Today, Millennials account for 73 percent of workers involved in product and service purchases for their company or their own business. Thirty-four percent are the sole decision-maker for purchases.
As more Millennials begin controlling big budgets, it becomes increasingly critical for seasoned sellers to understand and connect with the Millennial B2B buyer. Additionally, there are benefits of selling to millennial B2B buyers.
-Loyalty Limbo. Whether they are new to the buying role or looking to reevaluate any long-standing relationships or traditional processes, the window to win Millennial loyalty is open.
-Vast Value. Because Millennials are young in their careers, they inevitably carry a high lifetime value. Nurture the relationship to turn their inevitable job hop into new opportunities.
-Peer Persuaded. Millennials will turn to their robust social networks to crowd-source decisions as well as recommend and refer business. Deliver exceptional value and social sharing will be your reward.
Keys Selling a Product or Service to Millennial B2B Buyers
Millennials communicate, shop, decision make, and buy differently than previous generations. Understanding Millennials’ behavior and values is the first step to establishing common ground and rapport with the next-generation buyer. A solid understanding of the behavior and values of Millennials is the first step in establishing common ground with them.
Survey your current Millennial buyers with a mobile-friendly app. Avoid calling or sending the survey by email. Types of questions to include are: How do you search for products/services? How do you prefer to communicate? What associations or social networks do you belong to? What would make our company more appealing to you?, etc.
Based on the feedback, create a detailed Millennial buyer persona representative of your ideal customer. Include demographics, motivations, what blogs they read, devices they use, podcasts or audio books they listen to, how they shop online, and how they prefer to communicate with vendors, etc.
Let Them Choose the Communication Channel
Email is dying among Millennials. They spend 3.5 more time in messaging apps than those over 45 years old. Older users tend to default to apps that replicate desktop functions like email and web browsers, whereas Millennials prefer texts, video chats, and chat services.
The evolution in communication technology provides a multitude of varying communication preferences. Clashing communication channels is at an all-time high in the workplace. Find out if your target customer prefers a phone call, email, text, or message via the latest chat service. One thing seems universal with Millennial B2B buyers, none of them like voicemail.
Be mindful that how sellers desire to communicate is less important than how buyers prefer to communicate. Defer to the buyer’s communication preferences. Whether the Millennial buyer prefers text, Slack, Zoom, Teams or some other platform, adjusting communication channels in real-time is the new normal when selling to them.
Attract vs Prospect
Millennial B2B buyers cited Internet search and vendors’ websites as their two top means of researching products and services.
The traditional, linear sales process—qualify, educate, create interest/need, and close—is not effective with Millennials. The Millennial B2B buyer gathers information up front by consuming information via social networks, videos, blogs, etc. This requires sellers to switch from prospecting mode to attracting.
The best way to attract the Millennial B2B buyer is to deliver valuable, compelling content on the platforms where Millennials search and in the media they prefer. Millennials love videos. Use your survey to uncover topics they research. Create compelling how to, benefits of, and how it’s made videos. The videos don’t have to be studio quality, but the content of the video must be relevant, accurate, informative, and useful to the buyer. High-value content will also position you as a trustworthy expert/authority.
Active Internet Presence
Millennials grew up on the internet searching forums, reading blogs, evaluating Yelp reviews, Googling everything, and tweeting at brands as if they were a personal friend. Millennials buying behavior reflects this and is different from previous generations because of their highly-social and hyper-connected upbringing.
Millennials will make decisions about you or your product based on your digital presence or the lack thereof. Unlike previous generations, a face-to-face meeting is not needed to build trust, but it can be used to supplement the relationship or impression that are already established online.
Social media impacts industries differently. However, a vibrant social media presence will only elevate your brand in the eye of a Millennial buyer. Make it easy for the Millennial B2B buyer to discover your products and services and to begin a conversation.
Successfully positioning your product or service with the 73 percent of B2B buyers is sure to increase your sales and to ensure continued growth for your business. As you grow, expect growing pains such as temporary cash flow issues. Allied Financial Corporation is here to help you with accounts receivable financing.