Buyers Want Self-Service

Self-service is having its moment as both buyers and sellers enjoy and appreciate the benefits. According to Gartner, “buyers don’t want to talk to sellers.” Their research in 2022 on buyer preferences “uncovered that 72% of buyers prefer a rep-free experience. This means buyers are actively trying to have less conversations with sales, making it more challenging for sellers to engage with them.”

Here are a few indirect spend examples:

  • This month, software marketplace provider, G2, announced it is helping software buyers’ with their self-serve purchasing journeys by introducing interactive demos. G2 states buyers are typically open to learning more about a product or solution but might not want engage in a sales call. “The product demos provide a first-hand walk through product(s)…[they can] be done on a software buyer’s own time, but still provide a deeper level of information from the vendor to help them determine – more quickly and easily– if a piece of software meets their needs.”
  • Also this month, BTN reports that Virgin Atlantic has launched a new site with “curated resources to support travel bookers,” with “plans for a self-service portal for customers, agents and travel managers…The upcoming portal will allow for increased self-serve capabilities including contract value reporting, sustainability reporting and managing waivers and favors.”
  • Earlier, an article in MarTech Series by Lisen Zethraeus looks at self serve advertising, which is disrupting the ad tech space. “Much like buying products online, a self-serve platform automates the ad buying process…With big players such as Hulu, TikTok, and Spotify already leveraging and unlocking the benefits of self-serve for themselves and their advertisers, we can only predict that more brands will follow suit. Self-serve advertising presents a laundry list of benefits for publishers and advertisers alike, making it a win-win situation that saves both parties time and money.”

However, research by McKensey found that B2B customers want “more channels, more convenience, and a more personalized experience from suppliers.” Meaning, they “want the right mix of in-person interactions, remote contact via phone or video, and e-commerce self-service across the purchasing journey.” B2B organizations will need to shift to a more hybrid approach.

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