Grasping the new buyer behavior is vital to survival for any business.
Consumers have changed the way they find, learn about and ultimately make purchase decisions. You have to understand three key shifts in order to adapt your marketing strategy and sales efforts to this new buyer behavior:
1. Buyers expect to be educated, not sold. Buyers are using the Internet to get information about the products and services they purchase in advance of contacting suppliers. Forget about what you want them to buy for a second. Instead, focus on truly understanding what your buyer is looking for.
2. Buyers are listening to what others say. While buyers are coming to your site to hear what you have to say, they're also looking for validation from third party sources. Companies that don't participate and facilitate these reviews are simply less likely to make it to the short list. You must identify the influential industry sites that your buyers visit and implement an Audience Source Strategy to create a presence on those sites.
3. Buyers are more informed, earlier in the process. The increase in the amount of online sources means your buyer is substantially more educated than ever before. You need to change your sales process in response. Buyers no longer have to wait to have sales meetings or presentations from traditional sales people to get a better understanding of what solutions your firm offers. Your prospects are more prepared; they may even come to the table with specific expectations in terms of pricing.
Take this opportunity to transition the old school sales people into Sales Guides who help facilitate an educated decision, instead of present features and benefits. As marketers, create the Content Marketing and Conversion Strategies required to support the sales guides as they work with prospects all through the Guided Sales Process
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