Duration: 3 minute read
Value to whom: VP of Sales or VP of Client

There are 4 key buyer behaviors causing decision paralysis for b2b deals. This applies to both complex b2b sales and client growth & cross-selling for your current clientele. Things have changed. Failure to address and equip your team for success will impede hitting your sales goals. The rate of change is so dramatic that the majority of your sales team is not equipped to identify and navigate these changing dynamics. In this impactful article by Bob Apollo titled “Understanding B2B Buying Behavior”,  4 behaviors are laid out with factual supporting research. Here is a highlight.

Status Quo Bias

Change is perceived as risky. Your job is to help your buyer, or who some refer to as stakeholders, realize there is danger in sticking to the status quo. Will it cost an organization time, money, market share, etc.? Can you position your offering as a solution to these risks? If you are finding a lot of your potential customers are choosing to “do nothing”, this is the behavior they are exhibiting and the opportunity for your sales team to overcome.

Lose Aversion

A threat of a loss is much more powerful than an opportunity for gain. While we appreciate the optimism of selling growth solutions, they don’t move the needle as much as the fear of loss. Yes, you need to put them in pain and paint the picture of what threats lie before them. This type of transparency is appreciated but often neglected. As today, many b2b organizations are focused on managing the relationships of their current clients rather than hunting new logos. Presenting the full picture helps remove the “nice to have” moniker to a “need to have”.

Decision Paralysis

The more decision makers involved, the worse your odds.  How worse? Research published in “The Challenger Customer” proved your chances drop from an 80% success rate working with one decision maker to below 30% when 6 or more are involved. The average number of decision makers on a complex b2b deal now averages more than 10. Most sales teams are not equipped to gain consensus amongst a buying team of that size and appease their multiple agendas.

Early Influence

When 70% of research is conducted by a buying team before they reach out to you, you are already behind in the game. How you help shape the solution they seek and position yourself as a guide, a provider of copious amounts of value, knowledge, and resources. This makes or breaks the deal. 

The complex b2b sale is indeed changing. Fortunately emerging technology, like our Buyer Enablement platform, positioned in a way to overcome these emerging behaviors can provide a scalable and consistent solution for you and your sales team. Whether for complex b2b sales or client growth & cross-sell through your existing customers, creating trust and consensus in a seamless manner is key. If you’d like to learn how we do it, we’d love to share our research with you.

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Joseph Knecht

Post by Joseph Knecht

Joseph Knecht is the CEO at Proteus and loves to cover the topics of customer success, enablement, sales, entrepreneurship, and digital transformation.