The 2023 B2B Buyer Experience Report by 6sense has revealed a significant advantage wielded by buyers in B2B selling scenarios. The report underscores that an overwhelming 84% of deals are decided upon during the initial contact, which buyers initiate.

This crucial insight arrives amidst the growing challenge faced by sales and marketing executives in generating revenue.While B2B sales and marketing teams possess an abundance of data for strategic sales planning, the study highlights that buyers engage directly with sellers when they are already 70% into the buying process, equating to an average eight-month deal cycle.

The report emphasises the need for proactive marketing efforts by B2B organisations to establish early contact and nurture relationships with the buying committee. This proactive engagement aims to steer buyers towards their solutions earlier in the buying process, streamlining purchases and contributing to a superior long-term customer experience.

AI Solutions as Key Enablers

Conducted between June and July 2023, the study amassed feedback from over 900 B2B buyers representing technology, accounting, legal, and purchasing departments. Each participant had engaged in a B2B purchase exceeding $10,000 in annual value within the last 24 months.

The research underscores the pivotal role of AI-driven solutions in bridging the gap between B2B buyers and revenue teams, facilitating stronger alignment in strategies. By leveraging AI-powered technology, companies can effectively identify optimal opportunities in the early stages of buyer journeys. This enables B2B sellers to concentrate on influencing buyers through avenues outside direct selling, such as industry events or online communities.

Key Survey Findings

The survey outcomes highlight crucial buyer-seller engagement dynamics:

  • Buyers engage late: About 70% of buyers initiate contact with sellers when they are nearly 70% through their buying journeys.
  • Established requirements: By this point, 78% of buyers have substantially or entirely determined their business requirements.
  • First contact impact: A staggering 84% of buyers reveal that the first vendor they reach out to eventually secures the business.
  • Critical window: Vendors have a mere 16% chance of sealing a deal if they haven’t influenced buyers within the initial two-thirds of the buying process.

Kerry Cunningham, Head of Research & Thought Leadership at 6sense and former Forrester Analyst, noted, “AI has been a great enabler for sales and marketing teams. We’re in an age where immense amounts of data is at our fingertips.

“Armed with that data, go-to-market organizations can cover prospects in the pre-decision phase of their journeys and direct their very best efforts where those efforts are likely to produce the best result.”

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