This week in THINK & SELL, we take a look at a recent article by Frank V. Cespedes and Tiffani Bova, which appeared in the Harvard Business Review in August 2015 and titled: “What Sellers Need to Know About the New B2B Landscape”. This article attempts to describe the new BtoB trends after the arrival of digital. It focuses on data extracted from research conducted by Gartner. Frank Cespedes is a reader at Harvard Business School. Tiffani Bova is Saudi Arabia Email List Vice President of Research and Analyst at Gartner. The article is based on the principle that until then, buying was seen as the passage from a state of consciousness ( Awareness ) to action.

This goes through the stages of interest ( Interest ) and desire ( Desire ) according to the acronym AIDA ( Awareness – Interest – Desire – Action ). The “suspect” therefore becomes a “prospect” after qualification, and enters a sales tunnel. New Btob trends However, the study conducted by Gartner indicates that buyers do not always use a specific tunnel but rather four different currents: Exploration Evaluation Commitment Experimentation Identification of a need or an opportunity Internet research Interaction with sellers Assessment of options uncovered by exploration Internet research Peer interactions Initiation of contact with the supplier

Use of the solution or product Building an opinion based on experience

According to the authors, the Sale is therefore now based on the current in which the buyer finds himself but above all on the optimal way of interacting with him according to this current ! The article clearly explains that humans are therefore not ready to disappear from BtoB, because in BtoB, a purchase does not happen alone. The acquired product is only a component that is part of a larger system, and the added value is measured for this use and not for the product alone. Thus, we find this graph, taken from data from the Gartner study: new-trends-BtoB Interaction with the supplier is always first on the list, followed by referrals. On this point, digital has brought about a drastic change.

In fact, previously, a prospect asking for references would be quoted with a few names of well-known or even prestigious clients. But today, with the help of the internet, he is able to form an opinion for himself. This opinion is based on opinions left online by other customers or users of the product or solution. But the internet is not where we might have expected it to be. Indeed, social networks are a part of interaction between buyer and seller. Buyers are looking for information that is based on their needs, not generic information. So the mass communication of social selling is not as effective as you might think. New Btob trends through digital Finally, we realize that digital and internet are complementary tools.

However, they do not replace the “traditional” channels of appointments

paper and telephone. This article on new BtoB trends therefore concludes by noting that purchasing has become an extremely dynamic process. In short, the points of contact between brand and customers have multiplied: website, phone, events, lounges, webinars, seminars, and each of these touchpoints has an impact on the buying process. A gap is therefore being created between what buyers expect from sellers and the way in which the sales force is organized. Most of the models in use today are responsive. While customers are asking for a lot of proactivity on the part of their interlocutors. However, there is no silver bullet, no magic ingredient that fixes the problem.


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