In B2B, it can take weeks or even months before the buyer makes his decision. As an innovative company, you often have to deal with an even longer sales cycle because you have to convince a buyer who is not aware that a solution like yours exists and answers to his problem.
Internet has significantly increased the duration of the B2B sales cycle
Internet and social networks have profoundly alter the expectations and behaviors of the B2B buyer . Before this digital tornado, the buyer had to consult your catalogs or contact the companies they knew from near or far to satisfy his needs. From now on, the approach is much more complex as it has become commercial prospection.
The buyer leads a purchase thinking in 3 steps that can drag on for several weeks or months:
- During the first phase, the Awareness phase, the buyer becomes aware that he is facing a problem that he must absolutely solve in order to achieve his objectives.
- In Step 2, the Consideration phase, the buyer identifies potential solutions to solve his problem and compares them.
- To finish with step 3, the Decision phase, the buyer retains the solution he deems best and tries to validate that he makes the right choice before acting.
Throughout this purchasing process, the buyer conducts research on the Internet and consults content to fuel his thinking and make the best decision. The more complex the search, the longer the sales cycle.
To shorten the length of the sales cycle, you must therefore feed the buyer’s thinking and use pedagogy to convince him faster that your innovative solution is the best way to solve his problem and achieve his objectives.
How to attract the attention of the buyer when it does not look for you?
For this, as an innovative company, you must meet a major challenge: attract and retain the attention of a buyer who, at best, does not understand the uses and added value of your innovative solution or worse, n ‘ do not even suspect it exists.
In this situation, there is indeed no chance for the buyer to search for you. So how?
The challenge here is to focus your communication on the Internet around issues facing your prospectand for which your innovative offer is a relevant solution.
The buyer must validate that your innovative solution is relevant
Another element impacting the duration of your sales cycle: the fear of novelty.
Very regularly, we meet innovative companies that manage to generate qualified prospects but find it difficult to convert them into customers for a very simple reason: their prospects have had trouble trusting them by saying that to opt for a innovative offer is to take the risk of planting yourself.
The buyer perceives your offer in a finally human way: he is seduced by your offer but prefers to wait for other companies meeting his problems to trust you. This behavior only lengthens the duration of your sales cycle …
To shorten the sales cycle, you must reassure the buyer by offering adapted content such as case studies, client cases and testimonials.
Shorten the sales cycle, it takes time then?
It happens to me very regularly to lead this reflection with directors and marketers of innovative companies and to face a remark there too very human: “Ok, I understand the stake but I do not have the time to do everything that I want to devote myself to mature prospects “ .
The problem here is that if you are an innovative company, there is very little chance that your prospects are mature. You must bring them to maturity. So how