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We’ve seen plenty of research from the B2B marketer side about their desire to generate quality leads and their increasing need to meet revenue quotas. So the following statistic might come as a surprise: fully 84% of B2B consumers say they rarely hear back from companies about purchase-related questions they make when buying for work, according to a TimeTrade survey [download page].

When asked the frequency with which they do not hear back from a company, 1 in 4 said “all the time” and another 59% said frequently.

Now it’s true that TimeTrade bills itself as “the leading provider of intelligent appointment scheduling” (much of the study is devoted to extolling the virtues of appointments), and also that the question is worded in a way (how often do you “not” hear back) that encourages the expression of frustration.

But even with those things considered (and keeping in mind the survey was fielded by an independent company), it seems to be a damning statistic for vendors. Perhaps B2B marketers are more apt to respond when a lead has been generated through marketing activities as opposed to through the customer’s own research? Or maybe the lead management problems outlined here are more pervasive than thought?

Whatever the reason may be, it extends to the post-sale too. Three-quarters of buyers say they “always” (17%) or “frequently” (59%) don’t hear back from a company after contacting them with a post-sales question or issue. Considering that customer service and good communication are key levers in B2B buyers’ loyalty to vendors, the lack of post-sales response is certainly an issue.

Overall, virtually all respondents (94%) agree that they tend to buy more from a company when they have live interactions with a knowledgeable employee. While research does suggest that human interactions remain key in B2B buying, it’s also worth noting that a big part of that conversation has to do with the “knowledgeable” employee. After all, in a recent report, 73% of buyers said their winning vendor demonstrated a stronger knowledge of the buyer’s company and its needs than did the other vendors, and 66% said the winning vendor demonstrated a stronger knowledge of the solution area and the business landscape.

The TimeTrade study is available for download here.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey conducted among 301 B2B buyers, split among technology buyers (36%), professional services buyers (34%) and all other purchase category buyers (30%). Respondents came from a variety of functions, industries, and company sizes.

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