Are you bombarding your prospects with lots of buyer insights, content and collateral? Of course you are as its part of every sales and marketing engagement.

You believe that you need to give them as much positive information about your proposition as possible, right?  Well maybe it’s not helping.

The purpose of this blog is to share a lesser known idea with you on how you can help your prospects in the deciding and buying process by providing the right content and insights at the right time. But before we get to it let’s put some context around why this idea is such a good one.

According to Gartner your prospects spend an average 17% of the total buying process meeting with the different vendors, depending on how many competitors you face on most deals it probably means that you’re getting very low single figure percentage of their time.

Now the following research statistic is stunning, I now understand why so many opportunities end in no-decision outcomes.

    – 15% of the buying process is spent deconflicting all of the different content they receive from the different vendors

Think about that for a moment, they spend nearly as much time trying to make sense of the information as they spend meeting with all of the vendors through the process.

They generally receive a high quantity of high quality content, so sales and marketing can be congratulated on their material.

But prospects struggle to work out what’s real and what’s relevant, and often they hit analysis paralysis.

Every vendor sounds alike.

They all say they are the biggest, the best, most reliable, fastest, whatever measurement will be important to the prospect. It creates a perception of parity.

The sheer quantity of information is overwhelming and its highly unlikely that much of it will ever be read, watched or used. It’s almost as if the sales teams have said here’s what we’ve got that makes us look good, somewhere in there are some golden nuggets that may actually help you. But it’s up to you to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Then again, this isn’t a surprise as most content is produced to support the selling rather than help in the buying.

Buyer Insights that help

The process of deciding and buying is complex and chaotic and overloading prospects with general buyer insights and information only adds to the difficulty.

If you plan on relying on product differentiation then forget it as its nearly impossible to achieve because everyone appears pretty much the same to the prospect.

Here’s some more Gartner research that presents sales teams with an opportunity:

    – 62% of buyers said they’d prioritize doing business with a company who provide a better buying experience

You’re probably wondering how buyer insights help the buying experience?

Think of the buying process as a series of job and tasks that need to be completed by the buyer committee.

Different people within the committee have different responsibilities through the process and they will need help to complete them.

Help in the form of buyer insights, content and information specific for the job or task at hand.

Not general information, not glossy look how great we are marketing collateral, but insights that elp those responsible at that specific stage.

This may just put a bit of a hurdle in front of you, a pretty high hurdle as well. The vast majority of seller teams have little or no idea what the buyer teams have to do before they buy.

Thankfully I’ve also written a blog that will help you – Know your customers buying process

It’s involves some work but it will be time very well spent and the results will more than justify it.

Mapping Buyer Insights

Once you have a detailed understanding of your customers typical buying process you can source or create the buyer insights that will help them as they move through each phase.

It’s likely that the buying process will be broken down in to many different jobs and tasks, it will be tough to provide relevant and helpful buyer insights for each of them, so focus on the key activities that move the process forward.

It’s important that you understand that buyer insights does not mean lots of information about how you help them and why they should buy from you.

They should be insights that help them in their process.

This could be blogs (like this one :0), whitepapers, research, webinars, ROI tools etc.

This will require a big change of behaviour as sales teams have become accustomed to providing self-serving and dare I say it biased information.

Buyers are not fools, they’ve become conditioned to expect this stereotypical sales tactic.

So, surprise them, focus on differentiating the buying experience, don’t provide buyer insights that just lead back to you.

Be the source of value that helps them manage the complexity and navigate their own buying process.

I’m sure this must sound counter-intuitive, sellers have to help buyers to buy, really?

Last words

As I’ve written in other blogs you need to forget selling and start helping, especially in the current situation.

Help can only be provided from a position of knowledge. If you don’t know what they need to do, as well as have collated relevant insightful information then how can you help them?

Improving the buyer experience is an opportunity to differentiate. Make it happen.

Enabling your buyers is now vital for sales success, so I thought I’d share a Gartner webinar with you Enable your buyers to boost your sales