First, there’s an exponential growth in the number of ideas, options, and solutions available for prospects. Prospects are drowning in a sea of could do. Vendors are publishing new and often contradictory “thought leadership” pieces at a startling rate. In response, prospects have developed a bias for the status quo. It just seems safer to stick with the way things are.
The second wave concerns the number and diversity of people involved in purchasing decisions. The buyer has become the buying unit, and is quickly growing into the buying battalion. Just about any single sale process seems to require dozens of yeses and risks running aground in the face of a single no. These two waves are changing the way B2B selling and buying are done.
While sales cycles haven’t elongated exponentially, the amount of effort required to win a single sale has. As a result, account executives (those reps who close sales) increasingly lack the time — and often the desire — to focus on building new sales pipelines. They argue that their time is better spent advancing and closing opportunities. “I’m busy doing demos, drafting proposals, and chasing contracts. I’m not prospecting because I just don’t have the bandwidth,” they say.
“While sales cycles haven’t elongated exponentially, the amount of effort required to win a single sale has.”