Ask most salespeople whether they think they’re good at their job, and their answer will probably depend on how that month or quarter is going. And why wouldn’t it? Sales success has always traditionally been defined by the ability to meet or exceed quota, so it makes sense that salespeople measure themselves this way as well.
But quota is only one piece of the puzzle. Yes, it signals whether reps can bring in money, which in turn is an indicator of business health and buyer perception. After all, big numbers mean happy buyers, right?
Not necessarily. HubSpot Research’s new study, Buyers Speak Out: How Sales Needs to Evolve shows that there’s a huge chasm between how buyers want to be sold to and the way salespeople are actually selling.
The misalignment starts with the very first sales call. Almost two-thirds (58%) of buyers reported wanting to discuss price, while only 23% of salespeople answered the same. Salespeople reported wanting to spend more time on qualifying topics like the company’s overall goals (61%), the timeline for purchase (42%), and why the company needs to buy (63%). The percentage of buyers who wanted to discuss these topics was drastically lower — 32%, 24%, and 37%, respectively.
The report also found that while buyers do research in different places (for example, they preferred search engines in the Awareness stage but wanted to speak with sales once they were ready to buy), the information they seek is the same throughout the buyer’s journey.
Check out the infographic for even more insight into differences between seller and buyer attitudes, and read the full report here.