There are many reasons why B2B customers' buying behaviour has changed. I could write a whole article on that topic alone, however the question is, what are those changes and what does it mean for tech businesses targeting other businesses?
Clients have created a buying process that they are comfortable with
Thanks to the internet, social media and all other forms of content, buyers are no longer reliant on speaking to the sales person in a business to get the information they need. The power lies with the buyer now and the result is that they have created a buying process that suits them. The question is does your sales and marketing process match it?
Clients want to inform and educate themselves before they buy
They want to make an informed buying decision and engage with you when they’re ready. They want a self-service experience that means that they can find all of the information they need before they contact you. The result is that you have to clearly communicate how you solve their challenges and add value.
They scrutinise your credibility
While those of us aged +40 didn’t grow up with the internet and social media, we still use it to determine how credible your business is. Simply having a website isn’t enough, you need to be active on social media, posting opinion pieces and writing articles that help educate your buyers.
They are proactive in finding solutions even if they don’t have an immediate problem
The awareness stage isn’t just triggered when client’s recognise they have a problem. Clients are much more proactive in innovating and improving their business looking for potential solutions. So they don’t just wait until they have a problem, they are always looking for ways to develop. Do you have content that helps them achieve that?
When considering a supplier they’re also considering your credibility, values and leadership
At the consideration stage where buyers are comparing their options and suppliers. However they’re not just comparing your service offering and prices they are also comparing your credibility, values and thought leadership. They are checking to see if you understand their needs and challenges.
They want to stay ahead of the game
That’s not just staying ahead of their competition but ahead in terms of what they need to respond to in their market, potential changes, risks and opportunities. In the tech industry this is where you can really add value, help them get ahead with your expertise, knowledge and service. Client’s are looking for trusted advisors and collaborators.
They buy because you give them an experience they value and appreciate
Clients need a more personalised and considered sales and marketing experience. They want to be heard, understood and then responded to. They want you to understand it from their perspective and not be offered a solution ‘because it’s what they should do.’ You need to demonstrate you understand what they’re trying to achieve, their challenges and then clearly communicate how you are going to help them do that.
It’s a game changer
You can have on average 8 -12 buyers or decision makers in a B2B buying process (Gartner). How do you create a buying process and marketing strategy that gets them all on board?