In a study sponsored by Google, Boston Consulting Group researchers found that smartphones are increasingly being used in B2B purchasing, with benefits including reduced purchasing time and more repeat buys.
But many marketers in the B2B space have been slow to adapt to this trend.
Although relatively few buys are completed via smartphone today, share is expected to increase to 12% by 2020; and even now mobile is "driving or influencing" 42% of revenue in markets that traditionally have depended more on sales than on marketing.
Researchers identify a new breed of B2B buyers who don't want to deal with a salesperson until ready to close the deal, looking instead for the same kind of digital experiences via smartphone that they have as consumers.
Some key findings:
- 80% of B2B buyers use mobile at work.
- 60% expect to increase their use of mobile.
- Around half of B2B search queries today are made via smartphone; BCG expects that figure to grow to 70% by 2020, as daily mobile usage increases from 2 hours/day to 3.
- Mobile can accelerate time to purchase by 20%.
Leading smartphone sellers are developing mobile techniques to facilitate sales:
- Square or vertical formats
- Use of location data
- Click-to-call links
Marketers complain of lower conversion rates on mobile, but the BCG researchers believe mobile's superior lead-generating ability more than offsets this, and that mobile use leads to more conversions in the long run.
Note: Researchers cite employee skill development as a challenge to increased use of mobile for selling.
Those are pretty convincing findings and arguments for integrating mobile technologies into the sales process. To which I would add: remember the B2B buyer is a person, who like you and I behaves in much the same way in B2B situations as in B2C. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that sales is a good application for mobile technology.
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