The growth of the Internet and social media has radically changed the buyer/seller relationship. Traditionally, buyers sought out product information through a sales team. Oftentimes, buyers spent a long time waiting to receive promotional materials in the mail before making a final decision.

With the wealth of information online today, buyers can access the information needed for the initial stage of the buying process via search engines and social media sites. Product information, company reputation and history, and even pricing can be easily found by buyers online. This shift in power from the seller to the buyer has created a new landscape that differs from the traditional sales model.

How can this power shift impact your business?

According to the “2012 Lead Generation Benchmark Report” by MarketingSherpa, buyers do not want to be engaged by sales representatives in the beginning stage of the sales process. Since buyers are looking online for initial product information, companies need to showcase their brand by prominently displaying their competitive advantage and engaging their customers with some sort of call-to-action. For example, a simple call-to-action can be a newsletter sign up button. The key is site duration. Typically, the longer the customer spends on the site, the more likely the customer will make a future purchase. Utilize these tips to start thinking about how to interact better with your customers online.

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