Customer purchasing behaviour describes the process customers go through before they buy a product or service. Understanding this process is not only important for sales teams, but it also helps businesses align their sales strategies. Purchasing behaviours of B2B buyers have changed significantly over the last couple of years. Recent statistics by Forrester found that 74% of B2B buyers and sellers preferred to purchase products from websites and that 59% preferred not to interact with sales representatives.
Today’s buyer holds the cards. They’ve done their research, read reviews and looked at comparison websites. Innovations in technology, the ease and efficiency of performing transactions, and the increase in B2B platforms have made them the preferred choice for many buyers. In fact, buyers are near 70% of the way through a purchasing process before contacting a sales person.
B2B Purchasing Behaviour Has Changed Significantly
Buyers are mostly influenced by personal consumer experiences, and will often use different methods to interact when communicating with suppliers to make sure they get the information they require.
Access to technology, social media and various crowd reviews means that buyers now rely on the internet as their leading source of information. They use search and referrals from social groups to help them choose which suppliers to purchase from.Externally, the recent financial turmoil has made people extra cautious when making purchases. Bad decisions are costly, and because of this, more managers are now using the opportunity to undertake research and share decision making processes.
An estimated 49% of B2B purchases involve at least 4 people, a clear indication that more minds need convincing before a purchasing decision is made.A change in technology and how people access information has influenced purchasing behaviours of B2B buyers. The same applies to companies that use such technology to stay ahead of competition and remain relevant.
Large enterprises like Winsome Diamonds and Jewellery Limited, and others are using the latest technology trends to build solid online reputations. Just look at Jatin Mehta Facebook profiles; the chairman of Winsome Diamonds and Jewellery Limited has been motivational in the way the company has used technology to gain an upper hand. Founded in 1985, Winsome Diamonds and Jewellery is an industry leader and its success story is largely attributed to the business structure that employs a lot of innovation and online marketing coupled with a focus on customer values.
Factors That Influence Changes in Purchasing Behaviour of B2B Buyers
You can be rest assured that by the time you’re done reading this piece, purchasing behaviour may have changed yet again. Factors such as technology, and customer reviews play major roles in decision making.Purchasing behaviour changes continue unabated, and it is these changes that make it increasingly difficult for managers to apply their perfect mixtures of tactics and strategies to achieve a winning formula.
Purchasing Behaviours B2B Marketers Should Know
Modern purchasing behaviours mean B2B marketers are now more responsive than ever. Improving buyer understanding and creating nimble organisations. Here is how purchasing behaviour will reshape B2B marketing efforts:
Buyers Embrace Collaboration
Digital and social technologies have paved a way for progress in collaboration. This means that the area of influence and interaction has not only widened, but also increased immensely. Old ideas on the roles of buying teams have been shattered and collaborative buyer networks have ensued. Members of Internal and external collaborative networks now have an impact on decision making processes.
Buyers Now Want Co-Creation
Collaborative networks have fostered new environments to co-create products and services, and to solve problems. Such developments will apply pressure on B2B platforms to align themselves with products and services that allow buyers to play active roles in co-creation. This is something collaborative networks and buyers will demand. For the B2B marketer, this will mean wide views on how messaging is delivered.
Buyers Want Reduced Content
Too much content will overwhelm even the most enthusiastic of buyers. People now think twice about adding their names and email addresses on forms, and that is because they just don’t want to be flooded by emails requesting them to download an ebook for more information. Buyers desire less content, but informative content.
The closing stage for any B2B marketing effort is when an actual purchase occurs. The purchase decision may be affected by negative feedback from previous customers. For example, after having conducted some research including reviews, a customer chooses to purchase a pellet gun. However, because his friend, an aspiring marksman for the military gives negative feedback, he’ll be compelled to alter his preference.
With rapidly changing purchasing behaviours, B2B marketers will need to be more agile and adaptive. As B2B marketing strategies evolve, companies will need to penetrate target audiences than ever before and they will be required to harness the right technologies to gather more knowledge about potential customer needs, products, services and competition. The age of sales people or door-to-door marketing is long gone.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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