How buyer behaviour is changing and what it means for your sales team

How buyer behaviour is changing and what it means for your sales team

B2B buyers conduct a buying process that is now longer, increasingly independent, and more digital. Buyers are now engaging with salespeople later in their journey and understanding this changing behaviour is fundamental to a successful sales strategy.  

The ‘self-serve’ buyer

We are now in the era of the ‘self-serve’ B2B tech buyer, where buyers want all basic information at their fingertips – without the gatekeepers. Trends from B2C, like peer-to-peer reviews and easy access to product information and pricing, have inevitably infiltrated business buyers’ behaviour.  

Increasingly, buyers are conducting more independent research digitally, seeking out information themselves with increasing reliance on user reviews, rankings, communities, and forums. They are also more sceptical, wanting to see sales claims validated and vetted with customer proof.  

Now that 65% of the workforce are Millennials and Gen-Z – so-called ‘digital natives’ – it is unsurprising that today’s buyers are conducting most of their buying journey anonymously online and, therefore, often defer talking to salespeople. 

With buyers now engaging less with salespeople and far later in the process, how can you ensure your team adapts to support customers in this new reality?  

Transparency is key

The top three things tech buyers say makes them more likely to buy are: 

1. Readily available features and pricing information on their website – 71% 

2. Making demos or free trials available – 70% 

3. Showing customer reviews on the site – 35%1 

To adapt to this new environment, it is essential to get your sales collateral watertight, including your website, landing pages, customer case studies and testimonials. By showing your skills and expertise, you position yourself as a trusted authority through the quality of your content, including backing up your claims with customer proof.  

A big benefit of this more transparent approach is it allows your salespeople to play a more consultative role. Rather than being gatekeepers of basic information, they can support a buyer’s decision-making process with their expert knowledge and help them make sense of all the information they’ve gathered. Buyers are often also more willing to engage earlier if their challenge presents a risk to their organisation, or the challenge is new to them, which is where your sales teams’ expert knowledge is invaluable. 

By being as transparent as possible with your content, providing plenty of social proof and positioning yourself as a trusted expert on-hand for buyers when they need, you can make the most of this new buying environment. 

We can help

Talk to us today about how our Incognate REACH model can support your sales strategy with thought-provoking content and best practice demand generation methodologies. We can help to grow your brand and demand.  

Some of our insights that might interest you