We’ve known for at least a decade that buyers complete the majority of their research prior to reaching out to vendors. In June 2023, 6sense did a study on ~1k groups who were involved in a $10k+ purchase. Below are the findings from their research.
But first, here are my actionable insights:
- Quality content is [still] important to capture attention, educate, and build trust through the entire buyer journey, especially the front 0-70%. This could be educational content created by the marketing organization or content created by existing customers like product reviews.
- How fast you respond to a buyer is critical. You want to be the first interaction, otherwise you’re choosing a 16% chance of winning.
- It’s effective for salespeople to function as buyer guides (not “sellers”) through the final 30% of the buyer’s journey.
- Asking buyers “are you speaking with other vendors?” can tell you what your odds of winning are, and more importantly it can give you intel on how to be a better guide through the remaining 30% of their journey.
- Maintain a mindset of “unbiased helpfulness” rather than “sell my product”.
- Account-based marketing and team selling can help you and the customer manage the large amount of information in a buying process.
And now for the research data that informed the above takeaways:
- Buyers first interact with a vendor 70% through their buying journey
- Buying groups were an average of 10 people
- Each person had 16 interactions with each vendor
- 4 vendors were evaluated on average
- 10 people * 4 vendors * 16 interactions each = 640 interactions in the journey
- When more vendors are added, more people are added to the buying group to help manage the vendor interactions and decision-making
- Buyers initiate contact with vendors 83% of the time
- Whichever vendor has the first contact wins 84% of the time
- When a buyer gets in touch with your organization, you either have 84% odds of winning or 16% odds of winning
- Therefore, respond quickly to get the 84% chance of winning
- Buyers have already set their requirements 78% of the time prior to interacting with a vendor
Keep in mind: buyers are in control, and the sales process is the beginning of the end of the buying process.
To win, have a service-oriented mindset no matter which department you’re in, share valuable content, and be extremely responsive.