According to a DemandGen Report whitepaper only three out of 100 B2B sales resulted from cold-calling. This impacts on how we choose our sales training providers and how seriously we take content marketing, Internet marketing and Social Media marketing.
The BtoB Transformation Survey includes feedback from 103 respondents who were “involved in the purchase of a business solution or system within the past 12 months.” I’m not sure if this is a big enough sample to make a case (researchers out there, is it?).
However, it does give us pause to consider whether our sales and marketing strategies have hit the sweet spot or are way off base. To my mind it means that the sales and marketing departments need to stop their petty squabbling and jostling for top spot and start working together as a cohesive unit. The sales and marketing strategy needs to become a single, focused, living and breathing force that needs to take into account that the B2B buyer behaviour has changed. This means that as suppliers, we need to change our behaviour and the way we do business in the 21st Century.
According to the survey, the following led to the other 97% of sales. Download survey.
- 33% called provider directly
- 10% chatted with providers on their website via live chat
- 53% of sales came from the provider contacting me after I asked for further information from their website
If this survey is to be believed, it means that the new reality is that the buyer is totally in control. In short, the sale is made before the prospect contacts the company.
I’m not sure that many B2B or B2C companies are geared up to handle this reality.
Google calls this before-the-sale process the “Zero Moment of Truth”.
This means that marketers have to raise their game and ensure that every avenue is covered with relevant information that the prospect needs. Thus, those companies without a well thought-out and crafted content marketing strategy will be sucking on the hind teat whilst their more clued up competitors will streak ahead.