New research from comms giant FINN Partners offers a comprehensive analysis of the factors that inform B2B product procurement personnel, providing deep insights into the factors influencing business-to-business purchase decisions, based on a survey of nearly 800 business professionals in key U.S., European, and APAC markets.
“There are more than 40,000 distinct paths based on industry sector, company size, purchase value, country, and buyer journey roles from which B2B marketers can optimize their activities against to ensure success. Only by looking through these various lenses of influence can sales organizations find actionable insights,” said Barry Reicherter, senior partner, Research, Planning & Measurement at FINN Partners, and director of the survey, in a news release.
Additional findings from the new study, The B2B Buyers Influence Report:
IT professionals play the most impactful role in the enterprise purchase process
These pros are the most informed and most influential in the four stages of the buyer journey, including the identification of need, determination of solution required, identification of potential providers, and the final decision.
Personal contact with key personnel is vital
Strategic interactions with company representatives are more important than sources of information when it comes to making the final decision. Additionally, establishing confidence was critical to becoming the chosen provider.
Product demonstrations, trials, and proof of concept are important across all regions
While online webinars, trade shows and conferences are still important, “the demo” is a compulsory activity to winning the business.
Consultants specific to individual sectors are the most consistently valued sources
Throughout the buyer’s journey, consulting firms entrenched in these sectors are an important audience to build awareness and positive opinions about your offering.
There are several personal preferences among B2B decision makers, globally, that can lead to marketing points of entry, including:
- They are more likely to play video games than the general population
- Nearly half (47 percent) have watched an e-sports tournament
- 82 percent say they would pay more for eco-friendly or sustainable products
- 58 percent eat fast food regularly
Findings show that the variables with the greatest influence on B2B decision-makers vary across markets and sectors. For example, senior managers, IT, and finance personnel, were the only three roles critical to driving purchases in the American health sector, while a broader range of managers influenced purchase decisions in the European and APAC health markets.
“These new findings will help marketers and PR professionals deepen their understanding of the nuances driving B2B transactions. Through an enhanced awareness of the qualities and values associated with suppliers across industries, communications professionals can develop more focused strategies that best position client products or services for maximum B2B impact,” continued Reicherter.
“Since the report segments these variables, it can have wide-reaching impact because it can be filtered and applied to numerous complex or industry-specific scenarios. We can create more than 40,000 different potential scenarios from this data set to closely match almost any company’s objectives.”
Finn Partners partnered with Global Web Index (GWI), the world’s largest survey on the digital consumer, for the research. Leveraging GWI’s reach across 46 countries and 2.4b consumers, a total of 773 interviews were conducted globally among Senior Management under 65 years old who are involved in business purchase decisions at companies with 250 employees or more and were involved in recent significant purchases.