Global Insights for B2B Sales Success: Unveiling Buyer Preferences in a Personalised Age

For eight editions now, Tack TMI has been a trusted resource for sales professionals seeking to elevate their skills and navigate the ever-changing world of business buying. We know that understanding buyer preferences and adapting your approach accordingly is fundamental to building strong, lasting customer relationships.

This latest edition of our research marks a significant milestone. It’s our most extensive global study to date, and it delves deep into the perspectives of those responsible for organisational purchasing. This comprehensive analysis unveils valuable insights across six key themes, highlighting areas where sales professionals can refine their strategies and actions for optimal results.

This report arms you with the insights and knowledge necessary to excel in today’s dynamic business environment. By understanding buyer perspectives and adapting your approach accordingly, you can cultivate enduring customer relationships and achieve exceptional sales results.

Global Footprint

42% of customers are more likely to buy from people they have engaged with face to face

Content

42% of buyers preferred website as their top choice for sourcing information about a potential new suppliers’ product or service

Quality

Phone calls boast a high response rate (56%) among potential suppliers, making it the second-preferred method for initial contact.

Jim O’Brien Tack TMI CEO

The sales industry is at a significant juncture. On one side, even faster evolving technology, such as AI, social media, data gathering and automation, means sales professionals need to develop skills and competencies way beyond those expected even just few years ago. On the other side, buyers are still purchasing based on emotion. They prefer face to face communication, desire personal relationships and the basic sales fundamentals are valued more highly than other skills. Our research shines a light on these diverging paradigms and provides insights into the needs and intentions of today’s buyer

Building Trust and Relationships

Building strong customer relationships is paramount for sales success. Our research highlights the importance of personalisation across channels, from websites to social media, to attract buyers who increasingly research online first. However, trust is solidified through face-to-face interaction (54% of buyers prioritise it). This is where emotional intelligence comes in. By understanding a customer’s unique needs (currently only 23% of interactions are rated as “excellent” in demonstrating this), salespeople can build rapport and empathy, ultimately leading to stronger relationships. Industry expertise further strengthens this connection, as 94% of buyers value it more than price. This expertise allows salespeople to act as trusted advisors, fostering a consultative approach that builds trust and positions them for success.

Download our report here

Mastering Communication Skills

Mastering communication skills is another key factor in driving effective sales conversations. Active listening is crucial, Only 25% of salespeople effectively assess customer needs, and just 23% report an “excellent” level of understanding. Active listening bridges this gap. By truly understanding challenges through active listening, salespeople can showcase relevant solutions and effectively address customer concerns. While face-to-face interactions are important for building trust, mastering communication across virtual platforms like emails and video calls is essential, especially for younger buyers who favour online due diligence. Ultimately, clear communication is key throughout the sales process. Sales professionals need to guide customers with confidence by providing clear next steps and driving the process forward towards successful buying decisions.

Download our report here

Adapting to Evolving Buyer Behaviour

Adapting to evolving buyer behaviour is another critical element for thriving in a dynamic landscape. B2B buying processes are becoming more complex, with decision-making groups involving a wider range of stakeholders (over 40% report changes). Effective communication and a consultative approach are essential when dealing with diverse buying committees. Focusing on solutions, not just products, is also crucial. While price is always a consideration, declining customer service is the number one reason buyers switch providers. Offering credible solutions and a consultative approach that addresses customer challenges is key to success.

Finally, collaboration is critical in today’s business environment. Customer loyalty is declining, with only 40% staying with suppliers last year. Strong partnerships built on collaboration and shared goals are essential. Acc

80% of organisations are actively working to bridge the gender gap, only 50.3% are ensuring equal pay, and only 40.8% are offering flexible working, parental leave, and child support policies.

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What This Means for Today's Buyers

The sales landscape is evolving, but the importance of human connection remains. Over half of buyers prefer face-to-face meetings, highlighting the need for a balanced approach that leverages both digital strategies and traditional in-person interactions. Understanding your needs is paramount – with improved foundational skills, sales professionals can accurately assess your requirements and provide solutions tailored to your specific situation. Emotional intelligence is key in building trust and fostering strong relationships. Your company’s website is your digital storefront, and a user-friendly, informative website will make a positive first impression. Our research indicates that the buying process is no longer linear, so effective salespeople can guide you through the journey, considering the perspectives of all stakeholders. By tailoring communication strategies to connect with different buyer groups, salespeople ensure their message resonates, ultimately increasing the chances of a successful partnership.

Fill in the form to download your 2024 Buyers' View of Salespeople Report


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