New Research Highlights Failure of Most Sales Reps to Understand Buyer Needs in B2B Opportunities

DRAPER, Utah, Sept. 22, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A new research report from Primary Intelligence finds that understanding buyers' business needs is the most important sales benchmark driving purchase decisions in the B2B market, beating out eight other standard categories Primary Intelligence uses to gauge sales effectiveness in competitive evaluations.

"Understanding the needs of today's business-to-business buyers is critical in any sales opportunity, and especially in highly competitive deals and those with discerning buyers," according to Mike Brose, Vice President of Global Sales at Primary Intelligence. "B2B buyers want to know that sales reps understand their pain points, will act quickly and effectively to solve them, and will be there for them over the long term."

The new report, entitled "Understanding Buyer Needs: How Sales Effectiveness in Understanding Buyers' Business Needs Drives Improved Win Rates and Increased Satisfaction," found that understanding buyer needs helps drive win rates:

  • Nearly 60% of sales reps who won deals in competitive opportunities earned "excellent" ratings when buyers were asked to judge their effectiveness in understanding their needs.
  • In contrast, only 31% of reps who lost deals earned "excellent" ratings for understanding the needs of their buyers.
  • Moreover, sales reps who successfully demonstrate an understanding of buyer needs have a higher percentage of "strong wins"—wins in which buyers overwhelmingly choose their solution over competitors—while sales teams who fail to understand buyer needs score highest in "strong losses."

Not only is understanding business needs important in terms of winning competitive deals, it's also important because of the spillover effect that understanding buyer needs creates in other areas of sales opportunities, areas that are seemingly unrelated and outside the control of the sales team. For example, buyers rate product quality higher when sales teams do a solid job of understanding their business needs, even though sales teams may have little or no impact—directly or indirectly—on strategic and tactical product decisions.

Despite this, most sales reps fail to effectively understand the needs of their buyers:

  • Only 43 percent of respondents—less than half of the over 10,000 buyers Primary Intelligence interviewed—rated their sales team as "excellent" in understanding their business needs.
  • Nearly 20 percent of buyers—one in five—rated their sales team as "poor" in understanding their business needs.

Primary Intelligence highlights key strategies sales teams can adopt to improve their ability to understand buyer needs, including:

  • Listening to and restating buyer concerns
  • Developing strategies for selling to large buyer teams
  • Customizing offers
  • Enlisting technical expertise
  • Partnering with Marketing to ensure consistent messaging

The report is part of the Industry Insights series from Primary Intelligence. More information about the report can be found at

About Primary Intelligence

Primary Intelligence delivers outcomes for B2B marketing, sales, and product leaders. We teach you how to win and retain more revenue by speaking directly to buyers and sales teams to uncover root causes through our Win Loss Analysis and Customer Experience Analysis programs. Our expert consultants initiate change in Fortune 500 companies. Primary Intelligence began in CEO Ken Allred's basement in 2000. The company is privately held and headquartered in Draper, Utah.

CONTACT: Carolyn Galvin Director of Industry Insights, Primary Intelligence 385-351-6593

Source: Primary Intelligence