The transformation of the BtoB buyer continues to evolve, as preliminary results from the DemandGen Report’s second annual research study, Inside The Mind of the BtoB Buyer, points to continued expansion of the sphere of influence and new factors shaping the decision-making process.
Based on preliminary findings, 53% of respondents indicated that they took more time to research and consider solutions, while 44% utilized a wider variety of sources to research their options. The early results also point to purchasing decisions becoming more of a “group effort,” as 30% of respondents indicated that more internal team members provided their input into decision process.
In the early stages of the buying process, 87% of respondents indicated that they started with informal information gathering around a business problem — but this stage is becoming increasingly social, as 54% of respondents indicate that they engaged with peers who had addressed the challenge, and another 31% followed industry conversations/coverage of their topics on blogs and social media.
Additionally, preliminary early findings indicate that buyers are taking greater precautions and steps before selecting a solution. The majority of respondents (59%) said they took advantage of a free trial to use the product before purchasing, while 27% piloted the solution in one department or division before rolling out across the entire company.
The survey validated that BtoB buyers are gravitating to a “see it to believe it” approach, as 67% of respondents indicated that a demo or product overview was the most useful in the early stages of the buying process. In addition, 51% of respondents said free products or trials were the most helpful in supporting a purchase decision in the final stages of the selection process.
To benchmark your own experiences as a BtoB buyer, click here to take the survey. Respondents will have the opportunity to receive an advance copy of the results, and will help establish key industry benchmarks.