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In its third Buyer Experience Study, IDC surveyed 213 IT buyers and learned that in 2009, sellers lost many deals due to factors that had nothing to do with the economy! Selling Power magazine reports that

the biggest culprit in lost deals is Poor Customer Relationships.


What the study discovered:

Two-thirds (67%) of buyers cite poor relationships as a reason for switching vendors in 2009, but the response jumped to 70% for companies spending more than $1 million on IT.  So a larger percentage of reps lost those longer term, bigger purchases because of their inability to sustain a great relationship.


Sellers were not prepared.  Buyers thought about their initial meeting with each of these reps and the rep's level of preparation.  The responses were as follows:

very prepared = 29 percent

prepared = 17 percent

somewhat prepared = 30 percent

not prepared = 24 percent

This means that 54 percent of salespeople aren't prepared for their initial meetings with prospects.  Too many reps come to the table and don't even know what the buyer purchased previously; the buyer has to tell them.


So how do you improve? Here is what buyers have to say:

There is a direct correlation between preparation and customer relationship.

The buyers' number one recommendation to sellers for improving relationships was to ditch the generic pitch. Buyers wanted sellers to engage them in real, substantive conversations about what's going on in their industry and organization at a strategic level.

Buyers' second recommendation for improving buyer/seller relationships was to bring the right people to the table at the right time. Salespeople must understand that they don't have all the right answers, nor are they expected to have them. But they're expected to understand to whom they should reach out in the buyer's organization and at what time.

Buyers' third and fourth recommendations to sellers for improving relationships were for reps to know more about 1) buyers and 2) their own products - not features and benefits, but how they solve broader business issues.  

Thanks to Heather Baldwin and the Selling Power magazine report of this IDC buyer study.


Other useful suggestions that clients have relayed to me and I have used as our core beliefs in building a business with a CRM strategy.

Use the power of the Internet and perform searches on the company name, the management team contacts, the competitors, key customers, and their industry. {Make sure your company can also be easily found!}



Use Social Media tools such as LinkedIn to find people to people relationships that can be helpful.  Review the companys' LinkedIn recommendations to discover other business relationships.  More on success with social media and CRM......



Use on line tools like Hoovers and First Research to get up to speed fast about company demographics and industry intelligence, respectively.

Check these links for more on the common business issues solved with CRM and the benefits of CRM 


Share with others on ways to build relationships and gain success with CRM. What is a best practice that works for your business?


Topics:   Traditional CRM Building Stronger Relationships Business success with CRM Business Relationship Development

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