B2B buyers’ purchase timelines are getting longer, and buyers are also waiting longer to engage with salespeople. What factors can delay this already lengthy process? A survey from GoodFirms takes a look.
According to buyer respondents from the survey of 410 B2B buyers, sellers and experts, price disagreement is the top reason (of the 5 listed) that the buying process takes longer to close, as cited by 29.3% share of respondents. The next culprit is disagreement on the product/service (as cited by 24.4% share), followed by insufficient information (19.5%). Fewer say that lack of coordination (14.6%) or lack of proper customer service from the seller (12.2%) are the top reasons why deals get delayed.
This suggests that the provision of information is a critical component. In fact, when buyers were asked what makes them decide on a vendor, more said that a vendor’s ability to provide information that made it easier for them to purchase (40.5%) was the key decision influencer than the vendor’s knowledge of the company and its needs (35.7%) or the vendor’s knowledge of the product/solution and business landscape (23.8%). (Of course, a strong knowledge of the company and its needs is also critical, as evidenced by other research.)
Given that B2B buyers use vendor websites throughout the purchase journey, vendors must adapt their websites to meet buyers’ information needs. Presented with a list of 6 pieces of information and asked which is the most critical one they seek on the service provider’s website, a leading 26.2% share of buyers surveyed by GoodFirms cited product features. Close behind, almost one-quarter (23.8%) pointed to services and offerings, while pricing structure is the most critical piece of information for more than 1 in 5 (21.4%).
In fact, pricing is the factor that the broadest amount of buyers (81%) take into consideration when making a purchase decision, followed by features or functionalities (71.4%) and a seller’s customer service availability (54.8%).
- The reputation of a business is more important to buyers than price and service comparisons with peers when selecting a B2B service.
- Almost 9 in 10 respondents (buyers and sellers) said that they transact via online channels.
- A slight majority (52.4%) of buyers prefer to transact online than offline.
- However, the single preferred channel to interact and close deals with B2B sellers is face to face (39.5% share), rather than email, over the phone, video conferences, or live chat.
- More than half (54.8%) of buyers agree that finding genuine reviews of B2B services is a difficult task, as most reviews are inauthentic and unverified.
For more, check out the full results here.