6sense Research: 84% Of B2B Deals Are Decided Before Marketers Even Know About Them

Published: December 27, 2023

B2B buyers don’t directly initiate contact with sales until they’re about 70% through their buying journey — and 84% of the time, they already know what vendor they’re going to pick, according to a new report released by revenue AI-powered ABM platform 6sense. The “2023 B2B Buyer Experience Report” discovered that marketing awareness efforts play a more critical role in the B2B buying journey than sales.

With that in mind, Kerry Cunningham, who leads Research and Thought Leadership for 6sense, recommended that solution providers exert considerable marketing efforts to create awareness with buying committee members early in the buying process to create a competitive advantage.

“We asked buyers who initiated the first interaction with the selling organization, and 83% said that they initiated the contact,” said Cunningham, in an interview with Demand Gen Report. “That doesn’t mean they weren’t getting emails and calls; they probably were, but they didn’t respond until they were ready to start having those engagements. And when we asked buyers who they reached out to first — in terms of the winning company or other contenders — 84% said they started with the winner.”

Cunningham dove deeper into the nuances of that outreach, elaborating that 78% of buyers have their expectations set when they initially contact sales. He explained that this means that the 84% of companies that will win the deal have very little ability to shape what that deal is going to be. To help get ahead of this proactive cohort of buyers, Cunningham recommend that marketers:

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  • Allow all information that could influence buying decisions to live outside a form; and
  • Atomize content as much as possible.

“The fact that buyers can do everything digitally means that it’s easier and frictionless — they can download information anywhere, at any time,” said Cunningham. “You must make sure everything is available to your buyers. Buyers stay anonymous throughout nearly three-quarters of the entire journey and by the time they uncloak and make themselves available, you better have made your case. One of the first questions you should ask a prospect is if you’re the first vendor they contacted. If the answer is yes, you can light up your cigar because you’re probably going to get that deal.”

To learn more about the current state of B2B buyer experiences, download the full report now.

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