What B2B Buyers Want: The Answers Might Surprise You

An interesting study on B2B buying trends was recently published that confirmed the pandemic-accelerated purchasing behaviors we have witnessed over the last 18 months.1 This study probed 257 senior executives at B2B companies on their buying processes and the factors that influenced their purchasing decisions.

The study explored the following topics:

  • The buying process timeline
  • Factors influencing B2B supplier selection
  • Best sources of buying information
  • The new role of the sales rep

Over our next five blog posts, we will summarize the data and provide our viewpoint on the important buying factors revealed in the study. This insight will prove exceptionally valuable to practitioners marketing to the B2B sector.

Team Buying Is Growing

The report found that the trend toward committee buying at B2B companies is accelerating. More companies (19%) said they formed buying teams for the first time during the last 12 months. Another 50% have utilized them in the past. The committees are typically multi-functional and consist of a primary decision maker, technical influencers, researchers, and end-users.

The study also revealed that the B2B purchasing cycle had lengthened. About 55% of those surveyed said the buying period extended either somewhat (34%) or significantly (21%) during the past year.

TW’s Take

The trend towards team buying has been growing over the past decade and has become institutionalized across most B2B sectors. However, in a pandemic environment that seems reluctant to subside, work-from-home team members are difficult to reach and in-person sales calls are virtually impossible.

Committee purchasing will put more pressure on marketers to adopt account-based marketing (ABM) strategies that target specific accounts and personas with personalized, high-value content. The breadth of these teams, with management, technical, financial, and procurement members, will add complexity to content marketing and nurturing programs. Lead generation and nurturing campaigns will require greater personalization and versioning to engage and convert team members with a variety of information needs.

1 Source: 2021 B2B Buyers Survey Report, DemandGen, June 2021.

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