How to Be an Intelligent B2B Tech Buyer in 2019
Digital transformation has changed the way that B2B does business. I’ll walk you through how to buy tech intelligently.
How to Be an Intelligent B2B Tech Buyer in 2019
The customers of today are more empowered by technology than ever. They have given rise to a new era, motivating companies to rethink their operations and strategies entirely. Because of the high expectations of the new B2B tech buyers, businesses are being compelled to either modify or change everything, starting from their business priorities and marketing strategies. From flipping the marketing funnel to flipping the drip on drip campaigns, designing the best customer experiences is now top priority.
As a B2B buyer, looking forward to a more efficient digital experience and an easier access to information is exactly what you need, and deserve.
In order to live up to heightened expectations of the B2B tech buyers of the current generation, companies and marketers need to bring about a new approach to technology to see how they can influence those buyer decisions.
Let’s go ahead and take a look at some steps to follow so that you can become a modern, well-informed B2B tech buyer.
Being a B2B Tech Buyer in 2019
In order to be an intelligent B2B tech buyer in 2019, here are some of the things you need to remember:
1. Recognize the Problem
As a B2B tech buyer, you often first go through what is called the awareness stage in the buying process. This is the first step that informs the buyer about the products and services a company has to offer, which will initiate the purchase process for that B2B tech buyer.
When going through the awareness stage, you start to recognize a problem that needs to be solved, often by another business. For example, a contractor might need electrical supplies immediately on the job site, a manufacturer could require to source raw materials in bulk, a corporate office could be in need of a more consistent and reliable paper supplier, and so on.
As a buyer, your problem could be the need for a new product, an existing product, or a different version of a product. Thus, you need to begin with a preliminary search for your issue. Think of all the elements that your product may need, such as: quantity, size, color, etc., and begin searching for the product.
2. Search for Information
After identifying the problem, the next step is to look for a solution. At times, you may not fully realize what it is that you exactly want or need as a buyer. For instance, if you’re a contract manufacturer and you know that you need a casting for your product, you probably are not sure as to which material will be the most durable and cost-effective for the job.
Whereas in other cases, you might be totally aware of the solution to your problem, as a result you get to work, and start to dig deeper into the options available to you.
The simplest option is to look for the products or services you need via Google, in a catalogue, or calling a distributor directly. Make sure that when you shop, shop from a website that is optimized enough to give you a pleasant, efficient user experience. This is a website where you can search for things easily, contact a representative when you have questions, quickly locate a product, and so on.
3. Evaluate the Solution
Once you’ve figured out what exactly your problem is, making a list of the potential solutions will be very helpful to visualize what it is you need to do to solve it.
After the list is made, the next step is to pick the solution, service or product that best suits your needs. You can do this by a feature-by-feature comparison, cost-benefit analysis and comparisons, and an evaluation of the suppliers as an organization.
It’s best to put the findings of your various options all in one single, organized place. Use something like Excel or Google Sheets to put together the information regarding the different vendors you can purchase from, details such as shipping cost, minimum spend, and product quality.
When you’ve organized all of this information, you can then move on to the next step of your B2B tech buying process, which is making the actual purchase.
4. The Post-Purchase Relationship
After you’ve made your purchase, your buying process doesn’t have to end there. In fact, this is where the relationship between you as a buyer and the company as a seller will begin.
If you see that the company you purchased from gets in touch with you, like providing you with information about ongoing offers or upcoming sales through email, then you know that all of your research and planning, and even your money, was well-spent. The effort the company puts in to reach out to you shows that they truly value their customers, whether the customer is old or new.
If the company in which you purchased from provides ongoing service and support, collecting and actually acting on the feedback given to them, and providing additional offers and products of value over time, then you know that it was totally worth your time, effort and money. Nurturing a good post-purchase relationship is very essential as a buyer. A good post-purchase relationship will not only keep you around longer because of better treatment and superior services, but it will also aid your buying process in the future.
5. Choice Without Context is Meaningless
As a B2B tech buyer, when a supplier has several available options for you to choose from, make sure that they clearly explain all the features or applications of a service or product to you. This is especially important if it’s a complex field, like AI, IoT, the Cloud and the like.
Investing in a new technology takes a lot of time and effort, so make sure that neither of those things go to waste for you when making your choice. Wait for the seller to provide context and explanations, illustrating exactly how their service, solution, or platform will alleviate a pain point for you.
6. Social Proof is Important
Social media is something almost all of us obsess over, and for good reason. When making a purchase, social media is a great place to look for reviews of a company and their products and services.
Investigate the company’s social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, or even Google reviews to read the social proof for the products or services you wish to purchase. Also make sure to visit the website of the company and go through the comments and testimonials provided reviews from other buyers.
Social proof is extremely crucial when it comes to B2B tech buying. Positive comments you see when researching on social media or the company’s website should be substantial enough proof that the purchase you’re about to make is worth it.
If the company doesn’t have social proof or even a solid social media presence, then perhaps it’s best to rethink your decision. This is where you can go back to the single, organized Excel or Google Sheets you previously made so that you can investigate the social proof of other companies that will fit your exact needs.
With so many online sellers out there, the array of options for B2B tech buyers is undeniably endless. Multichannel selling platforms makes the choosing process even more lengthy for buyers because more information is needed to be read and in turn, completely understood before making a purchase.
However, it’s always best to take your time, conduct a proper survey and evaluate your choices before you single out the option you prefer. Therefore, following all the tips listed above in their exact order will help you become a sensible and intelligent B2B tech buyer in 2019, and beyond.
At Social27, we are experts in providing intelligent AI and automation products and services that better the buying and selling experience. With products like Social27 Playlist, buyers now have access to all of the content they need to make an informed buying decision, 24/7, all in one place.
Please visit our website, social27.com, to learn more.
How will being an intelligent B2B tech buyer affect your tech buying experiences?
Social27 is an AI powered Automation, Augmentation and Analytics platform. Social27 Playlists empower B2B marketers to deliver a personalized and ‘binge-worthy’ content experience in real-time. Our AI Assistant identifies buyer intent, qualifies leads, and schedules meetings; accelerating sales and revenue growth. Social27 Deal Room automates all the repetitive and time-consuming processes in the deal workflow, keeping all calls, contracts, and compliance in one place. And finally, the Partner Ecosystem Accelerator enables velocity across your ecosystem by enabling a #NoFriction customer journey.