The Consumer Buying Process Has Changed
The Internet Has greatly Changed the Way People Buy and has flipped the traditional way people buy upside down
Traditionally speaking, cold calls, direct mail, and elevator pitches ruled the day in sales. Salespeople were regarded as “keepers of knowledge” where the buyer relied almost entirely on their rep to educate them on a particular product or service. This solution based selling model calls for a salesperson to ask questions to try to identify a problem that their product or service can align with and ultimately solve. Therein lies the problem. This model that has been pushed since the 1980s assumes that buyers typically aren’t educated on how to solve their problem, and hence the salesperson is forced to “push” the buyer down the sales funnel and into a solution.
Enter the modern age of the internet.
The internet has drastically changed the way buyers (both B2B and B2C) interact with businesses while moving through their journey of making a purchase.
- According to a 2014 study by Acquity a whopping 94% of all B2B buyers now do some form of research online
- B2C buyers utilize search an even greater 97% of the time prior to making a decision according to a study by Conductor. Each group tends to access an average of 10 resources when making a large purchase decision.
That is a massive shift in behavior in a relatively short amount of time. The internet has not only allowed buyers to access an unlimited number of resources to utilize in their research, but it has completely flipped the traditional method of sales upside down. Because consumers are much more educated at the time they are ready to make a decision, salespeople are doing far less “selling” and doing much more “consulting and coaching” to help validate (or not) what the buyer has already discovered for themselves.