Episode Two

Dissecting the Buyer Engagement Survey: How Modern Buyers Like To Buy

Guest: Trish Bertuzzi, CEO at The Bridge Group

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The Sales Engagement Podcast: Episode 2 - Trish

About This Episode

Love the feeling of opening an unexpected box of swag?

Maybe you prefer taking time to craft a carefully worded email?

Just like you, your buyers usually have pretty clear preferences about how they want (and don’t want) to be communicated with.

From LinkedIn InMail to the trusty old desktop phone, we asked our friends at The Bridge Group, Inc. for their help in conducting a buyer engagement survey to find out how different industry demographics prefer to be communicated with.

We asked Trish Bertuzzi, CEO at The Bridge Group, to come on a recent episode of The Sales Engagement Podcast to share with us the surprising results of the survey they conducted.

At the time of recording our podcast, around 800 people, from mostly smaller and younger businesses had responded to a survey asking for their preferred communication mediums.

Of the respondents, 65% were salespeople, 17% were at the executive level, and the remaining 18% were in marketing.

Here is the question by question breakdown of our results.

Buyer Engagement Survey Results

1. Are desk phones dead?

Surprisingly, no.

In fact, most people still have one. However, the higher up someone is on the org chart, the LESS likely it is that they have one. We learned that 44% of our questioned C-Suite doesn’t actually have a desk phone.

The takeaway? It means the higher up you go, you’re going to need to employ a gatekeeper strategy and work from the bottom-up.

2. How often do people check voicemail?

Our survey showed most people check their voicemail about once a day for an average of 5.6 times a week.

The takeaway? Your buyers are wading through a lot of voicemails at once–you can’t just start your message with “Hi! This is so-and-so from…” It’s going to get deleted immediately.

Learn how to get good at leaving messages. Start off with a punchy first line that makes them want to continue listening. Create a compelling story and leave a message that’s relevant and personal.

3. Is mobile accepted?

An overwhelming 60% of respondents said yes!

There is, however, a generational divide that should be considered. We found that the groups aged under 35 and over 55 are both pro-mobile contact, which means the age bracket of 35-55 does not want to be contacted via mobile

The takeaway? Generational factors are important! Max suggests looking at what years they were in college to help determine best platforms for contact.

4. How do people feel about texting?

The results here were slightly skewed toward negative.

The takeaway? While this type of question needs context to be more useful, it seems like texting can actually be super powerful for the middle of funnel where communications have already been taking place and texting is just another means of continuing conversation.

Having rapport with the customer will go a long way in determining of texting is an acceptable means of contact.

5. Is LinkedIn an accepted means of contact?

LinkedIn was the only social platform mentioned by our respondents as an acceptable means of social selling or social prospecting.

LinkedIn was actually ranked 2nd overall as the preferred contact method, with most everyone being open to accepting connections with sales reps who reach out.

The takeaway? The assumption here is that most people are open to accepting those connections if it’s of value to them.

6. Is there a New Channel to replace phone and email?

One thing this survey shows is that email is still king with 37% of all respondents choosing it as their most preferred method of contact.

The next preferred methods were pretty even for LinkedIn, phone calls, and one-to-one videos.

The last most preferred method was direct mail/letters/swag.

The takeaway? There’s a lot of noise in people’s inboxes, so be smart about crafting emails. People tend to live in their email, but it’s easy to get lost if you’re not sending a value-driven and authentic email.

There’s an expectation that with businesses like Outreach, omnichannel connection can become more relevant and personalized.

7. What are the preferred methods for content consumption?

Again, we saw an age divide.

Under 35’s had no interest in white papers, while the over 55s, not surprisingly preferred this method.

Conversely, under 35s were more interested in using peer review sites than the over 55s, and the same disbursement was found for recorded webinars.

The takeaway? As we saw with so many of these results, age is a huge factor in preferences. A blanket sales approach won’t work, especially as communications mediums and platforms grow.

8. How do communications preferences compare between marketing and sales?

This was a fun exercise in the differences between sales and marketing!

When it comes to overall preferred communication method, marketing loves emails and sales loves the phone call and everyone feels about the same towards LinkedIn.

One surprising note was that sales prefers one-to-one video chats, where marketing scored this means quite low.

And, of course, marketing absolutely loves direct mail, letters, swag–it’s literally how you speak their language.

A Final Takeaway

The data clearly shows that we need to know our buyers at the individual level.

There are a lot of layers that can factor in, such as age and title, so you really do have to get very granular about what channels and mediums you’re using to build your sales programs.

Take your time and humanize the process.

This post is based on a podcast interview with Trish Bertuzzi from The Bridge Group, Inc.. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast.

If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here.

About The Podcast

The Sales Engagement podcast is the #1 podcast focused on engaging your customers and prospects in the modern sales era. This show features real-life stories and best practices from revenue leaders doing the job day in and day out, in a casual, radio-like talk show.

Each episode features modern tactics, strategies, hacks, and tips to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy and help you navigate the next generation of sales. You’ll find energetic talks that will provide you with real actionable value around building meaningful connections and creating a better selling experience through authentic conversations that you can measure.

The Sales Engagement podcast is here to help B2B sales leaders, customer success leaders, and marketing leaders innovate and usher in the next era of modern sales by building pipeline, up-selling customers, and ultimately generating more revenue with more efficiency.

Hosted by Joe Vignolo, Senior Content Managing Editor at Outreach, and Mark Kosoglow, Vice President of Sales at Outreach.

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