Bay Area Inbound Marketing Blog

The B2B Sales Cycle From the Customer's Perspective Today

Posted by Laurie Monahan on Sat, May 30, 2015 @ 09:59 AM

I need some help. I can't make this thing work. I have hired more people, we've put in more equipment, but we're still hitting a bottleneck. I bet a lot of people have the same problem. My buddy Tony says he has the same problem over at his company. I'll google it and see how to improve things. You can find a fix for anything now on the web.

Types into Google: "How can I fix my problem?"

List of links to articles and webites comes up. I see the first one has my exact problem highlighted, so I click that one. I start reading. I'm gonna give it about 10 to 15 seconds to see if I can find a solution, because if not, I'm gonna hit the back arrow and look at my other options. There were some other links that looked like they might be promising too.

I am reading the article and I'm not finding a solution to my problem. Back arrow. Click the next one, it's not loading, waiting, 7 seconds passes, I hit back and skip option 3, doesn't look relevant, no highlighted keywords match my problem, but link number 4 looks good, I click it. It loads, I read and this solution matches my problem. This is interesting, they get my exact problem and they are telling me exactly how to fix it. That was easy. I see an offer for more info at the bottom of the article, so I fill a form to download. I'm not going to give them a real phone number, I hate it when the salespeople start calling me over and over. 

I'm a problem solver. I didn't even have to spend money, I deserve a raise. I'm gonna plug that in right now and fix that problem I've been having. I'll get around to reading that whitepaper if I run into problems. 

Tried to fix it. Reading the white paper, oh, so I don't have to code my own solution, they sell software that does this. I want to know how much it costs, I guess I have to talk to a salesperson to get that. Ok, so it is $70K.  I won't have budget again for anything for another 2 quarters. I'll talk to my good buddy the CEO. I keep things humming for him, so I know he will help me out, I'll have to get the CFO to sign the Purchase Order because it is over $50K.

I wonder if there is another solution that is cheaper, even though this one looks pretty good. I want to know all my options if I am going to spend this kind of money.  I better google it and see what the analysts say is the best solution. I will ask my friends which solution they are using and how they like it. I wonder if this is compatitible in my environment. I wonder if anyone has had performance problems with it. I don't want to create more problems by fixing this one.

I know from experience the CFO and CEO are going to want some proof of Return on Investment (ROI) for something this expensive. I saw something on the website that talked about that. I better download that so I don't look like an idiot asking for $70K without some sort of ROI Justification so I can prove I really need it and I'm not the only one having this problem.

I better investigate my options via google and talking to other people.  Maybe I'll put it out there to get opinions via social media. I download info from the competitors.

That Sales guy keeps calling me.  What I really want is to take a look at the software to see what it can do. I downloaded the free software trial but I got stuck and I've got a million other people asking for things.

I want to see how it works, but I don't want that sales guy calling me any more than he is now and besides my questions are all really technical. I don't want to ask him anything he doesn't know and embarrass him. I don't even know if I want this thing yet. I wonder if they have a webinar that demos the product. A lot of companies do that now. Goes to the website, sees the jumpstart webinar program, Oh they do, I'll sign up.

Phone rings, it's the sales guy from the competitor asking if I need anything to move forward, but I haven't gotten the PO signed yet and I'm probably going with the original solution I found because it got better reviews and I know how to use it. No there's nothing you can do. Tells him, "I'll let you know when I'm ready".

Ok, finally have a minute, reading the ROI Justificaiton so I can answer questions for the CFO. I saw a link to a short video that shows him exactly why I need it. I send the link to the video and the ROI justification to him. I'll drop by tomorrow and get him to sign the purchase order. He will totally get it. He'll ask me a few questions about what are the other solutions and I know all about what's out there and why this is the best solution in the market. 

Better call the sales guy and give him the good news. I still have some questions about how I take delivery and support and how I address the PO.

Things are going to run so much more smoothly in my department, I might even be able to go to lunch once in a while.  I made such a good decision, I increased productivity and saved the company a lot money. I really deserve that raise.


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