Professional Relationships Drive B2B Purchasing Decisions

Personal relationships and expert opinions hold the most influence on businesses’ B2B purchasing decisions, finds information technology market research firm IDC in its “Selling to the Information Driven Business” report. For its study, IDC surveyed 200 businesses to understand the processes behind their buying decisions.

IDC’s survey found that professional colleagues and networks are the most significant influencers in purchasing decisions, cited by 38 percent and 22 percent, respectively, of respondents. Other influencing factors mentioned included internal influencers (16 percent), relevant vendor supplied content (14 percent) and published best practices (6 percent).

When researching purchasing decisions, peers and colleagues are companies’ most trusted information sources (95 percent), with independent content coming in second at 86 percent. Respondents also rated vendor websites (81 percent), public product review sites (79 percent), vendor salespeople (73 percent) and vendor sponsored content (67 percent).

The survey also scrutinized the relationships between sales representatives and buyers. It found that 78 percent of buyers expect sales representatives to personalize interactions based on information from their online activities, and that 83 percent expect their professional network to provide introductions to new products, vendors and sales professionals that they know might be of interest to the buyer. Furthermore, the latest obstacle to making a “good” purchase, as reported by 22 percent of respondents, were vendor sales professionals that don’t understand buyers’ needs.

Click here to download the full study.

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