Who’s Really Driving Those Big Buying Decisions?
Why Millennials Are The New Influencers
It’s not news that Millennials are making an impact in the business world. But as they make up a bigger segment of the corporate world, they’re becoming the key influencers in many buying decisions.
And for companies to stay competitive, they’ll need to abandon the old approaches to marketing and sales. Instead, they need to understand they’re talking to buyers and influencers with distinct needs and preferences.
So what do today’s companies want?
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Technology Is Changing The Sales Game
As business rapidly goes digital, companies have to adapt. Distributed teams, Skype, GoToMeeting, telecommuting – all new ways of getting things done.
Sales and marketing are hugely impacted by these changes. A few decades ago, most business was done face-to-face, over drinks or on the golf course.
Now buyers are going online to do research, compare products and look at reviews – before ever talking to a sales rep. I’m sure this isn’t news or even a surprise to you, but perhaps those who are helping to facilitate those purchases might be!
Millennials are driving this independent sales process, according to an article on snapapp.com. Unlike some of the Boomer and Gen X colleagues, they actively avoid sales reps until they’ve done their research. Often, they don’t talk to a sales rep until they’re in the middle of their buying process, according to the article.
But many companies are ignoring the impact and expertise of Millennials – creating a major problem for their sales and marketing teams.
Do You Know Your Influencers?
Millennials are between 18 and 35, making them a huge part of the buying process. They make up 13% of buyers and are 28% of the influencers, according to an article on Snapapp.com.
Also called digital natives, they never knew a time without computers and smartphones. The online world and the digital sales process are second nature to them.
With their innate knowledge of technology, they are quick to adopt new tools and proactively seek out new tools and applications to solve their work problems, according to the article.
So what exactly are they looking for? They want solutions that make their jobs easier, feel authentic and align with their social values, according to snapapp.com.
What Does This Mean For Your Marketing And Sales?
Smart marketers and sales teams know that they’re selling to a different market now. The old methods won’t work, so they need to make sure they’re paying attention to their buyers – Boomers and some Gen X – while realizing that Millennials are quickly becoming buyers, too.
In their role as major influencers, Millennials can’t be ignored. Boomers and Gen X buyers are relying on Millennials for their tech expertise, often just signing off on their product recommendations without doing their own research.
So What Works?
Sales and marketing must embrace the digital sales process and make sure that they have the information Millennials are searching for.
That means blogs, videos, reviews, social media posts and more. With Millennials turning to experts and their own network to validate their research, it’s not enough to just have a few blogs. Companies need to think about having that validation Millennials are seeking.
Participating in Linkedin Groups, getting customers to add reviews online and being mentioned by industry experts are all keys to getting noticed by Millennials.
What Doesn’t Work?
There are a few things that marketers and sales reps should definitely stop doing. Cold calls and emails are out, as they only annoy potential buyers, according to snapapp.com.
Buyers also hate those blanket emails that treat them all the same. Personalization is key in today’s digital world. Buyers want to feel like your company understands their unique needs and won’t just be giving them the same cookie-cutter stuff that everyone else gets.
And finally, they really hate it when companies call them when they download a whitepaper, according to snapapp.com. That’s way too early in the sales process to be reaching out. Instead, wait for them to take multiple actions on your site to show they’ve progressed into the buying process. They’ll be much more willing to listen to you and you won’t risk losing a great lead because you annoyed them.
Creating a successful marketing and sales program starts by understanding the new realities of the digital world. Smart organizations will adapt now and make sure they’re speaking to Millennials. This approach will pay off more and more as they become the new business leaders.
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- Millennials are the new driving force in the buying process, serving as the major influencers on many decisions.
- Smart marketing and sales teams need to adapt to the changing buying process.
- Buyers are relying more on online content, reviews and recommendations from their own networks.
- They’re not contacting sales reps until they’re in the middle of their sales journey.
- Companies need to be sure their marketing is speaking to Millennials, as they take on more and more of the buying decisions.
Resources: https://b2b.snapapp.com/b2b-buy-researchJune 25, 2019