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B2B Sales in the Digital Age: Meeting the Demands of Today's Buyer

 min read
B2B Sales in the Digital Age: Meeting the Demands of Today's Buyer

The Current State of B2B Buying

Embarking on a B2B buying journey should feel like stepping into a world of possibilities, where the best solutions await discovery. Imagine being a buyer, excited to explore a new product that could revolutionize your business. You click on the “Book A Demo” button, anticipating an immersive experience. Instead, you're met with a form. The excitement fades, replaced by frustration. This is the reality for 75% of B2B buyers today, as highlighted by a Gartner study.

What's causing this change? A big reason is millennials. They now make 73% of the big buying decisions for companies. And they want the B2B buying experience to match what they’re used to in the B2C world. They prefer to independently evaluate products and gather information before even considering a conversation with sales representatives.

Businesses need to change how they sell to match what these buyers want.

The Challenges with Traditional B2B Sales

Gartner surveyed 1,503 respondents from organizations with an annual revenue of at least $50 million or equivalent from Western Europe, North America and Asia/Pacific.

So, what did Gartner find out? They found that 60% of people who are in charge of buying technology for their companies are not happy with what they buy. Not only are they unhappy, they actually regret most of their purchases. That's more than half of the buyers! This dissatisfaction raises the question: what exactly are these buyers looking for in their purchasing journey?

Why is this happening? Well, it turns out that buyers like to do their own research. They want to look at products, compare them, and make up their own minds. They don't want a salesperson to keep talking to them and trying to sell them something. 

95% of these buyers said they would rather buy stuff without talking to a salesperson at all. They even want to look at product demos on their own, without someone from the company guiding them through it.

So, why do buyers prefer this approach? Here are a few reasons:

  • No Pressure: When they explore a product on their own, there's no one pushing them to buy immediately.

  • Own Pace: Everyone is different. Some need more time to understand a product, and this method lets them go at their own speed.

  • Easy Comparison: It's simpler for them to look at different products and decide which one suits them best.

  • Convenience: They can check out products whenever they want, even outside of regular business hours.

For companies that are trying to sell things, this is really important to understand. The old way of selling just isn't working anymore. Companies need to change how they sell things. They should allow buyers to explore products independently. This way, they show that they understand what buyers want and make it easy for them to buy.

The Problem with Current Demo Offerings

In today's digital age, we've grown accustomed to instant results. With a single click, we can open a bank account, purchase plane tickets, or start watching a movie. Yet, there's one glaring exception that seems almost ridiculous in comparison: the "Book A Demo" button. A whopping 61.3% of respondents in the Global Software Sales Process Survey Report 2023 said they have a “Book A Demo” button on their website. But this button doesn’t actually do what it says.

  • Misleading "Book A Demo" CTA: It's almost comical. You click a button expecting to see a product demo, but instead, you’re just filling up a Contact Me form. You have to wait days or even a week before you can view the demo.

  • Unnecessary Calls: After all that waiting, you don't always get the demo. You're often scheduled for a "discovery call” instead. It feels like a bait-and-switch. You wanted a demo, not a chat.

  • Lack of Flexibility: Most demos are locked into standard business hours. But what if you're a night owl or an early riser? The current system doesn't cater to your schedule.

In a world where we expect immediacy, the traditional demo process feels outdated and frustrating. Buyers want a seamless experience, and it's high time businesses deliver on that expectation.

The Solution: Interactive Demos

We've identified the problems with traditional demo offerings. Now, let's talk about the solution that aligns with today's digital expectations: Interactive Demos.

  • Instant Access: Just like streaming a movie or downloading an app, interactive demos offer immediate access. Click a button, and you're in. No waiting, no callbacks. It's the experience today's users expect.

  • Self-Guided Exploration: With interactive demos, buyers can explore features at their own pace. They can dive deep into areas of interest and skip what's not relevant. It's all about giving control back to the user.

  • Available 24/7: Whether it's late at night or early in the morning, interactive demos are always available. This flexibility ensures that buyers can engage with the product whenever it's convenient for them.

  • Feedback and Analytics: For businesses, interactive demos offer valuable insights. They can see which features users engage with most, where they spend the most time, and where they drop off. This data can inform product improvements and sales strategies.


Conclusion: Changing the Way We Sell

The world of B2B buying is undergoing a significant transformation. Buyers today, especially the millennial decision-makers, are clear about what they want: a seamless, pressure-free, and self-guided buying experience. The traditional sales methods, with their lengthy wait times and misleading CTAs, are becoming relics of the past. They no longer resonate with the modern buyer's expectations.

The "Book A Demo" button, a symbol of outdated sales tactics, stands out as a glaring example of this disconnect. In an age where instant gratification is the norm, making buyers wait or redirecting them to discovery calls is a misstep that businesses can ill afford.

But there's good news. New tools, like instant demos, are making things better. These demos let buyers look at products whenever they want and go at their own pace. For businesses, these tools also give helpful analytics on what buyers like.

The shift in the B2B buying landscape is not just a challenge but an opportunity. An opportunity for businesses to align with the evolving preferences of their buyers; to innovate, and to set new standards in customer satisfaction. Those who adapt will not only survive but thrive in this new era of B2B sales.


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