If there’s one thing that you can’t deny, it’s that the Internet has radically changed the way business is being conducted.
SMEs make up over 98.5% of the approximately 78,000 companies in Malaysia. Most C-Level executives in these SMEs are vaguely aware of the importance of the Internet when it comes to running and marketing their business. While no one will argue that point, it seems that that realization is not enough to spur these companies into action.
It used to be that the first call a client made when they experienced a pain point or identified a need was to their trusted vendors. These vendors were looked upon as experts in their fields and were (more or less) trusted.
But that has changed a fair bit over the last decade.
These buyers now have a wealth of information at their fingertips. They can find out almost anything within seconds. Even if they can’t find out what they need to know via search engines, they have a much wider and easily accessible network online.
Customer ignorance is no longer a competitive advantage. As it should be.
Ask any CEO or salesperson whose business relies heavily on tenders. They have learned that if they only find out the tender specifications when it’s officially announced, then it’s as good as lost.
What they really want to do is to get to the person or committee drawing up the tender specifications and influence and educate them such that those specifications favour their products, services or company competencies (and this is done in a way that’s completely above board, of course – no, seriously). The committee used to ask advice from their vendors, and had little to no way to find out if that advice was indeed the best possible solution for them, or even if it was sound.
But now, these buyers are able to conduct the bulk of their fact finding online. And most of the time, they do. They only approach vendors when they’re ready to negotiate price.
What are the Implications?
This is what we see that’s happening on the ground here in Malaysia.:
- Prospects won’t call as much…
- But are more informed when they do.
- This means that you must place your website in your buyer’s purchase journey
This means that you need an online presence so that you can still educate and influence your prospects even before they contact your sales team.
Below is an infographic we have prepared that highlights those points.