Research Reveals Insights Into the Average B2B Sales Experience

BY Jessica Helinski
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 A recent study shed light on the average B2B sales experience. It found that the average B2B sales cycle lasts six months. The report revealed that to stay competitive, sellers must establish familiarity and trust early.

The study, conducted by TrustRadius, focused on B2B tech buyers. But its findings can be used to get a  snapshot of all buyers.

What does today’s B2B sales experience look like? 

Buyers are more interested in the “know-​and-​try-​before-​you-​buy” method than in the past. Much of a buyer’s confidence in a solution is cultivated well before they buy. 

And as TrustRadius points out, buyers heavily research vendors on their own before making contact. 

They often first meet a vendor “armed with preconceptions, making the pre-​purchase research phase more crucial than ever.”

It’s imperative sellers promote transparency in all they do, from cold outreaches to social media posts. Their efforts to engage deeply with leads and form connections right away will pay off. 

SalesFuel recommends sellers pay special attention to how they use social media. These networks continue to influence buyers. In fact, LinkedIn reports that 75% of buyers use social media to  make buying decisions. 

Sellers should leverage their social media presence and embrace best practices to be effective. It also helps to have awareness of how and when prospects utilize social media. SalesFuel shares the following insights:

  • 46% of B2B buyers use social media for early-​stage sales cycle tasks. This includes learning about the different solutions available for solving their unique problem).
  • 40% use it for middle-​stage tasks, such as comparing different solutions.
  • 35% use it for late-​stage tasks such as identifying need-​to-​know information about potential solutions.

By adapting your social media usage to align with buyers, you capture their interest.

Short-​list trends

Short lists continue to be a reality of the B2B sales experience. TrustRadius found that the majority (63%) of short lists include two or three solutions. Most (96%) included five or fewer. Additionally, their report reveals familiarity plays a large role in the solutions added to short lists. 

78% reported selecting products they had heard of before even starting the research process.”

Buying group keep growing

The buying group is another trend highlighted in their research. As SalesFuel has reported, buying groups are a big part of the B2B sales experience. Multiple individuals are a part of the decision-​making process and the number is typically between two and five. 

Note also that slightly more than half (53%) of these buying groups include a member of the C‑suite. TrustRadiance points out that with more execs involved, the less likely they may be to take a chance on an unfamiliar brand. 

With the shift toward more experienced buyers, there could be more reliance on prior product experience.”

This again supports the importance of ensuring you are visible and have crafted a reputation of being a credible, transparent expert. 

There's a short amount of time for vendors to impact buying groups once they make the short list,” TrustRadiance adds. 

Be proactive to capture buyers’ interest

Buyers are self-​serving before the formal buying process even begins. And multiple decision-​makers are involved, with each likely doing their own research. Make sure that they not only find you but also are intrigued by what they see. 

Visibility is increasingly important in today’s B2B sales experience. Pay extra attention to your digital presence, especially on social media. And be sure to engage in multithreading, as more people than ever are involved in buying. 

And for advice specific to nurturing your digital presence, and online reputation, follow these tips from SalesFuel.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez