News: durhamlane and Cyance launch new report

Study shows that B2B buyers are overwhelmed with more sales and marketing material than prior to the pandemic, but will engage with vendors showing the right behaviour.

This is according to new research from business development specialists, durhamlane and Cyance, a provider of global, third-party intent data, who have partnered on a new report launched this week. The B2B Buyer Insights Report 2021 explores changing attitudes and behaviours amongst B2B buyers and what these new trends mean for B2B marketers moving forward. Some of the findings from the report include:

  • 60% of B2B buyers are putting purchasing decisions on hold due to shifting business priorities and budget restrictions.
  • 74% believe marketers contact them too often and 64% think they do not approach them with the right information at the right time. 
  • However, 80% engage with vendors when they are ready to buy, and 88% will consider a vendor if they have a positive impression before beginning their research.
  • Changing B2B buying behaviours and key learnings for marketers.

According to the report, B2B buyers are currently consuming more marketing material than ever during the pandemic, but most are still delaying their purchasing decisions. 56% are engaging with an increased volume of sales and marketing content, but 60% are putting decisions on hold due to increased budget restrictions and shifting business priorities.

Whilst these findings demonstrate a challenging environment for B2B marketers, they also highlight that there are opportunities for those that engage with buyers in the right way. 

For example, with more people working remotely, buyers have noticed a significant decrease in sales calls, but have noticed an increase in all forms of digital marketing, in particular a staggering 92% increase in direct emails, followed by:

  • 64% increase in newsletters.
  • 57% increase in social ads.
  • 53% increase in banner ads.
  • 63% increase in chat bots.
  • 64% increase in direct messages on social media.

These findings show that even when the decision making unit is in an active buying journey, they're overwhelmed with information that lacks context, relevance and timing. 74% believe marketers contact them too often and 64% think that they do not approach at the right time. 

That being said, 80% of B2B buyers report that they are still happy to engage with vendors when they are ready to buy and 88% will consider a vendor if they have a positive impression before beginning their research.

With this in mind, durhamlane and Cyance asked B2B buyers what they want from a vendor when it comes to creating meaningful engagements:

  • Understanding my challenges (71%) and educating me on how to overcome them (69%).
  • Listening more than talking (40%), asking the right questions (39%), and providing resources and information tailored to the current stage of my buying journey (53%).
  • Sales calls (after meaningfully engaging with the company) are the most likely outreach to get a response as mentioned by almost three quarters of respondents (70%). 
  • Although almost half (46%) rely more on word of mouth, the preferred marketing content is case studies and customer stories (70%) followed by blog posts, articles and videos (51%).

This indicates that there is a big opportunity for B2B sales and marketers who have the ability to execute timely outreach with relevant, useful information that outlines how prospective buyers can overcome their challenges. 

With this in mind, it's pivotal that marketers have the right tools in place to accurately understand what their prospects are researching, consuming and sharing.

This will help B2B marketers to understand their business challenges and design helpful content that provides actionable insights to resolving their current issues, creating that all important ‘positive impression’ before they begin the research phase of their buying journey. 

Lee Durham, co-founder and chief growth officer at durhamlane, commented on the report: “The purpose of this report was to evaluate how the B2B buying process has changed and, as a result, educate marketers that they may need to reevaluate their marketing strategy. There are some useful insights in here and, whilst it’s a more challenging market, there are still plenty of opportunities for business development, if it’s done right.”
 
Steve Russell, executive VP - alliances and partnerships at Cyance, added: “The responses from B2B buyers clearly show that vendors are over communicating with their target audiences, using content that is not aligned to their needs. It's more important than ever to target the right accounts with the right messages at the right time, showing how you help solve their problems. Leveraging technology providing accurate and localised intent data signals is a way to achieve this.”

To view the full B2B Buyer Insights Report 2021, which includes the research results as well as guidance on how to amend your B2B strategy accordingly, please visit: info.durhamlane.com/b2b-buyer-insights-report-2021