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Customers Determine Their Purchase Decisions

I have witnessed a shift in the buying process first-hand over the past few years and the need to address this change feels urgent.

I've had more discussions in the past couple of weeks than ever before about customer expectations and the buyer journey. Many sales processes and marketing strategies are internally focused and don't support a buyer's reality. Sales are suffering, marketing and sales are divided, and consumers are being bullied by push marketing.

The reality is, customers determine their purchase decisions and our job is to support, educate, and build trust with buyers that will eventually lead to a purchase. How do we do that?

Before tackling the how, it's critical for marketers and sales teams to align on the state of the buyer's reality. This week I discovered a couple of excellent resources that support a realignment and have put to words the thoughts that have been running around in my head for the past few years.

The first is a report featuring survey results that illustrate the growing buyer - seller gap. Get the report here.

The second is an article by Dharmesh Shah, a cofounder of HubSpot that discusses the negative impacts of focusing solely on growth and the importance of a customer-first perspective. My favorite statement in the article is:

Manically chasing growth at the expense of customer goodwill mortgages the future. Growth that sacrifices the customer experience in any way, isn’t growth at all. It’s debt.

Woot! Love it.

I encourage any one reading this to take ten minutes to read these articles. What's your experience been like? Have you been feeling the same urgent need to shift sales and marketing perspective.

P.S. As a related bonus, Tori Stitt, a member of my team put together her own thoughts on the topic of the Customer Journey that covers the need to shift our thinking and planning from internally-focused to customer-focused.