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The global pandemic forced the buyer/seller relationship online, dramatically accelerating a trend toward digitization of the buying process that was already in place. How has that transition affected the purchasing patterns, predispositions, and expectations of decision makers and influencers at larger organizations?

The latest Sandler Research Center (SRC) report, WHAT BUYERS WANT AND HOW BUYERS WORK, offers some key insights.

SRC surveyed 602 sales leaders in 43 countries over a six-week period in mid-2021. Among the important findings from the research that relate to purchase decisions made by larger organizations (defined as those with an annual revenue of over $500 million) are the following:

  • More people are now involved in purchasing decisions at larger organizations. There was a 75% increase in the tendency for respondents from larger organizations to reply that more people were involved in the purchasing decision than their peers at smaller organizations.
  • Sales cycles are now longer at larger organizations. The data showed 14.5 point increase in the tendency to believe that the B2B sales cycle had grown longer than those at smaller organizations.
  • Decision makers and influencers at larger organizations are now taking longer to get the ball rolling. Larger companies took an average of 19 days to start a conversation with a prospective vendor following the “initial awareness” phase, significantly longer than the same timespan reported by smaller organizations.

Key takeaway: These three findings, coupled with an increased reliance on remote means of communication like email and text messages, suggest that sellers targeting larger organizations must prepare to compete effectively in a “hybrid” selling environment if they aim to stand out from rivals, shorten selling and decision-making cycles, and engage with all the influencers who will determine the buying choice. Larger buyers want to communicate digitally, especially in the early going, and they want to control the pace and focus of the communication. This fact creates special challenges for selling teams.

To access a complimentary video lesson from HubSpot and Sandler, SELLING IN A HYBRID WORLD, and to learn exactly what it takes to implement an effective hybrid sales process model, click here.

To download the SRC report WHAT BUYERS WANT AND HOW BUYERS WORK, click here.

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