Human Interaction Matters in an Age of “Frictionless”

Frictionless seems to be all the rage of late. Frictionless banking… frictionless shopping, frictionless insurance. By frictionless we really mean, removing the people from the equation and letting us get what we want and need directly. And I get it – people can really muck up the system.

The desire for frictionless buying experiences is also a challenge to traditional enterprise software companies that are trying to reshape the way in which they market and sell. According to Forrester Research, 59% of B2B buyers prefer not to interact with a sales rep and 74% find buying from a website more convenient. For B2B businesses this is a dramatic shift in how they market and sell software.

The shift to more self-directed buying for B2B products and services is a reality and it means that most buyers are much more educated about your product by the time they engage with a salesperson. As a result, sales leaders have certain requirements to help them rise above the fold. Here are some thoughts from CIOs that we’ve spoken to and their teams of what will separate your efforts from the noise:

Relevant Use Cases Close Deals:

As clients look to make more decisions without the input of a sales person, the requirement for marketers to get strong content into the market place to help inform the buying decision is critical. Clients buy based on gathering enough information where they can see their own challenges and business objectives in the solution they are evaluating. Use cases that are relevant on industry and business case are critical assets.

Client Advocacy Is Critical:

Consumers buy products based on reviews; B2B buyers are not different. They want to hear from peers and understand how they are using products and services. Use your client advisory boards or client advocacy programs to identify groups of customers that will advocate for your product and build those advocacy stories into compelling digital assets.

Human Touch: It Can’t All Be Frictionless:

As I stated at the start – frictionless is in vogue and we humans are the friction. But I believe friction sells when it is inserted at the right time in the process. Nothing will close deals faster than having your customers talk to and meet with prospects. Nothing will retain customers more than bringing them together to understand how they are using products and what you can do better. Disrupt digital with the human touch from time to time… you might be surprised at how many deals you can still close with a little friction.

 

Related Stories

A Time for Giving Thanks

Posted on 11.17.2017 by in Customer Advisory Boards

I often find myself to be more reflective and introspective in the autumn than other times of the year.  The year is coming to a close, and the whirlwind of activity associated with customer advisory board delivery is winding down  

Continue Reading »

Why Surveying more than Net Promoter Score Matters

Posted on 10.29.2016 by in Customer Advisory Boards

Net Promoter Score is an important measure for brands to understand quickly why a customer may recommend, but in recent years this score has lost its value in learning what is behind the recommendation. It is as important to  

Continue Reading »

Find, Win, Keep:  Are you doing Enough to Keep Customers?

Posted on 09.6.2016 by in Engagement Strategy

Finding and winning new clients is imperative for any business, but in this digital age where social media mentions and word of mouth can make or break brands, organizations must adopt strategic plans to keep their clients – and keep  

Continue Reading »

Your Customer Advocacy Program Is on the Verge of Complete Disruption [Article]

Posted on 07.25.2016 by in Engagement Strategy

Today, businesses are in a constant state of transformation and the way marketers think about the customer has never been so important. Jane Hiscock, Farland Group, and Alison Orsi, IBM, recently discussed the impact of this digital era on organizations  

Continue Reading »


Customer Advisory Boards

An advisory board is a powerful engine of engagement, insight, and business transformation. Make the most of yours.

A Board Success Factor: Business and Industry Expertise » Advisory Boards: How to Extend the Value »

Learn More »

Engagement Strategy

Like any good relationship, customer engagement is a long-term, reciprocal effort. When done well, meaningful engagement leads to better business results, faster.

Engage Your Customers to Help You Stop Pitching » Getting to a Customer Engagement Mindset »

Learn More »

Understanding the C-Suite

Want to improve your standing with your C-suite customers? Deliver what executives want: ideas, inspiration, innovation, influence.

C-Suite Insight: Digital Disruption » Looking to Engage Executives? First, Understand What They Want »

Learn More »