Digital Marketing Researches & Reports

The Growing Buyer-Seller Gap: Results of the 2018 Buyer Preferences Study | Miller Heiman Group

| Global

“It’s so tough to sell?”… A sentence reflects the drop in the number of sellers meeting or exceeding their quotas with only 53% of all sales organizations, surveyed, hitting their target numbers. The reason is that today’s buyer expectations are changing faster than today’s sellers can adapt and evolve, creating a chasm that sales organizations are struggling to close.

Without further ado, here are the main highlights uncover the growing buyer-seller gap and what B2B buyers think of B2B salespeople:

How B2B Buyers View B2B Salespeople:

  • 65.2% of respondents said that they found value in discussing their situations with salespeople.
  • 61.8% said that salespeople meet their expectations rather than exceed them (31.8%).
  • Just 23% of buyers selected vendor salespeople as a resource to solve business problems and 35.4% selected the vendor website.
  • Identifying and clarifying needs (29.8%), identifying possible solutions to meet the need (26%), and evaluating solutions for relevance (24%) are the top three buyer preferences for engaging salespeople.

Opportunities for Earlier Engagement Exist:

  • 9 out of 10 of buyers said that they would be open to engaging with salespeople earlier in the buying process.
  • Buyers who are risk-takers were five times as likely to prefer engaging a seller early versus skeptics (51.7%), compared to analytical buyers (31%).
How B2B Buyers View B2B Salespeople | 2018 Buyer Preferences Study

Buyer Decision-Making Style Compared to Willingness to Engage Sellers at Initial Buying Stage – 2018


Data were driven from 500 B2B buyers, globally, working for medium to large-sized companies – $250M USD or greater – and who made purchases of $10K USD or greater. Respondents came from 25 industries and represented 21 countries. (Note that buyers in the general sense mean: business professionals making business purchases. The study was not exclusive to procurement professionals).

Respondents represent 25 industries and represented 21 countries. 50% of the responses were from North America, 18% from APAC, 30% from EMEA and 2% from LATAM.

Miller Heiman Group

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Founded 1960, Miller Heiman Group provides the sales training, consulting, technology and research sellers need to stay one step ahead of disruption. Miller Heiman Group helps sellers stay one step ahead, even as business rapidly changes. The group has helped some of the world’s largest global organizations improve performance.With more than 60 offices in more than 40 countries, nearly 1000 full-time employees, consultants and contractors, and over 70 distribution and franchise partners, Miller Heiman Group is growing at more than 2.5x the rest of the sales and service industry.

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