B2B buyers’ purchasing criteria and their customer experience expectations are now higher than ever. Ten years ago, a B2B buyer identified a need, reached out to a salesperson, and that salesperson took the buyer through the purchase process. Today, B2B purchasing is much more involved. Modern B2B buyers identify a need, begins an online research process, narrows selections, visiting competing sites, searches for additional content to validate the vendor, contacts the vendor, makes the purchase, and finally expects ongoing customer support.
According to Jim Preston of MarketingTech, a recent study found that 81 percent of B2B buyers now make purchase decisions based on buying experience, rather than product or price. Personalization and tailored experience are expected, regardless of where the buyer is in their purchase journey. As the complexity of purchasing grows, organizations need to expand their sales toolbox and incorporate new technologies.
Research from SiriusDecisions shows that salespeople use more than 17 pieces of content to enable the selling process. All of that content can become quite cumbersome, particularly in larger organizations. It is here that Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help. AI can provide content recommendations based off successful content in similar situations. It can factor in things like consumer job title, organization size, geography, content success rate, target audience, etc. AI is only limited by the data. The more data, the better the AI algorithm. As the AI accumulates data, it gets faster and better at choosing relevant and engaging content personalized for specific buyers.