If you’ve been holding off on B2B e-commerce because you firmly believe that people only want to buy from people, well then we applaud your efforts.
For sure, people want to do business with people that they know and like – but when it comes down to placing firm orders, here’s what we now know:
“59% of B2B buyers and sellers prefer not to interact with a sales rep and 74% find buying from a website more convenient.”* —Forrester
The tide has turned, and it is now overwhelmingly proven that B2B buyers like the autonomy and flexibility of buying from a website.
Actually, no. However, they have a very different function to their previous sales jobs. We’d suggest they are now more “relationship managers” than sales people.
- More about the people, the relationships, than the sales figures
- Not an easy job to measure, this is about emotional intelligence now
- Strengths based management/recruitment rather than hard-target driven management
- Think: “coaching not managing”
- Measure strengths by customer satisfaction – or better still “raving fans”.
You see – customers really do still want to do business with people. But they want to flexibility to select and buy the products from a website.
Liberating your sales people from target-driven churn, and inspiring them with “being the best relationship builder” can help you make the best of both worlds. Gain that 59%, and retain the 41%.