The other day, I was doing some research around the topic of sales execution, trying to determine whether there was some new thinking to better understand the overall customer purchase decision process.
Well, one thing I definitely realised while reviewing a number of public resources, is that massive changes have occurred across that buyer – seller engagement journey.
Like all of us, online searches are the first course of action for many executives and senior managers when it comes to researching topics they need to master to achieve their corporate objectives.
According to Sirius Decisions, nearly 70 % of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally. A significant amount of information can now be found online, causing the role of the sales representative to change. New experience and engagement standards are now of much higher importance for the sales team to add value to the client conversation process.
I actually remember a Forrester blog I read a while ago. The blog highlighted that today’s buyers control their own engagement journey when buying a new product, and this far more than today’s vendors controlling the selling cycle. And often buyers put off engaging in a sales conversation until they have identified the few solutions they want to investigate further, or are ready to be quoted a price.
Indeed, in an HBR article describing the end of solution selling, CEB reinforces that “nearly 60% of a typical purchasing decision – meaning researching solutions, ranking options, setting requirements or benchmarking pricing – was completed before even having a conversation with a supplier.”
It is clear that the customer buying process has changed. While more decision makers are involved in the overall decision process, looking at insights from a multitude of sources, each of them will also seek validation across 3 distinct types of value to affirm their decision to engage with a vendor and reinforce the decision to purchase that supplier’s offerings.
These three types of engagement value include:
This recognised shift within the buyer purchasing process has fuelled the explosion of new communication and messaging styles challenging the more traditional approaches. Those enterprises that master these three key identity types will deliver enriched customer interactions that drive long-term success.