As per SAP study personalized direct engagement is still the preferred method of contact among business buyers
While customers are more empowered and informed today than ever before, they still prefer personal interactions with trusted advisors when being engaged in the sales cycle. According to the findings of a global survey released today by SAP SE, personalized direct engagement is still the preferred method of contact among business buyers.
“When selling to empowered customers, there is an expectation that the sellers know more than the buyers,” said Jamie Anderson, senior vice president, Marketing, Customer Engagement & Commerce Solutions, SAP. “And more importantly, customers want to be sold in ways that are contextual, relevant and personal. Therefore, companies are expected to create unique and personalized interactions, which keep customers engaged along every step of their buying journey.”
Conducted by independent research firm Loudhouse with support from SAP, the survey polled more than 1,220 senior personnel responsible for purchasing goods and services within organizations of all sizes across vertical industries in the United States, UK/Ireland, France, Australia, India, Brazil, Mexico, Italy, the Netherlands and the Nordics. Among the key findings:
- Face-to-face interactions are crucial in the final stages of the buying process, with 60 percent of those polled using it to make final decisions and 43 percent to shortlist vendors.
- Technology is still king for initial research, with 75 percent using Web searches to identify vendors, followed by 73 percent using vendor Web sites and 71 percent tapping into social media and blogs.
- Trust is the single most important factor when buying from vendors, but 60 percent say they are less tolerant and trusting of salespeople generally.