77% of B2B Buyers Say Making a Purchase is Too Difficult

77% of B2B Buyers Say Making a Purchase is Too Difficult

It’s gratifying to get quantitative evidence that the companies I have the pleasure of working with are taking action to meet the needs of their buyers, and I was inundated with it at the October 2018 Gartner Sales & Marketing Conference.
Gartner’s overarching message was that B2B marketers must move away from a model built on providing more and more content, as they have been under the mistaken assumption that more content equals more sales.  

Here’s why: Customers are overwhelmed with information. The most successful are focused on providing less information that is specifically designed to make buying easier.

The spirit of buyer enablement which, Gartner explains, helps customers understand what steps to take and how to take them along the buying cycle while providing the support they need to move forward.

Purchasing is a Tango, Not a Steady March Forward

Here’s where it gets challenging, however, and I am sure you are all already well aware of this based on your personal experience: The buyer’s journey is more complex than ever before. The buying cycle isn’t a steady march forward. Instead, it’s more like dancing the Argentine tango with multiple partners simultaneously. There can be six to 10 buyers involved in the purchasing decision, with five of them being stakeholders. Each buyer is at different steps in the process, and they often revisit steps when necessary.

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Gartner Presentation, Gartner Sales & Marketing Conference, Brent Adamson, 09 –11 October 2018 / Las Vegas, Nevada

The job of the marketer isn’t to push content at them, but instead, give them what they need precisely when they need it to guide them to the right purchasing decision.

When the purchasing decision is easy, the customer is happier, as indicated in the chart below.  

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Gartner Presentation, Gartner Sales & Marketing Conference, Brent Adamson, 09 –11 October 2018 / Las Vegas, Nevada

77% of B2B Buyers Say Purchasing is Difficult

Unfortunately, that’s not happening. 77% of B2B buyers report high purchase difficulty and 15% is the time spent de-conflicting information.

Savvy marketers and sales leaders are already responding to these issues. Companies with long, complex sales cycles are well aware of the challenges of delivering the right content at the right time. They realize that just producing volumes of content isn’t enough, they need direct, measurable results.

Consider the experience of Tom Flint, Director of Digital Marketing and Communications for Graco. In a recent webinar Flint presented with us, he outlined the challenges of providing a continuous flow of relevant content, both online and off, across a worldwide distribution network of dealers selling to markets ranging from industrial to process equipment to contractors. While most buyers discover Graco online, the conversation eventually goes offline. For instance, a field sales rep could very well make a closing presentation where there’s no internet service, like at a mining operation in Botswana.

“At the end of the day, (the prospect) ends up dealing with one of our channel partners to configure our products and close the deal,” Flint explains. “So, driving that handshake and that consistency between our offline, online, multi-channel, and omni-channel experiences is really important.”

How Graco is Responding

Graco achieves this with their Graco Salesbook, which is essentially buyer-enablement software that ensures buyers get the content they need from every channel, including their sales professional. So, that buyer's receive the information they require when it's needed – and marketing attains the highest return on content investment through the last mile of the supply chain.
Not surprisingly Graco’s excellent reputation for providing them the information they need when they need it has differentiated them from the competition.

“The content drives the customer experience,” says Flint.

Hear Flint’s entire story and find out how Graco, Toro, and Caterpillar are already addressing the challenges Gartner has uncovered in this free webinar that you can watch on-demand.


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