Infographic: What’s Influencing B2B Purchasing Decisions?

How can sales organizations discover the insight needed to influence purchasers? By focusing on IT professionals, personal contact, demos, and consultants.

Global marketing and communications agency, FINN Partners, unveiled findings from a new survey, that provides some of these deep insights into the factors influencing business-to-business (B2B) purchase decisions.

The B2B Buyers Influence Report, created, implemented and analyzed by the firm’s integrated marketing practice, features a comprehensive analysis of the factors that inform B2B product procurement personnel, based on a survey of nearly 800 business professionals in key U.S., European, and APAC markets.

“There are more than 40,000 distinct paths based on industry sector, company size, purchase value, country, and buyer journey roles from which B2B marketers can optimize their activities against to ensure success. Only by looking through these various lenses of influence can sales organizations find actionable insights,” said Barry Reicherter, senior partner, Research, Planning & Measurement at FINN Partners, and director of the survey.

What was discovered? Here are some of the key points the report revealed:

  • IT professionals play the most impactful role in the enterprise purchase process in terms of being the most informed and most influential in the four stages of the buyer journey, including the identification of need, determination of solution required, identification of potential providers, and the final decision.

  • Personal contact with key personnel is vital: strategic interactions with company representatives are more important than sources of information when it comes to making the final decision. Additionally, establishing confidence was critical to becoming the chosen provider. 

  • Product demonstrations, trials, and proof of concept are important across all regions. While online webinars, trade shows and conferences are still important, “the demo” is a compulsory activity to winning the business.

  • Consultants specific to individual sectors are the most consistently valued sources of information throughout the buyer journey. Consulting firms entrenched in these sectors are an important audience to build awareness and positive opinions about your offering.

  • There are several personal preferences among B2B decision makers, globally, that can lead to marketing points of entry, including:
    • They are more likely to play video games than the general population.
    • Nearly half (47%) have watched an e-sports tournament.
    • 82% say they would pay more for eco-friendly or sustainable products.
    • 58% eat fast food regularly.

Findings show that the variables with the greatest influence on B2B decision-makers vary across markets and sectors. For example, senior managers, IT, and finance personnel, were the only three roles critical to driving purchases in the American health sector, while a broader range of managers influenced purchase decisions in the European and APAC health markets.

“These new findings will help marketers and PR professionals deepen their understanding of the nuances driving B2B transactions,” continued Reicherter. “Through an enhanced awareness of the qualities and values associated with suppliers across industries, communications professionals can develop more focused strategies that best position client products or services for maximum B2B impact.”

These variables can have wide-reaching impact because they can be filtered and applied to numerous complex or industry-specific scenarios.

This infographic further details the findings.

Image via Finn Partners.