How (and Why) B2B Buyers Begin the Purchase Process

Business.com / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

While shifting needs of customers are often indicators that a purchase is near, there are other goals buyers have in mind when starting...

While marketers may be all talks about nurturing leads down the funnel and using content to convert a prospect into a customer, one topic that isn't as widely discussed as it should be is why B2B (business-to-business) buyers begin looking for to make a new purchase in the first place. While new technological advancements and the shifting needs of customers are often good indicators that a purchase is in the near future, there are other goals business buyers have in mind when beginning the buying cycle. So what exactly prompts a new business purchase?

Related: Find the marketing products and services you need to become more efficient.

Goal: To Improve Productivity

Nearly every business is focused on making their teams, software, and reporting more efficient. Operations, marketing, and IT teams are all about automation and the goal of improving productivity is one reason B2B buyers begin searching for a new product or service. Over 51% of buyers from a recent B2B Marketing study gave improving productivity an 8 out of 10 or higher when asked about the importance of factors in prompting a purchase decision (Tweet this!)

What This Means for Your Business: When creating content, such as whitepapers and case studies, make sure to include information about how your product or service was able to improve the productivity or efficiency of the client or customer. Businesses are focused on streamlining their own process to save money AND time. Make sure you aren't delivering on just one of these key goals.

RelatedHow B2B Buyers Seek Information and How You Can Fill the Void

Need: For Business Expansion

The second biggest reason for investing in a new product or service is business expansion, according to the survey's respondents. Over a third (36%) of B2B buyers polled rated this as at least 8 out of 10 (Tweet this!). New employees, a new office, or an influx of customers that must be managed all indicate business expansion and often prompt new business purchases.

What This Means for Your Business: Keep tabs on your current clients or similar businesses within the same industry. If a particular industry that your business services is expected to grow or on an upward swing, reach out to them directly, touch on possible expansion and provide a solution as to how your business can make the growth and purchase an easier process.

Want: To Leverage New Technology

Businesses want to be able to outshine competitors. In many instances, it's the technology they utilize that enables this to happen. Businesses want to leverage new technology and over a third of buyers scored this as an 8 or above in terms of importance in instigating a new business purchase.

What This Means for Your Business: Have a new feature, service or product offering that will enable your buyers to get their hands on and make the most of the latest technology? That's great! Now make sure you're sharing that information with a buyer. Sometimes the opportunities afforded by new technology are overshadowed by price quotes and productivity stats. Don't let this rock go unturned; you could acquire a new customer by leveraging technological features.

Related: The Future of Advertising from ad:tech San Francisco

Need: To Cut Costs

Businesses are always concerned about their bottom lines and are on the prowl for ways to save. Office equipment, software and costs associated with having a physical location add up -- quickly. The need to cut costs as a reason for prompting a new purchase received 32% of scores over 8. Perhaps the reason just about third of respondents feel this way is because it isn't just a lower cost businesses want; they also want more for their money. As B2B Marketing notes, "Less is good. But more for less is better."

What This Means for Your Business: Work with buyers to find a price point that meets your needs and theirs. You should also be creating content, such as whitepapers, blog posts and case studies, which showcases how your product or service can reduce costs for businesses. You know your customers and you can likely gage where they are spending money. If your product or service can reduce costs in those areas, include that information in your marketing materials and sales pitches.

Buyers don't begin shopping around for a new product or service for no reason. Improving productivity, cutting costs and leveraging new technologies are just three of the reasons a purchase process can begin. While some may see a slow economy, others are expanding and business expansion is yet another reason a new purchase could be taking place. When you pitch a business or buyer or craft sales-marketing content, make sure you address these factors when possible.

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