For the past two decades, numberless pundits have predicted that the Internet would make salespeople obsolete. The theory was simple: customers would use the "wealth of information" online to do their own product research and then order online.
The pundits claimed that this "information rich" online environment would make salespeople obsolete, useless distractions that customers did not value and would prefer to avoid.
Turns out that the pundits had it exactly backwards.
The digital marketing company, the Acquity Group, recent surveyed over 200 corporate buyers with annual budgets in excess of $100,000 on their purchasing habits and preferences. Here's what the survey showed:
As you can see, more than 95 percent of all corporate buyers want a salesperson to be involved in the sales process and the majority of these buyers also expect a live salesperson to answer the phone when they call.
Thus, consumers are willing to buy consumer products online without talking to a salesperson (e.g. Amazon.com), corporate buyers are more picky. They want a real human being involved. They want to work with salespeople.
However--and this is important--corporate buyers do NOT want to work with salespeople who give sales pitches. What corporate buyers want is salespeople who help them make better decisions and make buying online even more convenient.
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