Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Are you ready for even more decision makers per deal in 2014?

Research indicates that there are now over 8 people involved in the average B2B purchase decision.
On average, the buying teams have expanded by an additional person in each of the past two years, a 43% increase compared to three years ago according to the latest 2013 IDC Buyer’s Experience Survey.
And as purchases get larger, even more people become involved in the decision. The research says that for proposals above $500k, there are over 10 stakeholders scrutinizing the decision.
And it’s not only the increase in people involved that is driving complexity. The diversity of interests in those involved has increased dramatically as well. 
As we survey our customers, we find that content marketing and sales conversations need to connect, engage and sell to a wider range of interests, each with unique challenges and perception as to the value your solution can provide.
  • For business services, you not only have to appeal to the business leader, but provide a solid business case to the CFO and defend pricing to procurement.
  • If you sell healthcare solutions, you not only have to influence practitioners with the technical merits of your solution, but also have to clearly communicate your bottom-line value to administrators and operations.
  • If you are in technology sales, IDC reports that over 61% of all spend is now funded by business buyers, as well as gated by finance, so you have to communicate and quantify your value to the business as well as deliver CFO-ready business cases to gain approval.

With more buyers involved, deals are indeed more complex. Technical, financial and business roles all are participating actively, and all have different Points of Value - their perspective of the challenges and pain, the impact of the proposed solutions, and the value derived.

As you look to 2014, we suggest injecting some critical questions in your planning content marketing and sales tool process:
  • Is your marketing content designed to deliver the relevant insights and value for each stakeholder?
  • What about the ability for your sales reps and channel partners to have relevant value conversations with each stakeholder,
  • Does sales arm the customer’s champion to communicate the relevant value internally and with a business case for CFO / procurement approval (as you likely won’t get an audience with all stakeholders)?

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