Survey says that we want to do it all by ourselves.
A recent study by McKinsey & Company looked at B2B sales trends. You know, a real beach read. One of the biggest trends they identified is a desire for self-service options along the B2B buyer’s journey.
This stat jumped out: The survey found a 90% increase in preference for self-service in the Research phase of the buyer’s journey between 2016 and 2019. In the Evaluate phase, they found a 120% increase. In other words, early stage buyers don’t want to talk to your salespeople — yet.
As a millennial, this stat resonated. (Remember, millennials are no longer fresh college grads. We’re in our 30s and well on our way up the corporate ladder.) When I’m a B2B prospect, I don’t want to talk to someone on the phone early in my buyer’s journey. I want to do as much research as I can online first. Once I have my short list of options, then I’m ready to talk.
What does this mean for B2B businesses and their marketing teams? It means you need to evaluate your customer experience with the self-service prospect in mind. Can someone research and evaluate your offering without talking to a salesperson? And is that experience enjoyable?
Note that this McKinsey study was conducted before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the economy. This shift towards virtual and self-service buying will be expedited in this world without in-person meetings or conferences.
So what can you do as a B2B business to meet your prospects where they are in this self-service landscape?