B2B Buyers and Sellers Need to Fix Their Relationship

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A new study reveals that B2B buyers are not impressed with most salespeople

There's something terribly wrong with the buyer-and-seller relationship in the B2B world. Sixty-five percent of B2B buyers rank salespeople as “average” or “poor”, according to a new study by DiscoverOrg and sales linguist Steve W. Martin.

As the study's blog post notes, there's already a lot of distrust and skepticism associated with salespeople — in-depth RFPs and product demos are evidence of that. However, the study shows that the 35% of respondents who held “good” or “excellent” views were willing to take more risks, like adopt a new product or experiment with a new trend.

Indeed, the study — which pulled data from a survey of more than 230 business professionals from multiple departments and industries — found a correlation between a buyer's views on salespeople and their tolerance for risks. Marketers, for instance, were more open to risk (generating a 7.1 out of 10 risk tolerance score) but were also the most pleased with the salespeople in their space, rating only 18% salespeople as poor. Conversely, IT professionals rated 37% of salespeople in their space as poor and produced a risk tolerance score of five out of 10.

This speaks to a common theme in the marketing industry, constant experimentation and failing fast. Marketers are not only positioned to trial different technology and techniques, they are required to do so if they hope to meet the growing challenges of the marketing business in the world of digital.

Still, there's a clear divide between buyers and sellers that transcends marketing and must be rectified.

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