What B2B Marketers Need to Know About The IT Purchase Process

By Peter Buscemi

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Digital transformation is putting more emphasis on the role of technology in driving businesses forward and that complicates the lives of B2B marketers as it impacts marketing automation platforms. In the next three to five the number of organizations embracing wide-scale digital transformation plans is expected to increase dramatically as the technology becomes mainstream.

Information Technology decision makers need information to make intelligent purchase decisions but they’re challenged to find that the information they need, in the format that they require and at the time that the desire it. Approximately 80%% of information technology decision makers find it challenging to locate enough high quality, trusted information on major IT products and services to make an informed purchase decision. And, to make matters worse for B2B marketers, IT decision makers are skeptical about most information that sales and marketing teams produce. However, marketing automation platforms enable B2B marketers to serve up the right content, at the right time, in the right format, to the right individual and in an intelligent, automated process.

During the buying process, download an average of seven digital assets during the customer buying process.

The Breakdown of the Number of Digital Assets by Role is:

  • Executive IT – eight digital assets
  • IT Management – seven digital assets
  • IT Professional – six digital assets
  • Business Management – seven digital assets

Informational Needs Vary by Stage of the Buying Process

Stage 1 – Determining the Business Need

  • Technology news
  • Featured articles
  • Case studies
  • Analyst research
  • Vendor presentations
  • Product literature

Stage 2 – Determine Technical Requirements

  • Product demo
  • Product reviews
  • Technology news
  • How-to content

Stage 3 – Evaluate Products and Services

  • Product testing
  • Proof-of-Concept
  • 2nd and 3rd level vendor presentations
  • Analyst calls
  • Peer presentations

Stage 4 – Recommend and Select Vendors

  • Product testing
  • Proof-of-Concept feedback
  • Reference calls
  • Analyst, expert and SI calls

Stage 5 – Sell the Purchase Internally

  • Product literature, demo and PowerPoint presentations
  • Case studies
  • ROI and TCO
  • Analyst research
  • Review references

Stage 6 – Approve and Authorize the Purchase

  • ROI and TCO
  • References
  • Peer reviews
  • Third party endorsements

IT Purchase Cycles

For enterprise IT purchases, the average purchase cycle for an organization:

  • Familiar with a vendor is approximately four months
  • Unfamiliar with a vendor is approximately seven months

Sales Enablement is Critical for Successful Implementations

Below are the vendor actions that increase the likelihood a vendor’s solution will be selected:

  • Highly knowledgeable and able to answer questions promptly
  • Familiar with your particular line of business
  • Well suited to speak at your level within the organization
  • Contacts you within your desired timeframe
  • Information provided is specific, meaningful and relevant
  • Well versed in the fundamentals about you, your organization, the industry and technology

Trillions of dollar are spent on IT each year and hundreds of billions are spent on software. Information Technology makers have made numerous IT technology purchases and know how to play the game. The game is relatively straight-forward if time is taken to understand it. Leverage the knowledge about and B2B marketers should invest in a marketing automation platform to design, develop and execute a managed, repeatable process to optimize customer acquisition, onboarding, retention and upselling.

INSTANTLY DOWNLOAD the Marketing Automation Buyer’s Checklist Now >>

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Source:: Business 2 Community

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