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Is the Customer really In Control? And if they're not, who might be? - The Telemarketing Company - Blog

Is the Customer really In Control? And if they're not, who might be?

If you Google ‘Customer in Control’ you are faced with a lengthy list of articles describing how in the digital age, the customer is firmly in control of each stage of their purchase journey, with a wealth of choice and information at their fingertips. This view of the buyer in control has become accepted amongst sellers. Increasingly focused on nurturing inbound leads through their digital programs, they deliver a constant flow of content and information, until the buyer is ‘ready’ to engage with a sales rep – typically, ‘60 percent’ through the process, according to commonly quoted statistics.

It might, therefore, come as a shock to the system, to learn that the customer feels far from in control, and in fact, quite the opposite.

Research by CEB amongst 600 B2B buyers tells a different story. Buyers are ‘overwhelmed and often more paralysed than empowered’. A recent study by IBM paints a similar picture, describing how most people are disappointed with digital brand experiences – in fact, 70% aren’t impressed with ‘The Experience Revolution’.

Too much information and too many options make customers feel less in control

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The CEB Research throws light on why the B2B buying process, in particular, might be more rather than less painful, despite the wealth of information and choices available to today’s buyer.

  • The buying group is more complex and diverse; according to CEB, the average is now 6.8 people strong, versus 5.4 two years ago.
  • The buying process is more protracted - it takes longer to evaluate the wealth of information available and get buy-in from a bigger group of decision makers.
  • Given the amount of choice, customers feel less secure in the decisions they make and, as a result, are more likely to feel post-purchase remorse.
  • Sales reps may compound the issue, with 68% believing that more information helps customers make better decisions.

Easing the route to purchase - the role of the sales rep

Interestingly, The CEB research shows that the majority (86%) of sales professionals agree that ‘helping the customer consider all options and alternatives is important’. However, is presenting the customer with ‘all options’ the same as easing the route to purchase? Shouldn’t suppliers be aiming to offer the customer ‘the right option’ instead of simply demonstrating ‘all available’ options?

Equally, an effective sales rep should make the customer feel secure, guiding them through the purchase process, helping them navigate the overwhelming choice of options to find the product or service that is the ‘right fit’.

Understanding your customer and finding the right fit

In order to guide the customer to the right solution, both sales and marketing need to understand the customer’s needs, their definition of success, and the barriers they face. They need a deep understanding of the buying group; who is involved, what challenges do they face and what is the purchasing motivation for each buying team member? Only with this level of insight, can they communicate a relevant message and a proposition tailored to the customer’s individual needs.

Take a proactive approach – engage early

Rather than waiting until 60% into the buying process, it is in the interests of both buyer and seller to have an early conversation that qualifies interests and builds a solid base of understanding so that neither party wastes time further down the line. A proactive approach where the supplier engages at an early stage ensures that the customer’s needs are at the heart of the process, allowing the seller to present a targeted, compelling offer from the start. This facilitates a more relevant customer experience and helps nurture a relationship built on trust and rapport, making the customer feel secure with a credible partner who truly understands their viewpoint and addresses their needs.

Putting your customer back in control

As discussed, the sales rep’s role is key to easing the customer through the buying process but, given timescales required and the need to engage a complex buying group, sales resource in many organisations is already stretched. Where resource is limited, it is worth considering an outsource option, which can be applied at almost any stage of the buying cycle, generating leads at the top of the funnel, qualifying and converting inbound leads and nurturing them until they are ‘sales ready’, or taking them right through to close of sale. If, due to limited resource, you are leaving your buyers to navigate through 60% of the buying process, not only does this risk leaving them feeling overwhelmed and lost, but it creates an opportunity for your competitors to step in and take them by the hand, potentially losing a sale for you.

At The Telemarketing Company, our teams have supported hundreds of clients, bridging gaps in resource and supporting their sales and marketing functions. Our telemarketers engage business decision makers in productive, unscripted conversations that generate high quality leads and opportunities. Our lead management specialists are skilled in systematically qualifying inbound enquiries to ensure in-house teams receive leads that are truly ‘sales ready’, and our Inside Sales team provides high performance telesales, guiding prospects skilfully through the full buying cycle, from initial engagement, on-going nurture to close of sale and beyond.

If you’d like to learn how we can help you put your customers back in the driving seat, get in touch today.


Publish Date: May 5, 2017 5:00 AM

2021 Buyers Guide Help Desk Software

eGain Corporation

eGain CallTrack™
eGain CallTrack™ is a dynamic call tracking and case management solution that helps companies provide quick, high-quality, and cost-efficient resolution of customer issues across traditional and emerging interaction channels. It is one of the many innovative customer interaction products in eGain Solve™ suite, the unified customer engagement and knowledge management software suite, which helps businesses transform their traditional call centers into omnichannel customer engagement hubs. eGain CallTrack will enable you to track, manage and resolve cases and maintain service level agreements (SLA), across channels.


Happitu is your customer support team’s personal coach. It guides your team through every interaction with custom workflows, responsive scripting, and dynamic help topics.

Documentation in Happitu is automated, detailed, and consistent. Go beyond handle times and service levels with the rich insights of Happitu – from granular interaction data to aggregate data and trends – you get the complete CX journey!

We intentionally built the Happitu Workflow Designer with your customer support team in mind. Using our intuitive tools that provide quick and safe iteration, you eliminate the need to involve IT or Development. Yes, you will no longer have to dread submitting a change request to Devin from IT!

Try it free for 45 days!


Knowmax is an omnichannel knowledge management platform. Our mission is to transform contact centers into resolution centers and drive customer self service.
The platform is an industry-agnostic enterprise-grade knowledge platform with components helping in easy findability of actionable information at the right time across the desired touchpoint.

Nuxiba Technologies

Nuxiba's Help Desk Software is ideal for delivering top-level contact help desk services. It not only tailors to your existing technology resources but also allows you to set staff priorities that forward clients to the most knowledgeable agents.

Give personalized assistance, and analyze performance with our real-time monitoring, recording, and reports. Integrate Salesforce or VTiger CRM systems, be TCPA compliant, protect your cardholder's data during calls, and more!

Request a quote or demo today and start the journey to increase your first-contact resolution percentages in less than three months!


OneDesk's software combines Helpdesk & Project Management into one application. No need to purchase, integrate and switch between applications. Your team can support your customers and work on projects in one place. Aimed at SMBs as well as departments at large enterprises, OneDesk is frequently used by project managers, customer service, IT, professional services and more. This easy-to-use, feature-rich, and highly configurable software can manage both ticket & task workflows.

Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

ActivDesk Help Desk Software
ActivDesk Help Desk Software is an intelligent ticketing software for multi- channel customer interaction & engagement. It streamlines the entire ticket management process. With its SLA & escalation management, it enables your help desk to deliver enriching customer experience.

View more from The Telemarketing Company

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Is the Customer really In Control? And if they're not, who might be?May 5, 2017 5:00 AM
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