Blog

What do buyers really want?

We have looked at a number of topics recently, including choosing the right channels to reach your audience, the benefits of an outsource option and how to refine your growth strategy in a post-COVID world.

These discussions have been very much from the supplier’s perspective. However, our buyers don’t see the world in terms of our resourcing challenges, our sales process or the channels we invest in. They really don’t think too much about ‘channel choice’ and they certainly don’t need to know or feel the impact of where they sit in our growth strategy.

As B2B sales and marketing professionals, we must not lose sight of what makes for a positive buyer experience and what is important to our prospects as they undertake their purchase journey with us.

So, taking a new lens, let’s break down in the simplest of terms what our buyers actually want:
 

A seller that is clear and consistent

If they are engaging across multiple channels and touchpoints, the buyer wants a seamless experience and information parity. They’d like to find you on their preferred channels, engage with you easily and obtain accurate and comprehensive information. Irrespective of channel, they need to feel that they are dealing with one company, one brand and a single voice.

If your website copy sparks their interest and they send an information request, whatever they receive needs to be consistent with what they have already read. Similarly, if they follow your brand on social media, or chat with one of your staff (or a bot), this must reinforce the message, rather than confuse or conflict. Mixed signals or contradictory messages create mistrust and uncertainty.
 

A seller that listens and understands

Now, hopefully, they’ll have been able to gather some comprehensive materials through their online research and have a broad understanding of what products and services you offer. At this stage they need to get into more detail to confirm that you are the right fit. They’ll probably want to connect with a real human with the capacity to understand their needs and the emotional intelligence to appreciate the pain points and challenges they face.

If they don’t trust that you’ve ‘got it’, they won’t feel secure when you start to explain how your solution can help. At this stage, therefore, all you need to do is to listen carefully to understand; don’t start ‘pitching’ before you do. They need to see and feel you actively listening and making a genuine effort to understand their challenges and issues.
 

A seller that is insightful

Having listened to their needs and built their trust, your buyer now wants you to guide them and extend the confidence they have in you, to the solution that you offer. In simple terms, they need to believe that your solution can meet their specific needs. So, rather than additional layers of information that risk complicating and confusing, they need real insight into the key features and benefits that address their requirements.

This is a critical stage in the relationship where you have the opportunity to build trust and guide them on their path with accurate, reliable insight, or alienate them with a one-sided generic pitch they pays no heed to what they have said so far.
 

A seller that is reliable and trustworthy

Hopefully, they will now feel confident that your solution is the right fit but this doesn’t necessarily mean they are ready to buy. With increased uncertainty in the world, this may still feel like a leap of faith and they may need more reassurance. They’ll want to know they are dealing with a trustworthy, empathetic brand that will stand by them when times are tough and will be judging that based on all of their interactions with you. For example,

  • Is what you say on the website consistent with the brochure they receive?

  • Was the price and terms in the quote issued consistent with what they were told verbally?

  • Did your representative follow up as agreed, action the tasks assigned to them and provide any outstanding information?

  • Having claimed deep experience in their sector, were you able to introduce them to other companies in the same line of business?

Simple things but, all of these contribute to the buyer’s view of you as a trustworthy brand they feel comfortable doing business with. Even if your solution is a better fit than that of your competitor, the deciding factor may be overall confidence in the brand.
 

A seller that cares

Irrespective of where your buyer sits in the food chain, they need to feel valued and cared for. If small businesses feel neglected, limited to interacting with bots or shunted to a list of online FAQs, the value you place on their business will be clear. This is okay until further down the line that individual holds a senior position with a large organisation and they remember the poor experience they had. Of course some customers have more potential value, but your CX design shouldn’t let them know that.

Also, once the contract is signed, your buyer doesn’t want to see your behaviour change, leaving them to fend for themselves as soon as the deal is done. If you want to lay foundations for long term profitability and low rates of churn, this is the very point your buyer needs to feel secure and cared for. A warm welcome and carefully tailored on boarding programme will help them realise the benefits you have described. Get that right and before long they’ll be turning to you as a trusted partner, keen to know how else you can support them.

When you break it down, what buyers want is fairly straightforward but, with fragmented systems, resources and channels, an exceptional, seamless customer experience isn’t always easy to achieve.

Since 1990, we have helped hundreds of clients build customer-centric sales strategies, extending their resources, helping align their teams and providing high-value insight that improves the quality of buyer engagement and increases conversion. If you would like to discuss how we can help you convert your prospects into sustainable, profitable customer relationships, get in touch today.

Related articles

The hybrid model: a work in progress

The hybrid model: a work in progress

Thursday, September 16, 2021
Find out more
Designing a digital marketing strategy

Designing a digital marketing strategy

Thursday, September 9, 2021
Find out more
Are generational categories dictating your communications strategy?

Are generational categories dictating your communications strategy?

Friday, August 27, 2021
Find out more
8 tips for sustainable lead generation

8 tips for sustainable lead generation

Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Find out more

Our full range of telephone services

Data Services

High quality, profiled data

Data Cleansing
Data Cleansing
Clean, up-to-date data delivers better quality leads and boosts sales
Read more
Data Enrichment
Data Enrichment
Data enrichment enables you to connect better with your target audience
Read more
Email Opt-ins: GDPR
Email Opt-ins: GDPR
Do you have a clean, compliant, opted-in database?
Read more

Pre Sales Research

Actionable insight to inform your sales and marketing strategy

Pre Sales Research
Pre Sales Research
Arm your sales and marketing teams with clear customer intelligence and accurate data.
Read more

Telemarketing

Want more opportunities to drive revenue?

Lead Generation
Lead Generation
High-quality lead generation at every stage of the customer journey
Read more
Call Handling
Call Handling
We can provide your customers with an expert, personalised service - making every interaction count
Read more
Appointment Setting
Appointment Setting
Successful appointment setting requires meaningful human interaction with senior decision makers
Read more
Lead Management
Lead Management
Improve lead flow, quality and conversion
Read more
Event Marketing
Event Marketing
Engage high value attendees and drive registrations
Read more
Lead Qualification / Nurture
Lead Qualification / Nurture
Move leads through the funnel more strategically with our expert lead qualification and lead nurturing services
Read more

Sales

Results drive, expert sales

Telesales / Inside Sales
Telesales / Inside Sales
Flexible, high performance transactional telesales and complex inside sales services.
Read more
Account Based Marketing
Account Based Marketing
Increase profitability, reverse churn and increase customer lifetime value.
Read more

Post Sales Research

Is your customer intelligence keeping pace with your business goals?

Welcome Calls
Welcome Calls
An effective welcome call helps to create a foundation for a lasting relationship.
Read more
Customer Satisfaction
Customer Satisfaction
Gain a more nuanced view of your customers’ experiences through phone-based surveys.
Read more
Treating Customers Fairly / Compliance
Treating Customers Fairly / Compliance
An FCA authorised and regulated business, our expert team can help you meet your TCF compliance needs.
Read more