As more people weigh in on buying decisions, the B2B sales cycle continues to grow into a prolonged process. Demand Gen Report's 2014 B2B Buyer Survey shows 34% of respondents stated the number of team members involved in the B2B purchase process increased over the past year. Also, 40% of B2B buyers waited longer than the year prior to contact B2B vendors when making a purchase decision.
Equinix, a provider of data center and colocation services to companies in the advertising, cloud services and healthcare industries, is addressing longer sales cycles by implementing TouchChat, a live-chat tool provided by customer engagement solutions provider TouchCommerce.
Since implementing the TouchChat solution in April 2014 to its sites in the U.K. and Netherlands, Equinix has seen its 12-18 month sales cycle shrink by one month. With the current opportunities generated by the solution, Equinix expects to see a 10-to-1 return on its investment.
The company has also expanded its partnership with TouchCommerce to include the live chat product on its sites in Germany, France, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.
“We have had excellent feedback from both our customers and our sales teams in the Netherlands and UK over the last several months," John Wroath, EMEA Digital Marketing Manager, EMEA, Equinix. "We've also seen indirect impact, such as making visitors aware of new information and opportunities that can bring additional revenue to Equinix."
The TouchChat solution is designed to provide visitors to a company's web site the option to speak with customer service representatives with real-time engagement. Companies can track where on the site prospects are located, positioning reps to keep conversations relevant and as valuable as possible to visitors.
The solution can also analyze conversations to help users understand what conversations are important to prospects at that current stage of the buying process, according to George Skaff, CMO of TouchCommerce.
"The most interesting part is the analytics that are involved with the chat function on the company's site," Skaff noted in an interview with Demand Gen Report. "Chat transcripts are analyzed in order, allowing keywords to be analyzed to help users understand what buyers want to talk about."
TouchCommerce also allows Equinix to have a "Contact Us" icon on their website that scrolls on the screen wherever the visitor travels.