Most people would probably agree that consumers use social media, company websites, reviews and online search to guide their buying decisions.
And there is a lot of research to support this.
But B2B buyers on the other hand, are generally considered entirely different. Senior execs are too busy to use social media and spend time looking at vendor websites. At that level providers are found through referrals, word of mouth and good old fashioned sales. Right?
I’ll admit, there was a time in the past when I would have said “Yep, that’s right”. But in our highly digital world, where practically anything we could want to know is available at our fingertips, the buyers’ journey is changing.
B2B buyers are those same B2C buyers, just wearing a different hat. [Tweet This]
What Does the Research Say About B2B Buyers?
- 46% of business buyers say the first source of information used when they began their solution research was Web Search, followed by Vendor Website (18%). (DemandGen, 2014)
- In case you’re wondering, 17% said Peers/Colleagues are the first source consulted, followed by Industry Experts/Analysts (9%), Trade or Business Media (4%) and Social Media (1%). (DemandGen, 2014)
- “Although it varies greatly with product complexity and market maturity, today’s buyers might be anywhere from two-thirds to 90% of the way through their journey before they reach out to the vendor.” (Forrester, 2012)
- 72% of business to business buyers said they used social media to research their purchase. (DemandGen, 2014)
- LinkedIn is the top choice among senior executives who look to connect via social media, whereas blogs are the top choice for non-executives. (DemandGen, 2014)
- 78% of B2B buyers say Web Search and Vendor Websites influenced their selection of solution providers at the start of their search process. Only 30% say they responded to direct contact from a sales rep, 21% attended an industry event. (DemandGen, 2012)
- “Today’s business buyers do not contact suppliers directly until 57 percent of the purchase process is complete.” (CEB via Google)
- 90% of business buyers say when they’re ready to buy, they’ll find you. (DemandGen via Salesforce)
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