Turning B2B Salespeople into Strategic Advisors: The 2020 B2B Buyer Report

Turning B2B Salespeople into Strategic Advisors: The 2020 B2B Buyer Report


Download the 2020 B2B Buyer Report

Many businesses still aspire to deliver experiences modeled after Amazon Business. But the demand for seamless online buying experiences in B2B doesn’t mean suppliers have to mimic them to earn the trust of their buyers. Instead, B2B businesses need to do what Amazon can’t: maintain relationships through better use of their salespeople.

The idea that salespeople should be even more involved in the buying process contradicts the 2017 Forrester death of the B2B salesman hypothesis. Just three years ago, this headline set off alarm bells, but our survey of B2B buyers finds that reports of the B2B salesperson’s death have been grossly exaggerated. While Forrester predicted eCommerce would cause a widespread displacement of B2B salespeople by 2020, 94% of our 2020 survey respondents agree that B2B salespeople improve their buying experiences. This enthusiastic approval rating stands in stark contrast to predictions of the position’s impending demise.

There is no doubt that eCommerce is an important piece of the sales process, however it will never completely replace the salesperson in B2B. Optimizing online purchasing is a crucial part of B2B sales, but it can’t stand alone. B2B businesses should take caution before calling themselves a technology company. Instead, they should double down on their core business model and customer relationships.

Key Takeaways from the 2020 B2B Buyer Report

  • The role of B2B salespeople remains crucial.

Nearly all B2B buyers (94%) say salespeople generally improve their experience when making purchases.

  • Seamless eCommerce is non-negotiable for BB buyers. 

Eighty-eight percent of buyers would turn to a competitor if a current supplier’s digital channel could not keep up with their needs.

  • Buyers don’t get all the information they need online.

On eCommerce sites, over half of B2B buyers report a lack of product information (52%) and difficulty comparing products and pricing (57%).

  • Salespeople provide stability during economic uncertainty.

Although 81% of B2B buyers are worried about a recession in 2020, 92% say salespeople will help them weather a downturn.

About Avionos

Avionos designs and implements digital commerce and marketing solutions that deliver measurable business outcomes for our clients. We are Adobe Silver Partners, members of the Adobe Partner Advisory Board, and one of 10 global partners selected to participate in Adobe Project Amplify. Our collaborative and iterative approach drives immediate results, unlocking new revenue, transforming customer experiences, and driving customer engagement. Learn more about Avionos here.

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