New TrustRadius Research Reveals How B2B Vendors Can Increase Influence With Buyers

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Landmark study provides new insights into what influences technology buyers, how vendors are falling short, and what they can do to change the dynamic.

B2B Buyers want hands-on experience with product and insights from customers

“B2B buyers are looking for a balanced, relevant and realistic view of products. When vendors proactively connect buyers with content providing that view, they can increase their influence in the purchasing process.”

TrustRadius, the peer review and customer voice platform for business technology, today unveiled the findings from its 2017 B2B Buyer-Vendor Survey.

For this study, the first designed to identify areas of alignment and disconnect in the B2B purchasing process, TrustRadius surveyed over 600 technology buyers and vendors. The results show that despite a trend toward independent research, 60% of buyers considered their vendor influential in the purchasing process. However, savvy buyers also take information from vendors with a grain of salt and consult other resources to investigate vendor claims and inform their decision.

“Buyers are looking for a balanced, relevant and realistic view of products,” said Vinay Bhagat, CEO of TrustRadius. “When vendors proactively connect buyers with content providing that view, they can increase their influence in the purchasing process.”

Outlined in our report, The B2B Buying Disconnect, other key findings include:

  • What buyers really want is hands-on experience with the product and insights from customers. Product demos and free trials are the best resources for buyers, who use them frequently and for the most part find them helpful and trustworthy. After hands-on experience with the product, peer resources such as direct referrals from colleagues and user reviews are the next most helpful information sources, as well as highly trusted. This clearly indicates buyers want to both understand and validate what it will be like to use the product on a daily basis.
  • Vendors are focusing on providing materials that buyers don’t find very useful or trustworthy. Buyers ranked vendor-provided information and materials as the least helpful and trustworthy information sources. Vendor marketers themselves see marketing collateral, ranging from their own website to white papers, as the least effective content types at helping to convert prospects. Yet, perhaps because they are also the easiest to produce, they are among the content types most commonly shared with prospects.
  • Vendors have an arsenal of satisfied customers they are not leveraging. Overall, most of surveyed buyers are highly satisfied with products they purchased. Based on Net Promoter Score definitions, 46% are promoters, giving the product a 9 or 10 in satisfaction rating, and 91% intend to renew. Additionally, 42% of buyers have already independently recommended the product directly to a peer or colleague. Yet very few buyers have taken actions on behalf of the vendor that can be more broadly shared with prospects, such as serving as a reference or providing a testimonial. This represents a missed opportunity for vendors, who have an arsenal of customers not speaking on their behalf in a way that can reach prospects at scale.

“It is time for vendors to build a more authentic and transparent relationship with buyers,” concluded Bhagat. “Providing a diverse range of resources that are helpful to buyers — even those the vendor cannot fully control — can be a distinct competitive advantage with today’s technology buyers.”

For a complete analysis of the B2B purchasing process gaps and opportunities, download The B2B Buying Disconnect: A landmark study on the gaps, opportunities and changing dynamics between technology buyers and vendors.

About TrustRadius
TrustRadius is the trusted peer review and customer voice platform for business technology. We help buyers make better product decisions based on unbiased and insightful reviews. We also help vendors harness the authentic voice of their customers across sales and marketing channels. Founded by successful entrepreneurs and backed by the Mayfield Fund, TrustRadius is changing the way business technology is bought and sold. Visit vendors.trustradius.com

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Bertrand Hazard
TrustRadius
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