Since the advent of the internet the B2C model of selling has transformed. The internet opened the floodgates of access of information and opportunities to reach masses of people. Since that time, consumer behavior has changed. One change that I find particularly peculiar is how early shoppers are making purchasing decisions in a buying decision process.
The B2C industry has adapted to this new reality of free information that allows purchasers to make a purchase decision even before contacting vendors.
I’m convinced that Amazon.com knows me better than my wife. Every time I visit their site, I am confronted with well vetted content and recommendations because they have paid attention to what free information that they have previously given me. This personalized delivery is incredibly efficient.
If you compare how the B2C industry has adapted to this new normal, to the current status of the B2B SaaS industry, there is a startling contrast. Broadly speaking, in the SaaS industry, if a potential buyer wants to purchase a product, they will most likely want to self-educate before engaging with a vendor. In order to do so, they are largely left to sift through libraries of eBooks, white papers, docs, guide books, web pages and videos (see our article on the 3 most common B2B sales leadership mistakes). There is typically no intuitive, self guided method of education. Match that with the incredibly short attention span of website visitors and that’s how you get low engagement. In some instances, for a prospective buyer to learn any amount of significant information, they have to schedule an appointment with a sales representative or even a sales engineer. That is a really big commitment for someone looking to self-educate.
Now, I am not advocating that everything has to be given immediately and up front. Asking your team what objections and questions they get in sales conversations is a good indicator of information that is meaningful to your prospects and what they are looking for. A deliberately curated method of educating prospects, allowing them to qualify themselves in or out, will improve at least three metrics:
- More Qualified Prospects
Prospects are typically trying to make your sales easier by educating themselves. Imagine a world where every sales conversation features a prospect who has already invested their time into learning about your offering….I can almost hear the quarter-end sales charts rushing upward to the right already!
- Alleviate the Sales Engineering Bottleneck
For more complex offerings, a sales engineer is required to deliver technical information and field questions. Sales Engineers are a well trained, expensive and a finite resource. Deploying a sales engineer to deliver information to prospects that haven’t done their homework yet may only get you an increase in your cost-per-acquisition of new clients.
- Get More Leads
A curated experience to allow prospects to self-educate themselves about an offering is guaranteed to lead to more prospects.
Overall, how do you make purchase decisions? It is shorter and much more pleasant when information is freely available.