Behaviour patterns amongst B2B buyers are constantly shifting. Sellers should keep track of these patterns to be better able to position their products. The annual B2B Buyer Study conducted by Demand Gen Report is the gold standard for tracking these changing patterns. Here are our big takeaways from the report this year.

Purchase Cycle Length Increased

68% of buyers noted that their purchase cycle length has increased year on year. 82% are prioritizing changing business needs and 76% have higher expectations with regard to personalized solutions. Sellers should keep this in mind as they prepare their pitches.

Buyers Spend More Time Researching

77% noted spending more time researching purchases year on year. 91% want a more seamless experience on supplier websites. The need for more easily accessible, applicable content and ads that speak directly to each industry was overwhelmingly expressed. 92% stated their choice of vendor was influenced by “an extensive menu of thought-leadership content”. The takeaway: good content can help turn the table in your favour.

B2B Buyers Look for Social Proof

30% relied on online reviews and 27% on peer/colleague recommendations to make decisions. The 27% figure is, however, lower than in 2019. Testimonials and a good online presence can help vendors.

Buying is a Group Decision

61% of buyers report that more people are involved in their purchasing decisions now than ever before. In fact, 71% reported having established formal “buying committees” to make and review purchasing decisions. Thus, it is important for vendors to tailor marketing content to a wide audience.

Price, Demos and Functionality are Crucial

73% of buyers expressed that features and functionality were crucial. This means product demos, proof of concept and other demonstrations of features and functionality. This, combined with pricing (72% said price was crucial), appear to be the biggest swayers when pitching to buyers.

Sales Teams Must Be Competent

69% of buyers chose vendors who “demonstrated a strong knowledge of the solution and business landscape” as their top reason out of five for choosing a vendor, while “demonstrating knowledge of our company and needs” was number two.

Overall, B2B buyers are operating more like consumers and vendors need to adapt, particularly with content that is relevant and customized for buyers’ needs.