“An estimated 42% of B2B buyers say they have paid a premium for a product/solution because it generated a competitive advantage. In addition, roughly 74% of B2B buyers and sellers preferred to purchase products from websites and 59% preferred not to interact with sales representatives,” – IntelligentHQ.com
Businesses often transact with other businesses and enterprises in a bid to source raw materials and other products in business-to-business transactions. We may note that this is different from scenarios wherein businesses sell products and services to retail customers. B2B transactions typically include various processes such as supply chains, partnerships, procurement management, electronic data interchange, online auctions, electronic funds transfers, etc. We will try to explore some of the factors that impact the buying decisions of B2B customers in the modern world.
B2B customers often undertake deep product research in order to educate themselves about a certain market. They will often investigate product attributes in great detail before they arrive at a purchase decision. Online research comprises one of the planks of such activities. In addition, B2B customers often survey social media platforms and other online discussion boards in an attempt to find user reviews and customer testimonials about the target product. These activities indicate that B2B customers are informed and cautious entities that leverage global information flows in the interests of making an informed purchase decision. The attributes outlined above comprise one of the key factors that affect buying decisions of B2B customers.
B2B customers can be converted when a client presents solutions that address the said customer’s challenges. We must note that a self-serving sales pitch will not create an impression on such customers, because these customers represent an enlightened constituency that are keenly aware of actual market conditions. Therefore, a client must delve into their problems and formulate a presentation that actively seeks to address the problems in a bid to positively influence the buying decisions of B2B customers. Further, the said client must demonstrate a certain modicum of commitment to attend to the B2B customer’s immediate concerns.
Patience is key to a business enterprise and to business processes. This is especially relevant in B2B situations wherein, purchase decisions slowly proceed through multiple layers of decision makers. The actions that attend these processes are very deliberate and never precipitate. In addition, the financial conditions of a client create an impact on decision-making processes. Clients that have low financial reserves may delay purchase decisions or select suppliers that are willing to offer long-term credit. Similarly, a high interest rate policy environment may work to erode the number of B2B deals. These are crucial aspects of the B2B trade and therefore, business enterprises that deal with B2B customers should be patient in their dealings. This human attribute is a key aspect that moulds the buying decisions of B2B customers.
Individual and interpersonal factors often play an outsize role in deciding the buying decisions of B2B customers. For instance, a B2B client is likely to conduct business transactions with a certain supplier on the basis of previous instances of successful deals. This is human proclivity at play since the said client expects the supplier to fulfil certain business conditions on the basis of past performance. In addition, the B2B client may choose to negotiate with a specific business counterpart with whom he or she shares an excellent personal rapport. We must note that these human tendencies often play an outsize role in the final buying decisions of B2B customers.
Technology has sketched an important role in the history of human evolution. The significance of technology has extended to the commercial domain; it comprises an important factor that underlines the buying decisions of B2B customers. For instance, a B2B client that is souring the market for a new product will ensure that said product is compatible with existing technologies. This is important because any mismatch will likely doom the investment, critically endanger business processes, and destroy business relationships. In light of the above, we may state that technology plays a stellar role in B2B decisions.
Commonality of purpose can be a force multiplier when viewed through the lens of B2B transactions. Every business client may subscribe to a variety of individual wants and requirements, but each B2B client prizes vendors that are in a position to support the client’s goals. Essentially, the client values a certain vendor’s ability to deliver upon his or her commitments. This is important from a business perspective because the delivery of a certain value proposition counts foremost in the development and sustenance of business relationships. This level of predictability is important in a business relationship and heavily impacts the buying decisions of B2B customers.
Competitive differentiation remains a key business enabler that authors a significant role in business domains. Every business seeks to offer an upgraded value proposition in a bid to win new customers and to ring fence future business prospects. Therefore, a business partner or a vendor that can help a B2B client to sharpen or bolster the competitive differentiation or competitive advantage is likely to earn a favourable business decision. We note that competitive differentiators can evolve with time in response to market trends; therefore, a B2B business partner should be advised to revise and upgrade the value proposition that animates his or her brand of competitive differentiation. In light of the above, we must note that the attribute referred to above essays key inputs that mould the buying decisions of B2B customers.
Certain industries have a limited range of products and cater to narrow markets. These avenues of commercial activity are nonetheless profitable and therefore, B2B clients from such industries tend to make typical buying decisions that are restricted to a limited ambit. Vendors and business partners that operate with these industries should therefore, present a steady and infallible business proposition that effectively meets key demands in said industries. We may note that the limited scope of such transactions tend to force the buying decisions of B2B customers to favour a closed set of suppliers and business partners.
Efficiency gains and total cost of ownership represent key arbiters of commercial fortunes in B2B business domains. The vendor or business supplier that can promise (and deliver) the maximum efficiency gains tends to win the confidence of B2B customers, along with their long-term custom. Similarly, suppliers of products with low total cost of ownership find deep and enduring favour in B2B business domains. We must note that such behaviour is guided by the fact that efficiency gains and total cost of ownership are crucial parameters that directly dictate the success of modern competitive enterprises. Therefore, these two factors play a crucial role in deciding the buying decisions of B2B customers.
In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined some of the factors that affect the buying decisions of B2B customers. We must note that every business seeks to emerge foremost in its area of enterprise. Therefore, it seeks business partners and allied enterprises that can help it to achieve and sustain a dominant place in the market. In addition, we note that every business must marshal its disparate components into expert moving parts that can take on the competition. That said, businesses must remain mindful of the many factors outlined above in case they wish to excel in their chosen fields of activity.