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More people involved in decision making

A recent ‘B2B Buyers Survey‘ I came across had a few thought-provoking observations. While not directly relevant to any of the markets which interest you or I (what survey ever is, other than those we commission ourselves?), there are probably some results that we all have a feeling might be the case for us too.

The pandemic will surely have had an effect on buying processes, but I was intrigued to know if this effect had been to involve more people in decisions, or fewer. With increased home-working, it could have gone either way, but the report found an increase in the number of team members involved in the buying process. In fact, it says, “over the past 12 months, 19% of companies formed buying committees for the first time, alongside the 49% of respondents who already utilised them in the past.”

These groups are typically comprised of a primary decision maker, internal influencers and researchers, in addition to technical buying influencers and end-users.

Respondents agreed that the top three factors that influence buying decisions are:

  • Easy access to relevant content that speaks directly to their company
  • Easy access to pricing and competitive information
  • Content that “spoke directly to and demonstrated expertise around the needs of the organization’s specific industry”

All three group member types agreed that the first step of the buying process was conducting anonymous research, followed by developing an informal list of vendors and rounded out with preliminary information on cost. Noticeably missing was speaking with a vendor’s representative.

The report concludes that: “Not only are B2B buyers expecting content messaging and follow up that is relevant to their industry and ideally specific to their company needs, but now different stakeholders are looking for different information at different points in the journey.

“This will require companies to tailor content that’s applicable to almost every member of the buying committee, and also to develop sales and marketing motions that are responsive to their changing business needs.”