Customer Confidence Is Key to B2B Sales

Build a sales plan for customer confidence.

B2B buyers are facing a crisis of confidence

A remarkable human story rests at the center of today’s purchase. Specifically, this comes in the form of customer decision confidence. Rarely do sales teams, let alone sales leaders, reflect on how customers feel about their purchase decision. However, research continues to highlight the tremendous economic impact that improved confidence has on winning substantive deals. Yet most sales organizations’ actions are unwittingly leaving customers with more anxiety than confidence.

77% of B2B buyers state that their latest purchase was very complex or difficult

We’re specifically looking at how we enable our buyers to progress in their decision process. In fact, Gartner is helping us to think through what that looks like in terms of our organization and what that looks like in terms of the tools and process that we use to enable them.

Jenny Lee

VP, Global Sales Operations and Strategic Initiatives, Ellucian

How sales leaders can build customer confidence

Gartner research has found that the best sales leaders don’t just build customers’ confidence in their product or service, but they build customers’ confidence in themselves and their ability to make good buying decisions.

Information that helps customers advance drives ease and high-quality deals. 2.8x change in likelihood of purchase ease experience and 3x change in likelihood of high-value, low-regret deal.

Insights you can use

Leading sales departments instill confidence in customers by equipping their sellers to engage customers with a specific kind of information — called buyer enablement. They then build customer confidence by helping customers make sense of all the information the encounter — what Gartner calls Sense Making.

Instilling confidence with buyer enablement

Customers spend around two-thirds of any B2B buying journey gathering, processing and deconflicting information. They value suppliers that provide them with the right information through the right channels to make the purchase process easier. Gartner can help you develop a buyer enablement strategy that will engage, teach and influence your customers.

Buyer enablement is the provisioning of information that supports the completion of critical buying jobs. Prescriptive advice is the what (ex. "Helps us know what to do and how to do it.") and practical support is the how (ex. "Helps us complete discrete, job-related activities.")
Bar graph showing the impact of information quality and volume on winning a high-quality, low-regret deal.

Building confidence with sense making

Buyers are overwhelmed by the amount of high-quality information they encounter during the purchase process, which creates uncertainty and a struggle to complete the buying journey. Gartner research reveals one selling approach — Sense Making — which dramatically increases confidence and reduces skepticism among customers.

Bar graph showing the impact of information quality and volume on winning a high-quality, low-regret deal.

Customer confidence: The missing link to consistent account growth

Despite their best efforts, many sales departments struggle to harness existing accounts to achieve growth. Gartner recently revealed that customer confidence is the key to effectively driving consistent, high-quality account growth. Learn how Gartner can help you drive growth through smarter account management.

Customer improvement from the seller had a 48% impact on the change in likelihood of growing accounts.

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Sales leaders face unprecedented changes in customer expectations, technology and the talent needed to drive results. At Gartner CSO & Sales Leader Conference 2020, sales leaders learn from the latest research and Gartner experts covering sales talent, customer buying behavior, account-based marketing strategies and leveraging digital channels.

This was my first Gartner conference, and I was blown away by the depth of content and delivery of insight. I can already count 10 immediate action items to take back to my team, and it’s only the beginning of Day 2!

Brandy Kline

Expert Sales Enablement, Allscripts

Gartner topic experts

Gartner’s sales experts span the globe to support sales leaders with their most important initiatives, no matter where they are. Meet a few of our leaders. 

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Brent Adamson
Distinguished VP, Advisory

Doug Bushee
Senior Director Analyst

Brian C. Cain
Senior Principal, Advisory
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Scott M. Collins
VP, Team Manager
Tom Cosgrove headshot

Tom Cosgrove
Senior Director, Advisory
Matt Dudek headshot

Matt Dudek
VP, Team Manager

Cristina Gomez
Managing VP
Shayne Jackson headshot

Shayne Jackson
Senior Director Analyst
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Rick Karlton
Managing VP
Danielle Mckinley headshot

Danielle Mckinley
Director, Advisory
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Nick Toman
Distinguished VP, Research

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