Well, no, not in my humble opinion, but unless you have been exiled in a cave, somewhere in Outer Mongolia, you will have read the plethora of commentary – some of it bordering on hysteria, I might add – informing us of a dramatic decrease in the importance that buyers place on salespeople.
In fact, it is almost six years ago that I was moved to suggest, “Yes, it is true, customers and prospects are still marching, but they are no longer marching to our drum – by “our” I mean us sellers. They have wrestled the drum away from us and they are now organizing their own marches. They decide if, and when, we are invited to join them – except at the very top end of selling, where it is a very different scenario altogether. The elite top 20% actually help plan the march, whilst the other 80% are lucky if they manage to squeeze into a place along the route.”
Then, we have to take the effect of COVID-19, which has forced us all – both sellers and buyers – to transition to predominantly digital relationships. My personal view is that this was an inevitability and that the pandemic merely accelerated its arrival. The $64K question now is, will we ever return to any form of face-face human interactions or is the dye now cast?
There are so many unanswered questions and such a shortage of updated answers, so the team at SRC (Sandler Research Center) has just launched our latest survey, “What Buyers Want and How Buyers Work”
Essentially, from this significant piece of research, we hope to discover the answers to a number of critical questions, for example …
- How are buyers currently managing their buying cycles?
- How are sellers matching up to their expectations?
- At what point are sellers being invited in?
- How many people are now involved within the DMU? (has this number changed since the arrival of COVID?)
- What criteria is being used to select vendors?
- Are long-term, symbiotic relationships valued?
- Why do buyers terminate relationships with vendors?
- What are the characteristics buyers value in a salesperson?
- How do buyers prefer to communicate with sellers?
- Are salespeople still as relevant in the buying cycle?
- Having been forced to interact digitally with vendors recently, will they return to buying in the manner they did pre-COVID?
Until we have all the answers, I sense that we sellers will be stumbling around in the dark and the disconnect will only become more acute.
I very much hope that you will invest just ten minutes to take part and in return, receive a full set of our reports, including not only the statistics but also our observations, thoughts and recommendations.
NB: This survey has been designed to only capture the views of anyone involved in the process of major purchases.
Please take the survey HERE