The New Buyer Journey: It Starts Without You and Continues Beyond the Sale

By: Alexander Group International, Revenue Growth Strategy, Sales Strategy

Highlights from Alexander Group’s European Growth Summit

There is a growing body of research pointing to a fundamental shift in B2B buying behavior which is forcing sales organizations to adapt their go-to-customer sales models.

  • 94%  of B2B Customers have gone digital–researching online before making a decision1
  • 84%  of C-level/VPs engage peers and friends using social media to support purchase decisions2
  • 70%  of B2B buyers watch online videos as part of the path to purchase3
  • 80%  of new IT investments directly involve LOB buyers4
  • 70%  of buyer decisions are influenced by how buyers are treated5

The fundamental shift in B2B buying behavior is forcing change for sales organizations across industries and geographies. The customer experience is more digital, starts sooner, continues well after the sale and involves far more influencers both inside and outside the company. With the exception of some highly complex and innovative solutions, the traditional sales model that relies on a core seller as the primary educator and influencer in the sales process no longer works. Sales leaders must evaluate their investments, and allocate more to pre- and post-sale resources and activities.

Alexander Group recently hosted our third European Growth Summit in London with senior EMEA revenue leaders. The Summit attendees all agreed, revenue leaders must proactively adapt their sales models to new buyer behaviors. While go-to-customer strategies differ from one company to the next, the actions revenue leaders can take are largely the same:

  1. Form a cross-functional customer first team – Where does this responsibility fall in your company today?
  2. Determine your ideal customer profile – How well is this defined and understood in your company?
  3. Develop value messaging – Is your marketing collateral focused on product, or on customer value?
  4. Design your go-to-customer coverage model – How well does your current sales model map to your buyer behavior?
  5. Assess and re-allocate your current sales investments – How well do your sales investments align to the new buyer journey?
  6. Align territories, targets and sales compensation – Are your territory, quota and sales compensation programs working?
  7. Develop a transition strategy – Are you ready or will you get left behind?

Revenue leaders who adapt their sales models to fit the new go-to-customer mandate and align their resources to serve their customers better will uncover new ways to unlock revenue. Alexander Group is here to help.

For more detail on how you can adapt your sales model to address the new go-to-customer mandate, download the complete whitepaper.

Learn more about Alexander Group’s EMEA practice.

Contact a consultant.

Original author: Paul Vinogradov
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References:
12014 State of B2B Procurement study from the Acquity Group
2Social Buying Meets Social Selling, Kathleen Schaub, April 2015
3Google/Millward Brown Digital, “B2B Path to Purchase Study,” 2014
4Frost & Sullivan
5Frederick Reichheld

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