According to the “THE GROWING BUYER-SELLER GAP” by CSO Insights, 45% of prospects admitted they wanted to evaluate their needs and look for solutions themselves, before contacting any salesperson. The challenge today is that buyers are changing substantially faster and to a greater degree than sales organizations. They’ve rapidly come to expect personalization, transparency, and immediate fulfillment. Meanwhile, sales organizations have been slow to change. Buyers reported that their top objectives were that sellers left with a clear understanding of their needs and that, as buyers, they may have a clear view of how the seller’s solution would help them.
Buyers were twice as likely (61.8%) to say that salespeople meet their expectations rather than exceed them (31.8%). Less than a quarter (23%) of buyers selected salespeople as a top three resource to solve business problems. Also, buyers might not miss their sales representatives if they were to go away. With sellers being viewed as a less valuable resource, buyers are not inclined to engage them early in the buying process when they are working on clarifying their business problems and opportunities.
There is a range of decisions that buyers make along the path to a decision. For example: How big or important is this need? What is the universe of solutions that would potentially meet the need? Do I want to act now? Will this solution work in our specific environment? Can we justify the purchase? Is there a consensus to move to contracting? How will I track my results?
Customers have little tolerance for explaining their business to a salesperson. Buyers appreciate a seller who did all necessary research into their industry needs beforehand and did not ask unnecessary questions. Customer expectation is that every call or meeting be effective, compelling, and concise. Every interaction has to be worth the time. Sellers may focus enough on, and demonstrating enough commitment to: what happens after the sale?.