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4 surprising facts for animal health marketers

#AnimalHealth, #BuyerInsight, #Conferences

You might see other animal health marketers on occasion, but how often do you actually meet them and share ideas? It’s a rare event when we can get together and discuss our industry. And that’s why NAVC2016 was such a rewarding experience.

Because NAVC events are among of the world’s largest conferences for veterinarians and associated animal health professionals, it’s also one of the largest gatherings of animal health marketers too. So, working with the good people at NAVC, we took the opportunity to hold a professional development event for folks in our industry. (Clearly, there’s a real hunger for this type of event; over 250 sales and marketing leaders registered for it, despite their insanely busy schedules at the conference.)

It’s a rare event when we can get together and discuss our industry.

And what an event it was! We asked Wall Street Journal best-selling author Pat Spenner, co-author of The Challenger Customer and Strategic Initiatives Leader at CEB, to discuss his organization’s research on today’s B2B buying journey. What he shared was fascinating. Here are 4 surprising findings from the extensive research conducted by CEB:

  • The average number of people involved in making a B2B purchase decision is 5.4.
  • Moving from a single decision maker to a purchasing team of even just two, decreases the likelihood of purchase from 81% to 55%!
  • Salespeople who focus primarily on building relationships are the least successful. The most successful salespeople constantly challenge the way customers think about their businesses.
  • Rather than engage everyone involved in the purchase decision, successful sales people are quick to identify particular customer types—mobilizers—in the customer organization.
Pat also added some clear direction around how marketers and sales staff can leverage this insight to their advantage (in addition to explaining the mobilizer customer type.) Rather than summarize it here, I encourage you to view his presentation on The Challenger Customer on Slideshare.

The most successful sales people constantly challenge the way customers think about their businesses.

At NAVC2016, we conducted a survey of attendees (in other words, of our customers who work in clinics) and what we found supports Pat’s findings. There are more people involved in the purchase decision than you might be aware. And in many situations, those involved in the purchase aren’t whom you’d expect. More on this survey in my next post.

It was really a pleasure to work with the enthusiastic and receptive people the NAVC and very gratifying to see that we tapped into a rich vein of interest from fellow marketers and sales leaders. We hope to work with the NAVC to host marketing and sales related events in the future. Stay tuned on that front.

If you’re interested in chatting about the NAVC2016 professional development event—or how we can build upon it in future events—please contact me at or via LinkedIn.