How Have B2B Purchase Processes Changed?

August 16, 2019

The vast majority (83%) of senior-level B2B executives report that business needs and priorities have resulted in them either accelerating or postponing purchase decisions in the past year, according to Demand Gen Report’s 2019 B2B Buyers Survey Report [download page], which examined other aspects that have changed the B2B purchase process in the past year. Here’s what they found.

To begin with, B2B buyers are spending more time researching their purchases. Indeed, three-quarters (75%) of the more than 250 B2B executives surveyed agree that this is the case, while 73% say they now use more sources to research and evaluate purchases. This is significant information for those on the marketing and sales side as it means there is a need to provide the relevant content which will aid buyers in making their purchasing decision.

Earlier research from Demand Gen Report and ON24 found that the majority of B2B buyers believe that content can be improved by adding more research and data. Additionally, prior data shows that a great deal of the initial research on a solution is not performed by top decision-makers in the C-suite, so content should target more diverse roles.

Ads can also play an important role during the research process. The survey found that more than one-third (37%) of respondents noticed ads from the solution provider they ultimately chose to purchase from during their research and the ads positively impacted their view of the vendor.

More than one-third (35%) of respondents say that their most recent B2B solution purchase involved 4-6 decision-makers. Along those lines, about two-thirds (65%) of respondents report that one of the aspects in their purchasing process that has changed over the past year is that they now have formal buying groups or committees in place to review potential purchases.

Another change respondents have reported is their reliance on recommendations and reviews. Historically, buyers tend to rely on the recommendations from their peers, particularly during the discovery stage of the buying process. This remains true today with, 61% of this current survey’s respondents saying they are now relying more on peer recommendations and review sites during their purchase process.

This emphasizes the importance of vendors creating advocates from a pool of their satisfied customers. Happy customers are usually happy to give recommendations or reviews; they just need to be asked. TrustRadius data shows that the majority of buyers are willing to do more advocacy for vendors than they already have.

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of more than 250 B2B buyers. About half (51%) are from companies with at least $500 million in revenues.

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