Ray Collis

A Portrait Of The Modern Buyer

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Want to see what modern buying looks like? Well, we asked salespeople to describe the people that they sell to and in particular how they have changed. The result is a not just a telling portrait of the modern buyer, but an urgent call to action for sellers.

A Profile Of The Modern Buyer

We asked almost 300 salespeople to describe their customers and prospects, with a particular focus on those who now make the buying decision.  The result is a portrait of the modern buyer – but more importantly of the opportunities and challenges now faced by salespeople.  It is presented in a word cloud thanks to Wordle.

The new face of buying

Are there any words missing to describe the people that you sell to? Well, you can shape future versions of this diagram by entering the top 3 words you would use to describe your modern buyer in the comments space at the end of this article.

Confronting The New Realities Of Modern Buying

We don’t know of a visual that more accurately reflects the new realities of buying. It is a real call to action for salespeople.

The future of buying is here. The portrait shows the changed face of buying and spells trouble for the seller who fails to adapt to it. The implications of the portrait are:

  • Increased price pressure
  • Slowing and stalled decisions
  • The intervention of procurement
  • Relationships coming under pressure
  • Sellers being called later to the table (often not until an RFx is issued).

Is It A Scary Picture?

‘There are lots of colours but it is not a pretty picture’ said one sales manager on looking at the word cloud. ‘That is the profile of our customers all right, but it also the reason why sales costs are up, sales cycles are longer and more deals are stalled’ he added. You probably had some of the same thoughts on looking at the image.

The reality is that it takes a new type of salesperson, and indeed a new form of sales strategy, to sell to this new profile of buyer. The ability to sell to the more demanding and sophisticated buyer is the new key success factor in selling.

The Call To Action

The problem is that while buying and buyers have changed a lot, much of selling has stayed the same. However, each of the words presented above presents either an opportunity or a challenge to the salesperson. Let us take an example:

Salespeople know that buyers are more hard-nosed than ever before. For those who have sat with a colleague in accounting or finance to help them to talk more confidently with buyers around the numbers that is an opportunity. For those that have not, it is a challenge.

So, what are the implications of the changing face of buying for how you sell and what changes are you going to make?

why-buy-smallad
The latest research on how buyers buy
Who makes the buying decision