Buying decisions during COVID-19 have shifted and will continue to do so. B2B sellers who quickly recognize and adapt to these changes will fare best through this crisis. “B2B buyers and prospect audiences have already enacted significant changes to their daily operations and functions, which means B2B companies must shift in kind to mirror their new normal,” explains Christa Tuttle for Business 2 Community. She walks sellers through just a few ways that B2B buyers have shifted buying and expectations in just the past month.
Buying decisions during COVID-19: What has changed
Shift to online. In-person communications are not part of most of our realities right now. For salespeople, you need to migrate to the internet to keep business going; your customers still want to connect. Buying decisions during COVID-19 now will be heavily influenced by online communications. “The internet certainly isn’t new, but most people are accustomed to a blend of in-person meetings and independent work throughout the day,” Tuttle explains. “Connecting on platforms like Zoom, once reserved for dispersed teams, is now ubiquitous.” Additionally, this is carrying over to all types of devices, not just laptops.
You need to refine your process so that your customer and prospects’ experiences are seamless across a variety of devices to align with buying decisions during COVID-19. B2B sellers are encouraged to, despite this emphasis on online, keep the focus on building relationships. Rather than pressure to purchase, “remove points of friction throughout the digital experience” and nurture relationships with the right information at the right time. Tuttle shares some things to consider to optimize those digital experiences (even if you aren’t used to online interactions):
- How can your website and online experiences be more intuitive and complimentary for buyers and their needs? For prospects?
- What are the differences across your mobile and desktop experiences? Where can improvements be made in each path?
- How accessible are your digital resources (blogs, whitepapers, etc.) and to what extent do these assets reflect current customer pain points?
It is a dramatic shift in how we all work. And, it’s happening now.
This is just one of the many ways B2B sellers need to adapt to meet changing buying decisions during COVID-19. Tuttle’s article is a fantastic guide to different ways to meet new expectations from buyers in this current situation, touching on other topics like the new buying cycle and thoughts on spending. She also points out that likely they will continue to shift, so awareness and flexibility are key. “Consumer trends will undoubtedly continue to shift as the global pandemic persists,” she writes. “Organizations should embrace the control they have, thinking critically and asking the right questions to adjust for a future that results in sustainable business success.” Buying decisions during COVID-19 are already changing. Are you ready?