When deals fall through it often comes down to just one thing: a loss of trust. Friction points are those moments in the buying journey when trust gets eroded.
We’re going to outline exactly when you are most at risk of creating friction, and how to make that buyer journey as smooth as possible.
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Building trust: why does it matter?
89% of business buyers are looking for a partner. Not a vendor. Not a supplier, a partner. They want to work with someone who understands their needs. Which is to say, someone they can trust.
Here’s why friction matters:
According to CSO Insights, those seen as an ‘approved vendor’ have a 40% chance of closing their deals. Those seen as a ‘trusted partner’ see their odds shoot up to 60%.
This is why it matters and why we are about to help you glide over the five most common situations where friction can occur.
When your content doesn’t address your buyer’s pain points
Beware: deals can be lost very early in the buying journey.
If your buyer is not being shown content that meets their needs, they will lose interest and believe that you simply don’t ‘get’ them. You need a sales enablement strategy to make the most of your content.
Before striking up a relationship with your sales team, most buyers are about 60% of the way through the sales process.
Their own research will inform their view of your company and determine whether they see you as a potential trusted partner or not.
Adapt your online content dynamically, based on the data you have available
Tailor your social media posts and ads to segmented audiences
Email tailored content based on what you already know about your prospect
When your sales team miss the moment
Timing in sales is everything.
It is critical that your sales team has access to intelligence on trigger events. These could be a prospect entering a decision-making role at a company, when a company receives funding, when budgets are increased, or when conditions in the market change.
If you make contact at exactly the right moment, everything flows easier.
If you pick a bad time – when a budget has been pulled or a deal is already close to being signed with a competitor – the friction will grind things to a halt.
By using technology to give sales market intelligence, you can ensure more ‘right moments’ and less ‘bad timing’. Get notified at exactly the moment a prospect is most likely to engage, and you’re halfway there.
When sales and marketing fail to align
When marketing and sales fail to align it can feel to your prospect like having their name forgotten at a party. Inevitably the relationship takes a step back and any sense of their importance is lost.
Prospects expect you to be aware of any past interactions with your company, across any channel.
So sales talking about your Z product when marketing have been sending them emails about your Y range is a bad experience and suggests you don’t really know what’s going on.
If sales and marketing align they can share their insights about customers, to the benefit of the company, and the customers. It can help produce relevant content, improve that initial sales call, and much more.
When your wider selling team doesn’t gel
Most B2B sales will have multiple teams involved in securing the deal – and this often adds friction to the buying process.
It’s a common problem. Nearly 60% of buyers say their experience no longer runs smoothly when other teams outside sales are involved.
Your buyer expects one consistent buying process, regardless of which department they are dealing with. It’s critical that teams work together to avoid friction in your sales pipeline.
Make sure teams are sharing information, clarifying deadlines, highlighting agreements, and working together every step of the way.
When you fall at the final hurdle
So you’re sending a quote, and feel like you’ve almost made it. But take your eye off the ball, and you can easily score an own goal here.
Quotes can be time-consuming to produce, and your diary is probably busy with more pitches. But while you delay, a competitor could be stealing in with a fast, responsive approach.
Manual quotes also make it far too easy to drop a typo or leave a mistake in your sums – and, bang, doubt about your attention to detail creeps in.
The best solution to these issues is to automate the production of approved quotes in your CRM. This ensures the process is fast, accurate, and streamlined.
Friction, what friction?
It’s easy to believe that your buying journey is smooth and efficient. But it’s highly unlikely to be true.
There is often a real mismatch between perceptions on the selling side and the buying side.