For much of the twentieth century, professional salespeople played an integral role in B2B marketing. They did far more than answer questions about specs, price and delivery. They represented the company whose products they sold. They stood for the brand. They had clout. They could get things done; right the wrongs and fight for you, the customer.
In the new millennium, it is well accepted that online marketers such as Amazon have severely impacted major retail categories such as books, clothing and personal computers. Yet, the effect it has on B2B procurement is less understood. In March 2018, Harvard Business Review published a story titled “How Digital Natives Are Changing B2B Purchasing.” Written by Eric Almquist, a partner with Baine & Company. Based in part on a B2B market research by Merit, it was found that 73% of 20 – 35-year-olds are involved in product or service purchase decision making at their companies. And one-third report that they are the sole decision-maker for their department. This group of digital natives, who grew up with the internet and smart phones are now increasingly responsible for B2B procurement, and they are much more likely to shop online. Most important, over 60% do not want to speak with a salesperson. Period.
So, is the role of the professional salesman dead in B2B?
Not yet! In a 2019 report of 1,000 leaders in procurement and purchasing from PROS and Hanover Research, four key trends in today's B2B buyer expectations were identified:
- When the product or service is complex or special pricing is offered, 61% of business-to-business buyers prefer to communicate with sales representatives instead of using self-service tools;
- 58% of respondents said they'd rather engage with a person about specific terms;
- 52% would choose a salesperson instead of self-service tools to learn about new products;
- 48% would pay 5% more if they received instant information on pricing.
If you are interested in learning more about current trends in B2B procurement and how to overtake your competitors, I will cover more on this at a Masterclass session I am presenting on behalf of ANA at the B2B Expo at the LA Convention Center on October 2, 2019 at 11am. Registered attendance for the B2B Expo is already at 10,000, so register today for free at B2B Marketing Expo. To register for my class at the B2B Expo go to ANA Masterclass Registration.
Please feel free to reach me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or 949-376-8404.
Client Spotlight: Laguna Beach Books
An independent bookstore, Laguna Beach Books overflows with charm and unique selections. The staff are known for their handwritten book reviews and personalized recommendations. Local and National authors alike have spent pleasant afternoons discussing their work with friends, family, and fellow book enthusiasts. This month Laguna Beach Books will host Author Events for Kaira Rouda, author of The Favorite Daughter, Patty Seyburn, author of Threshold Delivery, and Bruce Holsinger, author of The Gifted School. To learn more about the authors or RSVP for an event, please visit lagunabeachbooks.com
Team Member Spotlight: Jason Hayford
Jason is in his final year at California State University, Long Beach where he studies Business Marketing and develops his web design and graphic art skills. Jason's hobbies include hanging out at the beach with friends and frequenting the movies. Jason is excited to learn the ropes of a marketing agency and looks to improve his branding and creative service knowledge.