Channel Insight: Understanding The Four Most Important Factors Influencing B2B Buyers

By Kellie Auman Posted on 10/9/18 12:40 PM

Know your customer, and you’ll make the sale. It’s traditional wisdom in marketing, and has been since the dawn of capitalism – but it seems like it never gets any easier to understand the mindset of buyers. If anything, the digital age has just made it more difficult to keep tabs on B2B buyer behaviors and motivators, since everything about our society has been changing so rapidly.

However, if you and your channel partners are to succeed, understanding your buyers are essential. Further, there are certain aspects to B2B buying which really don’t change, at least not much. These are some of the tried and true strategies for reaching B2B buyers that you should emphasize when working with your partners, to improve their performance and your ecosystem’s overall performance!

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The Four Key Factors In B2B Purchasing Decisions

1. The comfort of the status quo

SEE ALSO: Four Insights On Battling The Status Quo In The Sales Channel

All things being equal, B2B buyers tend to be very conservative in their purchasing decisions. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is the mindset most of them are in. If things are going smoothly for them, and they perceive no major problems with themselves or their operations, they are going to be extremely resistant to making a change. And the bigger the change you propose, the more resistant they are likely to be.

What does this mean for you and your partners? When in doubt, start small. Work with the thin edge of the wedge. Start by talking them into one small change, which will then open up more opportunities for further sales down the line. It’s much better to let an account start small, and then grow, then lose it entirely by scaring the customer away.

2. Risk aversion

Going along with the “conservative” mindset of many buyers is the idea that they are more adverse to risk than they are desiring of improvements. In fact, according to behavioral economist Daniel Kahneman, a B2B buyer is 2-3 times more likely to take action based on the perception of loss rather than an opportunity for gain.

The implications here are simple: reword your sales material and pitches to focus on what is being lost, rather than what might be gained. Losses are easy to see, quantifiable, measurable. Gains are speculative. Focus on what you can demonstrate.

3. The number of decision-makers

Simply put: the more people who are involved in a purchasing decision, the less likely it is that the purchase will happen. This is problematic for those involved in B2B sales, since they have absolutely no say or influence on the decision-making structure of their customers’ organizations.

Getting around this requires smart customer-focused research. Your sales partners should really be doing their homework. They should use public resources – like LinkedIn – to learn as much as they can about their leads’ corporate structure, and pinpoint individuals at the highest possible levels of authority. Try to avoid involving anyone in the purchasing process who doesn’t have to be there, and look for a powerful champion who will push the sale through.

4. Early influencers get the sale

All things being equal, if a buyer is considering a major purchase, they’re probably going to go with the first seller who alerted them to a sales opportunity. Not all the time, of course, but whenever a company is “shopping around” the first outlets they visit have a much higher chance of completing the sale. Often, that “shopping around” is usually just a way to verify their first choice is good enough.

So do whatever you can do get in front of the pack. Put more effort into SEO and content marketing, while encouraging your partners to do the same. Push for sales reps to be more proactive about researching and contacting strong leads. Do whatever you can to be the first company your lead sees offering your product/service.

Partner Relationship Management Best Practices

Tie Your Ecosystem Together With LogicBay

LogicBay might not be able to make sales for you, but it can create an environment which encourages success across your ecosystem. LogicBay can create a single source for everything you and your partners need to do their jobs, including sales databases, marketing materials, communications, and more. See the power of LogicBay for yourself by requesting a personalized demonstration!

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