Google and the Marketing Automation industry (and many online marketers) have been pushing a “truth” for quite a while. We have seen quotes like “57% of the purchase decision is complete before a customer calls a supplier”. This might be true for the B2C world or the transactional B2B world.
However, in the world of large B2B deals this is not true. At Vendemore we have always worked entirely with companies doing very complex B2B deals. Our customers have always “huffed and puffed” about how true these quotes are even if they all agree that a growing part of the buying journey is made online. At Sirius Decisions’ annual summit in London “SiriusDecisions 2015 Summit Europe” I saw research debunking the myth about the 57%. In a complex buying journey the Internet and the sales person takes turn at interacting with the buyer. See below.
I just bought a car and the funny thing was that I even recognised the pattern above going through my own buying journey. My car purchase obviously isn’t a complex B2B buying journey. Maybe we all need to question the 57%?
Our typical clients have long sales cycles, many stakeholders (most of the time 20+) and high order values. Many of the companies in the world doing the largest deals are our clients. In a complex B2B buyers journey we need to add yet another perspective to the one above. There are three groups of stakeholders in the buyer’s organisation:
1. The people the sales team meets
2. The people formally involved in the decision process but who never meet the sales team
3. The influencers who are not a part of the real decision making but who can sway the end result through corridor talks, sitting in on meetings and standing by the water cooler
Is it fair to say that the 57% might apply to B2C and to a transactional B2B world but not to complex B2B buying?
Founder and Head of Vendemore