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The New Realities of B2B Buyer Behaviour

Assuming you’re old enough and your memory hasn’t quite given up the ghost, can you remember how you would have purchased a car 15 years ago?

You likely saw an advert on TV that featured a stylish car swooping down a country road. Your next step would have been to source more information, which meant heading to a showroom to speak with an ‘expert’, only to then be subjected to a high-pressure sales pitch that pushed you into a test drive.

Knowing the expert had all the information, you were reliant, trusting even, on them conveying the correct information to you.

I doubt many of us would like to buy in this way ever again.

Today’s buyer is holding all the cards. They’ve already done their research, looked at comparison sites and read reviews. They’re nearing 60% of the way through the buying process before they contact a sales person – and this doesn’t just apply to cars and B2C purchases

Business-to-business buyer behaviour has significantly changed.

Business buyers are influenced by their own consumer experiences and will often make use of on average, six different methods of interaction when communicating with a supplier to ensure they receive the required information.

Access to always-connected-technology, social media and the opinion of the crowd has meant that B2B decision makers are using the web as their number one source of information.

They utilise search, referrals from like-minded social groups and reviews to help them choose suppliers as if it was a personal purchase.

Externally, the financial instability of the past few years has also led to a more cautious purchase journey. Bad decisions are expensive and as such, more senior managers are taking the opportunity to conduct research and share the decision-making process.

Nowadays, it’s estimated that 48% of B2B purchases involve more than four individuals, so clearly there are more minds to convince in the final decision.

Want to learn more about buyer behaviours? Check out our next blog Aligning Your Content With The Prospect Buying Cycle

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