Before you can answer this question, you need to understand the New Buyer Mentality. The basic concept of the new buyer mentality is quite simple. People have changed the way they make buying decisions. The Zero Moment is that exact moment when someone has a need or question they want answered online. For B2B companies, over 70% of buying decisions are made prior to ever contacting a company.
I think the best way to illustrate the new buyer mentality is through your own buyer behavior. Ask yourself a few questions.
- How many times in the last week have you started a search for a service or product online?
- How many times have you searched for company or product reviews?
- How many times have you asked for a referral on social media?
In most cases, the answer is going to be today or yesterday. Your prospects are doing the same thing.
Key Point: If you’re not being found early in the buyer’s decision-making process, then it’s highly unlikely you will ever have an opportunity to sell to them. Consider that 70% number again and you realize the problem.
So, what are going to do about it? The answer is Inbound Marketing.
Marketing to the New Buyer
Historically, the buyer’s journey was managed by the sales team. Salespeople worked directly with prospects to help them figure out what they needed. They answered questions, provided information on a product or service, offered references and worked to manage the prospect through the buying process. The salesperson was in control and determined when and how much information to give to a prospect.
The internet and Google have flipped the process upside down. Now, the buyer is in control and determines when they want info and how much of it they need to make an informed decision. They do it all on their own time by:
- Visiting your website multiple times (before they ever contact you). Note: Not everyone that visits your website is ready to buy.
- Reading online reviews about your business or product
- Using social media to ask their friends and your customers about your company’s services or products
- Googling your company and key personnel, particularly if you’re a service business
And, they’re doing all of this before the sales team even knows they’re a prospect. As I mentioned earlier, over 70% of these prospects have already made a buying decision before ever contacting your company. Inbound marketing allows businesses to connect with the new buyer on their time by educating them, providing them with information and nurturing them through the sales funnel.
So Where Does Sales Fit In?
Your Sales team needs to know and understand the new buyer mentality as well. A well-executed inbound marketing strategy engages prospects and nurtures them through their buying journey to the point they’re ready to speak with a salesperson. Your sales team needs to understand this concept. These prospects do not want to be sold at this point.
They’ve done their research and engaged on a continuing basis with your company. Most likely, they have a few more questions and need to validate what they’ve already learned before making a final decision. As a result, you’ve already built a certain level of trust and credibility that only needs to be validated by the sales team. If your sales team is using old sales tactics, then it’s likely you will quickly turn off the buyer and lose all that equity built through inbound marketing.
When Would Now Be a Good Time?
This saying is part of the Waypost Culture Code, but it applies to your company if you're not embracing the ZMOT. It means get to work NOW on your inbound marketing strategy, and start positioning yourself so you’re there at the Zero Moment of Truth. Inbound marketing is hard work. It takes a commitment to consistently produce great content that engages, educates, informs and nurtures your prospects and customers.
If you're ready to embrace the Zero Moment of Truth in your marketing plan, but not sure where to start then click the banner below or just give us a call at (864) 288-6162.
Related article: The Neighborhood Website: Authenticity and the New Buyer Mentality