A new report from Alinea Partners is a Secret Shopping organization for technology companies. Their Secret Shopper Report researched the B2B sales process using secret shopping as a methodology, covering nearly 700 companies in six regions and across seven different product categories.
Two out of three buyers abandon their buying journeys in frustration before hitting the CRM system. In over two-thirds (68%) of cases, the buyer was given cause to abandon their buying journeys. Why? Frustration – failing to show up in search results or a lack of understanding of the buyers’ business context were two reasons for the drop-off. 47% still have no search function on their website to help prospects find information on solutions or products they may wish to buy. 41% of websites use language about features, not the business value they can provide based on their expertise and not just their product portfolios.
Only a third (33%) sell on business values the potential customer can gain if they select the proposed solution.
And here’s a frightening one:
Over half (55%) of salespeople took the initiative and led the sales process. While this indicates a natural inclination to take the lead, 63% of buyers wishing to engage in sales failed to connect at the first attempt.
Why do we care?
I’ve done a bit of work with the team at Alinea before, and the Secret Shopper for B2B concept is one I think is incredibly clever.
I can’t say I’m surprised by this data. As part of researching the Diversity Report each quarter, I visit many vendor and services companies’ websites, and so many of them are so very, very bad. Both the lack of search and the lack of focused information to assist a buyer in becoming informed is staggering – much less the ability to buy anything or make the next step on the journey happen.
Filling out a Contact Us form does not count. If the action doesn’t directly take me on the step – rather than passively wait on some missive to disappear into the ether – then it’s a broken journey. I’ve dug into this topic before – can someone buy on your site? Book their meeting? Take the first step? Or even as this report points out, learn about the business value provided – beyond saying you provide business value?