Decision confidence: The cornerstone of success

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The struggle is real

“As difficult as it has become to sell in today’s world, it has become that much harder to buy. The single biggest challenge in selling today is not selling; it’s actually our customers’ struggle to buy.”

– William Brent Adamson | Challenger Selling Writer, Gartner

Customers struggle to buy

38% of buying journeys result in ‘no decision.’ In other words, almost 4 out of 10 potential buyers start and complete only a part of a purchase process. But it never resulted in an actual purchase or decision. They chose… not to choose.

New sales and upselling

1. New Sales:

92% of buyers say they are more likely to consider a company when the seller shares data and insights that are relevant to their role in the buying process. By involving relevant stakeholders and influencers, presenting relevant and unique insights, sellers can close sales opportunities faster. In fact, their sales cycles are more than 20% shorter (CSO Insights).

2. Upselling: 

85% of business leaders say they miss significant growth opportunities with existing customers. 78% of B2B buyers with new business needs are just as likely to choose a new supplier as to expand their collaboration with the current supplier—no matter how satisfied they are with their current supplier. Customer satisfaction more than doubles the likelihood of reselling but has no measurable effect on customer growth.

When B2B buyers have confidence in their ability to navigate a buying decision, they are on average 2.6 times more likely to extend an existing partnership, compared to those lacking confidence. (Gartner)

The above figures emphasize the importance of understanding “Buyer Enablement” and the urgency to act and understand how “Buyer Enablement” can effectively accelerate growth with existing customers and boost new sales.

What buyers want, need, and value

In a comprehensive Bain analysis, it became clear that in many situations, suppliers have an excessively high perception of their own products, services, and their role in the process.

“375 companies were asked if they believed they delivered ‘overall strong value’ to customers. 80% said yes. Bain then asked the same companies’ customers if they agreed that the specific company they bought from delivered ‘overall strong value.’ Only 8% agreed.”

– Bain & Company

What buyers want, need, and value are suppliers who make it easier for them to navigate the uncertainty of the buying process. The increasing complexity and uncertainty are also the reason 84% of customers report that the buying journey takes longer than expected (Challenger Inc.).

Why is customer indecision so dangerous?

In a major sales survey, the analysis team found that 87% of sales opportunities involve a moderate or high degree of indecision among customers. And it’s toxic: As indecision increases, closure rates fall. (Harvard Business Review).

We know that sales has always been a “human business,” and it will continue to be. But the frameworks are changing. To avoid customer indecision, sales organizations need to become much more engaging and data-driven in their dialogue with customers and prospects. Suppliers delivering “buyer enablement data” increase decision confidence by 4X. (Gartner).

Becoming more data-driven

85% of B2B buyers say that the experience a company provides them is as important as the products or services themselves from the company, and 57% have stopped buying from a company because a competitor provided a better experience. By involving stakeholders and influencers in the customer organization, presenting relevant data will both shorten the sales cycle and win more. A McKinsey study documented that when you reinforce sellers’ empowerment with data, insights, and technology, you can achieve a growth increase of 15 to 25% over market growth.