The buyer and sales rep relationship can swing as much as that of Trump and Kim (Jong-un that is, not Kardashian West). But what exactly do buyers want and expect from vendors?
Sales reps need to add more value
The ‘Growing Buyer-Seller Gap: Results of the 2018 Buyer Preferences Study’ found that sellers still aren’t keeping pace with buyer expectations.
Discussing the research, MediaPost notes that over 70% of B2B buyers fully define their needs on their own before getting in touch with a seller, while nearly half go as far as identifying specific solutions before approaching a vendor.
What’s more, less than a quarter (23%) of buyers see sellers as a top problem-solving resource and just 32% believe sales reps exceed their expectations.
However, it isn’t all SAD!
Nearly two thirds (65%) of buyers feel discussing their needs with salespeople is valuable and 90% of buyers are open to earlier engagement with sellers in the purchase process.
So, what’s a seller to do? Whatever you do, don’t go for the treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen approach. That might have worked for Trump and Kim but vendors need to provide buyers with more value through insights and expertise if they want to build relationships going forward.
Marketing strategy and insight taking a backseat
In order to have a strong foundation for your marketing, you know that you need a solid and up-to-date marketing strategy based on insights, right?… Right?!
According to a new study, companies in the UK are still failing in this area. B2B Marketing reports that a quarter of respondents do not currently have a complete and documented marketing strategy. Additionally, a third have not reviewed their strategy within the last 12 months.
Other findings from the Marketing Pod-commissioned survey include:
- 45% have not predefined metrics to measure marketing success of each channel
- A third are not targeting marketing activity to their priority customer base
- Nearly half aren’t segmenting marketing activities to meet their audience members’ needs
- 40% have not conducted primary customer research in the last year
Are you a martech ‘investor’ or ‘buyer’?
Just as we do with our personal lives, it’s very easy to be blinded by the shiny and exciting new gadgets that profess to help marketing efforts.
But do you carefully consider whether martech will really help your businesses or do you become a kid in a sweet shop and just throw your money at any and everything that comes your way?
To help you understand whether you’re a marketing technology ‘investor’ or ‘buyer’, MarTech Today set out the differing attributes:
- Estimates a measurable return on technology
- Implements a defined and disciplined process to manage the tech life cycle
- Regularly reviews and assesses the health of the tech portfolio
- Develops an implementation and adoption plan
- Focuses on tech that will provide a competitive advantage
- Acquires technology
- Neglects processes in favour of acquiring, adopting, and dumping tech
- Reviews tech requirements only when it comes to working on next year’s budget
- Doesn’t have an adoption plan
- Has a “first to buy” mindset and does not consider ROI or goals
Inefficient martech leading to loss of sales
Marketing technology is supposed to be there to help businesses boost sales and work more efficiently, but that doesn’t always seem to be the case.
According to B2B Marketing, over 60% of marketing respondents told Avanade that their martech is causing them to miss out on significant revenue and sales opportunities.
But, what is causing the problems? Sure, we live in a digital world but martech doesn’t work in the same way as our smartphones and marketing technology is not all created equal. It is perhaps not surprising then that over half of respondents described their martech stack as “not user-friendly”, while even more IT respondents cited a lack of necessary martech training.