In B2B sales, your job depends on your ability to initiate conversations with buyers. The problem in 2021 is that buyers are busier than ever and it’s getting harder each day. The RAIN Group Center for Sales Research talked to almost 500 B2B buyers covering 25 industries and asked them what influences their willingness to speak with a seller and ultimately make a decision. They then distilled that survey into 27 sales prospecting stats that you need to know.
Buyers are willing to meet but…
- Eight-two percent accept meetings
- Fifty-eight percent of their meetings do not deliver value
Sometimes they want to hear from you.
- When I’m looking for new ideas to improve business results (71 percent)
- When I’m looking to solve a problem (62 percent)
- When I’m evaluating providers (54 percent)
How you make first contact matters.
- Email: 80 percent of buyers prefer to be contacted this way
- Fifty-eight percent of buyers have recently accepted a meeting with a seller via email
- Phone: 57 percent of C-level and VP-level buyers prefer the phone compared to 51 percent of director and 47 percent of manager-level buyers
- Fifty-four percent of buyers have recently accepted a meeting with a seller who contacted them by phone
- Tech buyers prefer the phone more than buyers in financial or professional services industries (54 percent compared to 40 percent and 50 percent, respectively)
There are times when they call first.
- Need for product or service (75 percent)
- Budget (64 percent)
- The seller offers to share something of value (63 percent)
- Pre-existing relationship (61 percent)
- Previously bought from the seller’s company (60 percent)
Useful information gets their attention.
- Primary research data relevant to my business (69 percent)
- Content 100 percent customised for me (67 percent)
- Descriptions of seller’s capabilities (67 percent)
- Insight on the use of the seller’s solutions to help solve my business problems (66 percent)
- Best-practice methodology based on seller’s area of expertise (65 percent)
- C-level and VP buyers are significantly more likely (75 percent) to be influenced to take a meeting or otherwise connect by the ROI cases than director (64 percent) or manager level buyers (59 percent)
And here is what they say will close the sale.
- Seller focused on the value they can deliver me (96 percent)
- Seller collaborated with me (93 percent)
- Seller educated me with new ideas and perspectives (92 percent)
- Seller provided valuable insight related to my industry (92 percent)
- Seller deepened my understanding of my needs (92 percent)
Finally, one last stat and food for thought:
- Value-driven sellers were significantly more likely to rate their sales prospecting as excellent, very good, or good compared to non-value-driven respondents (62 percent compared to 39 percent, respectively).