B2B customers are increasingly led by consumer habits and experience

New report from Avanade on B2B customers shows more are relying on social media and peer advice, and will pay more for better customer experience

B2B customers are increasingly displaying the characteristics of consumers when it comes to purchasing behaviour, and rate customer experience over cost , a new report claims.

The B2B is the new B2C report was produced by Wakefield Research for IT integrator, Avanade, and is based on surveys of 1000 c-level executives and IT decision makers globally, including 75 Australian respondents.

The report showed enterprise customers are increasingly doing their own research and sourcing feedback from partners and peers in the market place, then bringing vendor sales staff in much later in the decision-making cycle.

For example, 61 per cent of respondents consult third-party sources before consulting an enterprise company’s Salesforce, including third-party sites, social channels, and peers with previous experience with a product or service. Eighty-nine per cent also said these sources are a factor when making B2B purchasing decisions.

In addition, 42 per cent of buyers reviewed a company on a third-party website, and one-third posted a review on social media channels, while nearly 20 per cent posted comments about the company on Twitter.

Another key finding from the new research was that business buyers are willing to spend up to 30 per cent more on products and services supported by an improved customer experience. Fifty-six per cent of respondents said they had paid more for a product or service in the last six months because the customer experience was better than other, less expensive options.

Use data to bring back corner store customer experiences
Is B2B marketing boring?
What B2B can learn from consumers

Avanade country manager, Jeyan Jeevaratnam, told CMO the research was part of a quarterly process by the integrator to understand latest buying trends in the market, and modern customer behaviour. He pointed out Avanade as a business is increasingly investing in more user-friendly experience and design-led IT interfaces to better customer engagement.

“The buying cycle hasn’t changed a huge amount – B2B is a longer process than B2C – but the way companies research purchases, and the process of decision-making, has definitely changed,” Jeevaratnam commented. “Customers are much more informed. Previously you’d have to explain what it is you do and how you do what you do. Today, customers already know what you do.”

The Avanade isn’t the first report indicating the changing buying behaviour influencing B2B sales, but it does highlight the need for organisations in this space to increasingly invest in value-led content, more consultative selling and longer-term customer experience deliverables. According to a recent piece of research undertaken by the Corporate Executive Board, B2B buyers are on average 57 per cent of the way through the purchasing cycle before they make contact with a supplier (Related article: Why your B2B content marketing strategy isn’t working).

B2B suppliers realigning around better customer experience are reporting longer-term and more lucrative relationships, the Avanade report stated. It found 60 per cent of companies that have built new business processes and technologies to accommodate shifts in customer interactions report increased revenue, while 6- per cent also report a large customer base and 61 per cent report improved customer loyalty.

Among the ways organisations are embracing this customer-oriented approach is through process and technology. Eighty-three of survey respondents said IT, marketing and manufacturing now play larger roles in directly managing customer experiences than they did three years ago. The report also stated 83 per cent plan to invest in technology aimed at improving their customer experience in the next year.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Maintaining trust in a sceptical world: The power of brand trust

The faith people have in brands creates opportunity for those brands to become trusted advisors. In turn, this builds success by increasing the brand’s profile, letting it broaden its product offering and driving stronger customer loyalty.

Dan Ratner

managing director, uberbrand

When growth stalls: How to boost growth in large organisations

The push to start new businesses continues. In Q1 2017, the number of seed and angel deals increased by 1.4 per cent compared to Q1 2016.

Con Frantzeskos

CEO, Penso

Why we need diversity in marketing

​When we read articles about the need for increased diversity in marketing land, it is often through the lens of gender.

Jodie Sangster

CEO, ADMA

Educational activities is always a prestigious approaches in taking time for the smoother operational planning to implement in the long r...

ikuyo

Save the Children's marketing chief swaps not-for-profit for education

Read more

We all know that digital marketing in order to promote a brand, products and services is by the use of electronic media. The evolution of...

Helaina Berry

Predictions: 17 digital marketing trends for 2017

Read more

Interesting insight, well explained and the examples are just apt.Thanks for sharing!

FreshMindIdeas

The politics of branding - Brand science - CMO Australia

Read more

When the world that we live in floods with gigabytes of content every day, we have to learn to be selective about it. Such educational we...

Paulina Cameron

ADMA launches education program to tackle viewability, ad fraud and brand safety

Read more

Hi, i am an Aistralian ALK patient, been on xalkori dec 13 to oct 15 and achieved remission of disease, since been on Ceritinib until no...

gary packer

Pfizer Australia adopts AI-powered digital analyst tool for sales and marketing decision making

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in