In the past 10 years, we have seen a shift in how B2B buying decisions happen, who the decision makers are in the process, and where these decision makers are getting their information.
From information scarcity to information abundance
In the old world of information scarcity, organizations adopted a linear path. Marketers found the names of potential buyers early on in their buying process and then passed those names directly to sales. Buyers expected to be educated by the sales team, and sales expected to speak to prospects still in their early stages and hence uneducated about the product/solution.
With the massive adoption of the Internet, we’ve left the world of information scarcity behind, and entered one of information abundance.
In fact, according to Google chairman Eric Schmidt, “Every 2 days, we create as much information as we created from the dawn of human civilization till 2003.”
These days, buyers are more empowered than ever before. They are much more comfortable doing research on their own and coming to a conclusion on who they want to do business with based on their research.
As a result, the B2B buying process is no more a linear path. Instead, it is more like a spiderweb of social influence and research channels thereby making it more costly and complex than ever before.
What does it mean for the businesses
This makes your digital presence more important than ever. Both decision makers and influencers are now most likely to find you — before you find them.
According to Forrester, buyers might be anywhere from two-thirds to 90% of the way through their buying journey before they contact the vendor, making it difficult for sales to influence the buyer’s decisions
As a result, cold calling and traditional marketing strategies are not as effective in our digital world. Buyers can now delay talking to sales until they are experts themselves. This change in the path has drastically affected the sales process.
According to a research by Hubspot, 90% of B2B decision makers don’t respond to cold sales outreach and only 1% of cold calls convert into appointments
This highlights the importance for you to find new ways to reach your audiences through a variety of methods and to be in every place that the audience is searching for a solution.
It’s time for you to not just dip your toes into the digital world, but to dive in and embrace a digitally-driven marketing strategy that is in sync with the changes in your buyers’ behavior.
How are you planning to engage with your prospects on digital platforms? Please comment below