Very Few B2B Salespeople Say They Typically Deal With A Single Decision-Maker

March 24, 2023

This article is included in these additional categories:

B2B | Customer Engagement | Customer-Centric | Digital | Industries | Lead Generation & Management | Video

“Buying has become a team sport,” declares Vidyard in its State of Sales & Virtual Selling report. The study, based on a survey of almost 700 sales professionals, finds that the sales landscape is becoming more complicated for a variety of reasons.

One such reason is the increasing number of stakeholders involved in the decision-making process. According to the survey, just 7% of respondents best describe the buying center or committee their sales team encounters for a typical buying journey as a single decision-maker. By contrast, some 55% typically face a 2-4-person committee, either inter-departmental (25% share) or intra-departmental (30%). An additional quarter (23%) typically encounter 5 or more decision-makers, more often intra-departmental (14% share) than inter-departmental (9% share). The remaining 15% of respondents said that it varies.

Meanwhile, 4 in 10 respondents said that the number of stakeholders involved in the buying process has increased over the last year, about triple the share (13%) who said that it has decreased.

The results track with previous research among B2B buyers, in which some have noted that the number of people involved in the purchase decision-making process has increased compared to pre-COVID-19 times. That survey also found that the length of their buying cycle for large purchases had also increased, a finding supported by other research into B2B buying habits. In this latest survey from Vidyard, twice as many sales professionals said that the average duration of their sales cycle had increased (30%) as decreased (15%) over the past year. As for that duration, 8 in 10 reported it to be at least one month, and almost half said their typical sales cycle lasts 4 to 18 months or longer.

Given that length and the trend towards a longer cycle, perhaps it’s not surprising that 57% of sales professionals reported that the number of touch points they needed to close deals has grown over the past year, while just 9% have needed fewer touch points.

Just reaching a decision-maker is challenging, too. Some 42% said that connecting or booking meetings with potential customers is a challenge, which outweighed other challenges including uncovering or reaching key stakeholders (34%) and too many stakeholders in the buying process (17%).

The report puts forth custom-recorded video as a useful tool during the sales process. Defined as “those you record yourself and share with your prospects, customers, or team on a one-to-one or one-to-many basis,” these videos have grown in adoption, per Vidyard, with 57% reporting usage compared to 49% the year earlier. Custom-recorded videos are most commonly used for outbound prospecting, with their impact on response rates and meetings or opportunities booked being the most frequently-used metrics. Overall, a majority (54%) are satisfied with the results they’re getting from use of these videos, with majorities also saying they perform better than text emails (58%) and have increased their response rates (63%).

For more, download the report here.

About the Data: The results are based on a November-December 2022 survey of 720 qualified respondents in sales and customer success roles. About half (51%) are at companies with more than 200 employees, and the vast majority (83%) are based in the US.


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