The Impact of High-Quality Information on B2B Sales

Too much high-quality information can hurt the chances of closing a sale.

Sales leaders are challenged in today’s information-rich buying environment to engage productively with B2B buyers and secure quality deals that purchasers don’t regret. But recent Gartner research revealed another piece of the information puzzle: There isn’t just a surplus of information — buyers are awash in good information.

“Information that once enabled customers to forego meeting with a sales rep has now made it significantly harder for B2B buyers to make an effective decision on their own,” says Cristina Gomez, Managing Vice President, Gartner. Eighty-nine percent of B2B buyers indicate that the information they encountered during the purchase process was of high quality.

Gartner data illustrates that while high-quality information helps customers up to a point, three information conditions can actually reduce the likelihood of a customer completing a high-quality, low-regret purchase. Gartner defines a purchase as high-quality, low-regret when it is of a large, complex solution where the customer doesn’t settle for a smaller, cheaper option or status quo, and at the same time, doesn’t feel bad or regret the purchase.

Gartner data illustrates that while high-quality information helps customers up to a point, three information conditions can actually reduce the likelihood of a customer completing a high-quality, low-regret purchase.

To help buyers find a way forward, sales reps must use sales interactions to help customers make sense of the information. The Gartner Sense Making approach is predicated on the careful sharing of information to guide customers toward a clearer, more rationalized view of the purchase decision.

Sellers employing this approach help customers prioritize various sources of information, quantify trade-offs and reconcile conflicting information. Sellers that do this reduce the skepticism buyers have towards them and increase the confidence buyers have in their purchase decision. Reps who take a Sense Making approach are better positioned to help buyers close a high-quality, low-regret deal.

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PR_051_506535 Gomez-Cristina

Cristina Gomez serves as the Vice President for Gartner for Sales Leaders, leading the Sales Research Practice.

 

Gartner for Sales Leader clients can read more in Redefining the High-Performing Seller for the Information Era.

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