31 May 2023

The Most Frustrating Things for B2B Buyers

Esa-Matti Karine
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B2B buying has become more and more complex. As a seller, your task is to make the purchasing process easy for your customers. According to Harvard Business Review, B2B customers are deeply uncertain and stressed. Frustrated customers operate in an environment where there is almost endless information available for every purchase decision, an increasing number of buying group members are involved in each procurement, and the range of options is constantly expanding.

Gartner has also studied the most frustrating aspects of B2B buying. By delving into these frustrations, we can explore how a digital sales room can help reduce this frustration and improve the likelihood of closing deals.

The Five Most Common Causes of Frustration in B2B Buying:

  1. Difficulty finding specific information
  2. Seller pressure during the learning phase
  3. Too many follow-up contacts
  4. The challenge of making standardized product comparisons
  5. Pressure to progress before the relevance of information is clear

The End of the Broken Telephone Game

The difficulty of finding information has been accentuated by research showing that B2B buying involves, on average, more people. Depending on the study, the average size of buying groups ranges from five to over ten individuals. Sellers often have a good sense of the primary buyer’s information needs and value perception, but the rest of the buying group is often left in the dark, relying solely on communication with the primary buyer.

Furthermore, studies indicate that the shared interaction time between customers and sellers has decreased. As a result, buying groups must independently seek information.

Digital sales rooms address the challenge of finding information by consolidating all relevant and up-to-date information in a customer-friendly way, making it effortless to share with other buying group members. You have likely experienced situations where your primary contact fails to engage the rest of the buying group, resulting in a failed deal. The phenomenon of the broken telephone can be avoided if all buying group members have seamless access to critical information and communication with the seller.

From Pressure to Service

Overall, the three most common frustrations in buying reflect a pushy sales approach. The line between service and pressure is subject to continuous debate in sales:

What constitutes service, and what constitutes pressure?

Through a digital salesroom, sellers gain a better understanding of customer progress, activity, and readiness. For example, when a seller receives notification that a customer has just reviewed a proposal, they can call the customer to provide relevant assistance at that precise moment.

Sellers are also familiar with situations where a customer’s buying process comes to a halt due to competing priorities, deadlines, or personnel changes. It is understandable that a seller actively reaches out to the customer to inquire about progress. However, the customer may perceive this as frustrating or even pressuring.

Although this imbalance in progress and communication cannot be eliminated, a digital sales room allows sellers to receive immediate notifications when a member of the buying group returns to the salesroom and begins to examine the seller’s materials again. This provides an opportunity to reach out to the customer, reigniting the sales project.

Stand Out from Competitors

Digital sales rooms do not directly address the challenge of facilitating comparison with competitors. Still, compared to competitors who communicate in traditional ways, they can help you stand out positively in the eyes of the customer.

Imagine a scenario where three competing sellers send email attachments during the sales process while you offer a tailored salesroom where all documentation and communication are consolidated, complemented by personalized videos supporting your message. This alone is not enough to win the competition, but it sets you apart from your competitors in the eyes of the customer.

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