Google Has Changed B2B Buying Behaviors
Working in sales and marketing over the past 20 years has taught me a lot about how quickly things can change. Time is short, stakes are high, competition is fierce – and technology is ever-changing.
Today’s buyers are a different breed. They get younger and younger – the touted Millennials are influencing the business landscape and making us look differently at how we sell. Their behavior is completely different from what we have been used to. Instead of waiting to be served, they want to do it themselves. They want to conduct research about the product or service before they engage and, for the most part, actively try to avoid talking to a salesperson! If you’ve tried to make a traditional cold call lately, you know what I mean.
All that said, we can’t eliminate people from the sales process entirely. In fact, people are still an integral part of the process, just not in the traditional manner. Those conversations we used to have person to person, have now moved to the digital landscape. Today, your business and your ability to provide your stated product or service is being judged by how trustworthy you appear. And it’s not just about trust in the sense of doing what you say you will, it’s about trust in the form of what you’re going to do to build and foster a relationship.
Build Trust and Relationships in the Digital World
Trust comes from positioning yourself, your company, and your stakeholders as thought leaders and industry experts that provide real value to their customers. An engaging, responsive website is your opportunity to drive that message, share your solution to someone’s problem and really start building that relationship from the ground up. But, with today’s buyers starting their search online, most often from their smartphone or tablet, you won’t have that opportunity unless you are searchable. Take a look at these statistics:
- 48% of consumers start mobile research with a search engine. (Smart Insights, 2016)
- More Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the U.S. and Japan. (Google, 2015)
- 71% of B2B researchers start their research with a generic search. (Google, 2015)
No matter what industry you’re in, your business must shift and stay agile in the face of this new buyer ecosystem, or risk losing new customers. The whole world is your competition now and the traditional sales model of hand to hand combat is no longer sufficient.
We faced a similar issue at Rand Group a few years ago, when our referral network was healthy but our sales team was struggling with not enough leads. After acquiring a digital marketing team, we invested in a website that was developed to effectively drive and capture inbound leads. Our marketing team implemented a content strategy that immediately led prospects to the technologies we were promoting and gave them a good reason to not only exchange their information, but also to speak with us. The result of this was a 7,900% increase in leads in 3 months. Amazing, right? We have since continued to generate consistent lead volume by investing and managing our digital assets. Your website can and should be the main source of all your qualified leads. Dive into our results further.
Listen to Your Buyers Needs
Adapting to this new world of order means your new focus should be on lead generation and search engine optimization (SEO). Much like us at Rand Group, you need to transition and focus on building your online brand, being found by the search engines for the correct terms to drive leads, and enabling your business to capture those leads by creating valuable content people will exchange information for. We can no longer ignore that buyers are a difference breed from what we once knew. Contact our team to learn more about transforming your website into a lead generation machine.