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.

 

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