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Potential customers are readily turning to their personal networks and publicly available information - increasingly via digital and social media channels - to self-diagnose their problems and form opinions about solutions.
To understand the scope of this issue in the B2B context, the CEB Marketing Leadership Council surveyed more than 1,500 customer contacts (decision makers and influencers in a recent major business purchase) for 22 large B2B organizations.
In a striking finding, the survey revealed that the average customer had completed more than one-half of the purchase decision-making process prior to engaging a supplier sales rep directly. The fundamental implication is clear: companies that fail to show up strong in this context are underserving potential customers and at risk of losing mindshare and, ultimately, sales opportunities.
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