B2B organizations encounter plenty of competition, and how they can stand out from this competition can be tricky business. A global survey of more than 500 B2B buyers and sellers from RAIN Group shows that for 7 in 10 (71% of) B2B buyers, leading a thorough discovery of their concerns, wants and needs will have a high influence on their purchase decisions.
Alongside being able to understand a buyer’s wants and needs, a seller’s ability to show what’s possible or how to solve a problem is highly influential for two-thirds (68% of buyers) when it comes to them making a purchase decision.
However, neither of these factors would be possible if B2B salespeople did not listen to the buyer. Some 68% of buyers agree that a seller that listens to them has a high influence on their purchase decisions. Indeed, other research has found that active listening is one of the top traits B2B buyers value in a salesperson.
RAIN Group also found that factors such as making the return on investment clear (64%), educating with new ideas and perspectives (64%) and communicating their value (60%) were highly influential to a majority of buyers with respect to their purchase decisions.
B2B buyers have relied on vendor websites to educate themselves on products and services, and also navigate to sites when it comes to consideration and decision-making. Since the pandemic, B2B buyers have dramatically increased their consumption of content, in general, but particularly in assets such as executive summaries, landing pages, webinars and brochures.
And, that’s not the only change that has occurred due to the pandemic. Other research from RAIN Group found that as of May 2020, 71% of B2B sellers were doing at least half of their sales virtually.
Speaking of virtual interaction, this more recent survey also found that some B2B buyers identified factors such as gaining their attention and keeping them engaged virtually (50%) and collaborating and interacting with them virtually (44%) were important purchase decision influencers.
Although still on the list of top purchase decision influencers, a much smaller percentage of B2B buyers found sellers reaching out to them to set meetings by phone, mail or other means (36%) or negotiating with them (31%) to be highly influential.
About the Data: Findings are based on buyer respondents from a global survey of 528 B2B buyers and sellers.