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What is the new B2B buyer Like?

Understanding your buyer is key to successfully growing your B2B business. We have seen a change in recent years in the way that B2B buyers behave, how they research suppliers and how they make a decision to purchase.

Buyers play hard to get

The buyer does not want to sit down and talk to you until they are ready (which is after you would traditionally like to talk to them). Just because someone visits your website doesn’t mean they are ready to buy.

Pitching harder won’t work.

Buyers that are ready to talk to you are likely to be highly educated in the nature of their problems, and the options available in the market to resolve them. The hard sell is not effective and sales need to advise and guide the B2B buyer, with a keen understanding of the commercial drivers that affect the buying organisation.

Price isn’t everything.

Buyers may tell you that it is all about the price. It isn’t (usually). Reliability, trust and reducing both organisational and individual risk for the buyer are usually more important.

B2B Buyers are scared.

B2B purchases are risky and buyers are fearful and risk averse, they need reassurance and to feel secure with a chosen supplier.

Buyers aren’t (only) rational.

Most purchase decisions are made on both an emotional and rational basis. Emotional elements are often more important than rational evaluation. Decisions may be post-rationalised to justify them.

Buyers are self-interested.

The individual needs of the B2B buyer and the benefits to them are twice as important as those of the organisation when it comes to making a decision.

Buyers are cultured.

Buyers want to buy from organisations that have a similar culture to their own and will assess buyers to see if there is a cultural fit.

Buyers can’t make decisions.

If you think you have found the sole Decision Maker you probably haven’t. Decision Making Units are complex and usually involve multiple stakeholders.

B2B Buyers don’t buy.

Many buyers do not speak up when they want to buy because short-term costs and perceived individual risk factors outweigh the longer-term benefits.

Professional buyers don’t buy.

Procurement are not the instigators or the drivers of most purchasing decisions.

Buyers buy Brands.

Don’t underestimate the importance of your brand awareness and building an emotional connection with B2B buyers. If they don’t know who you are before starting the purchase process it will be difficult to overcome their anxiety about trusting you.

Buyers have a short attention span.

Buyers need to navigate a wealth of information and if yours is not easy to find they will go somewhere else.

B2B Buyers don’t trust you.

Trust is developed through multiple interactions with high quality content. Buyers value different information sources and types of information differently and independent analysis and sources are most highly valued.

Buyers aren’t Social.

Few B2B buyers use Social Media and the ones that do utilise industry specialist sites rather than Twitter or Facebook.

 

There are many ways that businesses can adapt to the changes with modern sales and marketing techniques and technology. These require a range of skills and involve reaching buyers in a new way, providing information of value to them and bringing sales and marketing together. Those businesses succeeding are seeing real benefits while those still operating in a traditional way are getting left behind.

Beanstalk helps customers to achieve their sales targets. We develop marketing programmes that generate sustainable long term results, through integrated marketing and telemarketing.

This article first appeared on the Beanstalk Marketing blog