they must have the right knowledge and the right, personalised content to truly engage buyers and build relationships. Despite advancements in technology, B2B buyers still want that human touch. It’s down to organisations to empower their salespeople to become the drivers of sales and ultimately, business success”.

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