I’ve read too much bullshit about buyers recently – who they are, what they like, how they buy. While profiling a specific buyer or team can be helpful, a lot of this generalisation… well, isn’t.
One thing that’s bugging me is this 57% stat that’s been floating around for a few years – the idea that buyers are 57% through their buying process before they engage with a sales person. As a result of engaging later, personalities peddling this stat say, buyers will have already done all their vendor/product/marketplace research and are coming in with a full understanding of your offering and their requirements.
I’m not buying it.
Firstly, averages and generalisations are next to useless when you’re dealing with specific cases. Maybe your buyer will be 57% through their buying process. Almost definitely not though.
They might be 3% through their buying process. They might be much, much further on.
If the 57% stat is useless in specific instances, so is assuming a buyer has done masses of research. Information on your product, service and organisation might be more available than it used to be, but how many decision makers do you know with the time or inclination to sit and sift that information?
Lots of buyers will have skimmed online or a report they’ve asked for in-house covering your offering and capabilities… so they’ll need a sales person to come in and talk them through the finer points of differentiation between you and a competitor.
That 57% stat is a waste of time. Even in the very rare cases where it’s more or less true it just underlines the buyer’s need for help mid-late funnel from sales people properly equipped to socialize and share your value.
Let me know if you think I’ve got this one wrong.
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– Tom @WSL