[Research Round-Up] A Look at the Attitudes and Behaviors of B2B Technology Buyers


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Image Source:  TrustRadius

In June, TrustRadius published the findings of its sixth annual survey of B2B technology buyers. The 2022 B2B Buying Disconnect report is based on a February 2022 survey of business professionals who were involved in the purchase of new software or hardware for their organization in the year preceding the survey. 

The survey received 2,185 responses from technology buyers. Seventy-five percent of the respondents were manager level or above, and just under two-thirds (63%) were affiliated with companies having 500 or fewer employees. Sixty percent of the respondents were millennials (ages 25-40), and 29% were GenXers (ages 41-56).

The primary message of this year's survey findings is that B2B technology buyers are more committed than ever to taking control of their buying process. For the press release announcing the publication of the survey report, Vinay Bhagat, the Founder and CEO of TrustRadius, said:

"The main theme echoed throughout our 2022 report is that we are in 'The Age of the Self-Serve Buyer.' In past years, we found that millennials and generation Zs were primarily relying on self-service channels. It's a fact that we've come to expect, but now, we're finding that all generations and decision-makers are following suit. Our research found that virtually 100% of buyers want to self-serve all or part of the buying journey, a 13% increase from just last year."

It's important to emphasize that the TrustRadius research focused exclusively on the attitudes and behaviors of B2B technology buyers. Therefore, the findings of the research may not be completely applicable to all types of B2B purchases. However, most of the findings are relevant for those that involve high-consideration products or services.

Information Used to Support Buying Decisions

A primary focus of the TrustRadius research has been to identify what sources of information B2B technology buyers use to support their purchase decisions. The researchers asked survey participants what resources they consulted during their evaluation process. The following table shows how respondents answered the question in the 2022 survey and in the 2021 edition of the survey. The table also shows the change in reported usage (percentage point difference) between 2022 and 2021.

As this table shows, except for product demos and vendor blogs, the use of vendor-provided sources of information by technology buyers declined from 2021 to 2022. In contrast, the use of most "independent" sources of information increased over the same period. This finding confirms that technology buyers are relying less on vendor-provided information when researching products and services.

TrustRadius also asked survey participants what information resources they considered most impactful when making purchase decisions. A majority of survey respondents identified five information resources as impactful.

  1. Product demos (71% of respondents)
  2. Free trial/account (67%)
  3. Their own prior experience (67%)
  4. User reviews (59%)
  5. Consultant recommendation (52%)
This finding clearly demonstrates the importance that B2B technology buyers place on having or gaining first-hand experience with a product before they make a purchase decision.
What Buyers Want To Do On Their Own
The latest survey also focused on the researching/buying activities that B2B technology buyers want to be able to perform on their own. The following table shows the percentage of surveyed buyers who indicated a preference for self-service for nine buying process activities.

This finding highlights the importance that technology buyers place on being able to find basic information (prices, technical specs, etc.) about products via a self-service channel. 
In fact, when TrustRadius asked survey participants what vendors can do to make them more likely to buy, the top suggestion (selected by 71% of respondents) was to make pricing information available on the vendor's website. Conversely, 16% of the surveyed buyers said they will stop considering a product if they can't easily find product information.
As noted earlier, the TrustRadius research focused exclusively on the attitudes and behaviors of B2B technology buyers. However virtually all types of B2B buyers are now relying more on independent sources of information when researching potential purchases, and they increasingly expect to perform many buying activities on their own. Astute B2B marketers will address both of these buyer expectations.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

David Dodd
David Dodd is a B2B business and marketing strategist, author, and marketing content developer. He works with companies to develop and implement marketing strategies and programs that use compelling content to convert prospects into buyers.


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