I recently read an article where McKinsey & Company shared that, in addition to the vast amount of information online, the sales experience is still a major factor in a B2B purchase decision. Much of what has been written about the importance of customer experience focuses on the consumer scenario. However, as the title states, B2B sales come down to people buying from people. There has to be trust developed between buyer and seller for that purchase to happen.
Clearly, the B2B sale is typically much more complex. For most sales, there is a buying committee involved including users of the product, line of business executives, financial managers, often IT management and sometimes the CEO. All of this leads to complexity in creating that trust. However, each of these individuals will likely have multiple contacts with your company or information about your company. These contacts will include your sales team; executives, multiple websites (company, competitors, media and analysts), blogs, online reviews, reference calls with customers and the list goes on. The net result is that trust is built when the B2B buying team sees consistency and the ability to meet their needs across these contact points.
I’m going to assume your product works and can perform. Those are table stakes. The difference comes in your ability to convince the customer that you care about them and they will have a great experience working with your company…from sales through support and billing through account management.
Making a big B2B buying decision can be complex, arduous and emotional. When there are multiple products that will do what you need (which is often the case), then you are going to base the ultimate decision on which company you want to work with. That will be the one that you trust as a result of the great experience delivered to the buying team when they interacted with you and others about your brand – company image, products, services and people.
How do you make a differentiated customer experience in selling software?