Market Intelligence

“Inbox overload” is widening buyer expectation and sales strategy gap

AMPLYFI research uncovers changing attitudes to sales in the age of AI

B2B buyers prefer sales outreach via telephone over any other method of communication as they struggle with “inbox overload”. However, the majority of buyers say they’re most influenced to make a purchase if the seller demonstrates a sound understanding of them and their business (81%), regardless of the channel used to connect. That’s according to a study from AI-powered market intelligence platform AMPLYFI.

The Censuswide poll of 500 decision makers at B2B businesses and 500 sales leaders in the UK sought to uncover how outreach strategies must evolve in the age of Artificial Intelligence.

The study found outreach via telephone (44%) and LinkedIn (40%) ranked highest among buyers, with just over a third (37%) favouring email.

Paul Teather, CEO at AMPLYFI, commented: “We’ve long known that buyers suffer from inbox overload, where having an email address has become akin to having a letterbox on the worst street imaginable. B2B sales isn’t easy, but we find ourselves now in a situation where spam has become an accepted evil as salespeople adopt cookie-cutter approaches.”

The survey found buyers receive more than 10 cold emails a day, with a third receiving as many as 15. They average eight sales calls a week, admitting they give their full attention less than 50% of the time.

AMPLYFI’s poll found salespeople appear to lack the time and resource to research prospects. Two-thirds (66%) said having additional time to conduct greater research to tailor outreach would make their targets more achievable. The majority of respondents (67%) said they are able to dedicate less than an hour of time to research each prospect for deals worth over £20,000.

Teather continued: “The shift towards a more human connection in business interactions should tell salespeople that they can no longer hide behind template emails. Personalisation is the way to go – and they must arm themselves accordingly.”

Instead, salespeople say LinkedIn (47%) is their preferred method of outreach, followed by email (46%). Just 35% say they will make a phone call, despite it being the preferred method of buyers.

The survey also found salespeople struggle with availability of information when researching prospects, with most relying solely on social media, with less than a quarter (25%) using the wealth of data in the deep web to find out more about potential clients. This is despite the growing use of Artificial Intelligence to help salespeople in their roles. According to the study, 60% of salespeople are afraid of adopting Generative AI to help them close deals.

Commenting on the findings, Alison Edgar MBE, motivational speaker, business woman and best-selling author, added: “While fear may hold some businesses back from adopting AI, it’s crucial to change on the way up and allow salespeople to embrace technology as a tool to enhance, rather than replace, human interaction. AI can streamline processes and provide valuable insights for personalised sales approaches, and there are new tools cropping up every day that can be easily integrated into your sales process.”

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