Business-to-business (B2B) technology sales and marketing have undergone a transformation in recent times. Increased focus and investment on optimising ‘the funnel' has led to more time spent building processes, content and mechanisms to attract, engage, nurture and convert new customers in much more scientific ways.
Central to the success of these approaches is a need to build an intimate understanding of the target buyer: Who are they? How do they buy? What processes do they follow? What are their challenges, priorities and objectives?
The IT Buyer's Cycle Review 2012 summarises the results of a comprehensive research programme undertaken by Computing from October to December 2011 into UK business IT decision-making.
The report provides B2B technology sales and marketing professionals with a unique insight into how customers buy; the key drivers and influences behind IT purchasing; and the intricacies of the buying process itself.
- The challenge common to businesses of all sizes is the availability of budget and the final decision on purchasing decisions is almost always dictated by finance departments. Therefore technology vendors must get better at articulating the measurable business benefits of their solutions.
- Less than 10 percent of CIOs make final decisions that are not based on the input of co-workers and consultants.
- IT managers have the most consistent input to the decision-making process from requirements gathering through to final purchasing decisions. This means IT managers should be the first point of contact.
- Testimonials and case studies are considered to be most useful for research purposes. White papers are often viewed as biased, which means background material should be written by an objective third party.