89% of problems identified without seller input

In beginning the buying journey, almost 9 out of 10 B2B customers identify the problem they want to solve without supplier input. The problem: these buying groups start their journey not pointed toward potential suppliers.

6-11 stakeholders involved in the average buying group

The number of stakeholders involved in B2B buying decisions depends on the situation, but two things are clear: 1) these groups are getting larger and 2) they are becoming more diverse.

Buying group conflict peaks at 37%

Before they are even halfway through their purchase journey, buying groups struggle to reach consensus around the solution to the problem they identified.

38% of buying groups end their purchase attempt with no decision

The problem was identified without supplier input, reaching consensus with a large and diverse buying group proved too difficult and ultimately there was too little certainty for the group to take any particular action.

When customers do engage, they already have an abundance of information and are working to build consensus with a buying group.

Customers are identifying needs independently, forming large stakeholder groups, and delaying their engagement with suppliers. The result for sellers is less customer access, limited opportunities to create and shape demand, and longer (and more expensive) sales cycles that end up going nowhere. 

Rather than wait and react, sellers must engage early in the customer’s decision making journey and influence emerging demand. But doing so requires finding the right customer stakeholder to engage. 


The percentage of purchase attempts that end in 'no decision'.


Sellers who engage customer Mobilizers are 31% more likely to be high performers vs. their peers.

Sales & Marketing and Customer Service

Our work is supported by ongoing research and backed by our best-selling books The Challenger Sale, The Challenger Customer and The Effortless Experience.

Want to learn how Challengers engage today's complex B2B Buyers?

Want to learn how Challengers engage today's complex B2B Buyers?

Contact us


Maximizing Seller Capability to Engage Modern Customers Part One

A version of this post was originally published on Sales Enablement Pro and can be...

  • blog
  • Oct 10, 2019
Customers Don’t Care That You’re Better, If They’re Not Certain You’re Good

Rory Sutherland’s new book Alchemy is a fantastic read for anyone interested in the intersection of behavioral...

  • blog
  • Jan 16, 2020
Entertaining The Right People: Understanding The Challenger Customer

When trying to engage a particular prospect, most sales people have historically started by asking...

  • blog
  • Sep 19, 2019