Our shopping habits have changed in recent years. A few years ago for most consumers, convenience was the key driver. Large supermarkets that have everything we need and there has been an increase in online shopping meaning that we don’t even need to leave the house to purchase goods and services.
These methods of shopping are of course still popular, but we are now seeing consumer behaviour returning to more traditional methods of buying from independent local businesses and producers that can provide a friendly personal touch. Because although online shopping is convenient, as a nation we crave human interaction and the ability to develop relationships with people more than ever.
The world of B2B is actually not very different. For low value commoditised purchases human interaction is often not desired or needed, such as when placing a stationery order. In this case the buyer wants the ordering process to be as quick and easy as possible, so a business that provides online ordering and communicates effectively via email is all that is needed.
But for higher value or more complex purchases buyers want to interact with people. A study from Sirius Decisions showed that as the price and/or complexity of an offering goes up, so too does the need for human interaction also increase. And that this interaction occurs at every stage of the buying process, not just at the end.
It’s this level of human interaction that makes telemarketing such an effective channel for B2B businesses, since 78% of decision makers who agree to an appointment or attend an event do so from an email or a telemarketing call (DiscoverOrg).
Many B2B products and services require some level of tailoring to suit the needs of the business. By reaching out to your potential prospects over the phone, you are able to identify the challenges that they are facing, you can better understand the timelines they are working towards and the expectations they have of their new supplier. Human interaction is a really good way of qualifying a prospect and understanding their needs.
Having this level of interaction at an early stage can have a huge impact on the sales conversion rates. Human interaction has been shown to be far more memorable than most digital channels, which combined with the level of insight gained through the process result in high quality leads which are far more likely to convert into customers than those where there is no human interaction until late on in the sales process.
Not only does human interaction help buyers make more informed purchase decisions, but it also helps to give the business a personality and can help to create a positive perception. People like to work with people, not faceless organisations.
We like to build good working relationships with our suppliers and customers and this cannot be done through digital communications alone.
Human interaction is highly valued by buyers, but only when it is considered appropriate. In the B2B business environment this contact can take place early in the buying process. But it’s the responsibility of sales and marketing to create opportunities to meet with a buyer in order to deliver that information. This approach is used to great effect in telemarketing lead generation campaigns. Contact us if you would like a chat about how telemarketing could create sales opportunities for your business.