A key buying job is validation. Once a buying team discovers information of value; they need to confirm that that information is accurate. Validation can happen in many ways: through a trial or POC, by seeking the opinions of independent 3rd parties, through reviews and articles, through deeper vendor content, or from peers.
But validation can also be tricky. The effort to validate information may turn up other facts and ideas—that too have to be validated. Or contradictions will be discovered. For the buying team, it can be difficult to know when they have enough information, the right information, and proper confirmations.
Vendors should not ignore this reality. Instead, help buyers manage that. Guide them to 3rd party sources. Assess if information requests are for “new insights” or to validate. Help the team not get stuck in rat holes–always wondering if they have enough information. Suggest a “limit”–for example, confirmation from one other “highly trusted” source or two trusted sources–based on the confidence in the initial information.
Our research shows that buying teams that actively leverage a variety of sources throughout the buying process are more likely to be successful (and deliver a high quality deal). Helping those that are less likely to use these sources will make things better for them. Going a step further and helping them refine the intent of their research is even better.
Done right, validation efforts build confidence. And confidence makes all the difference in the world.
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