Forrester’s latest B2B Buying Survey, conducted in the middle of the global pandemic, reflected significant changes in buying processes. Purchasing has become increasingly complex, with larger buying groups and more buying interactions.
Yet the changes to buying processes are not uniform. At this year’s B2B Summit North America, my colleague Barbara Winters and I will dive deep into how organizations in different global regions approach important purchases. Understanding the regional differences can make or break the success of campaigns.
Consider these (and other) aspects of the purchase process to adjust your regional strategies to meet buyer preferences:
- Complexity. Organizational dynamics can vary dramatically, with the likelihood of larger buying groups, greater executive oversight, more buying interactions, and longer buying cycles all showing marked differences across regions. This has profound consequences on who to target, how to enable your sales teams, and how to develop and place your content.
- Business drivers. These reflect the original intent of making a purchase and can affect how providers position their offerings. While buyers globally cite the need for increased efficiency and revenue growth as top business drivers, buyers in North America focus more on improving customer experience than elsewhere. Europeans, meanwhile, have been putting their buying dollars toward shifting to digital business.
- Early interactions and triggers. Understanding how, and with whom, your buyers choose to interact and what triggers them to reach out to vendors can greatly improve marketing programs that focus on the early stages of the buying cycle. For example, buyers in Asia Pacific tend to turn to third parties such as peers, customers, and industry analysts to understand the market and vendor options before engaging with providers.
- Purchase stalls. An astounding 80% of purchases globally are stalled at some point in the process, with Europe revealing the highest percentage of stalls. Where these stalls occur in the process differs across regions. Do you know what produces stalls or friction in the buying process in your region? Understanding that nuance can help improve buyer journey mapping and speed the time to purchase.
It pays to do your homework and understand how buyers in each market approach a significant purchase. Messaging, campaigns, influencer and customer reference programs, content, and selling tactics all will benefit.
Join Barbara and I at this year’s B2B Summit North America, May 2–4, to learn more about key regional differences in buying behaviors and how to use that information to improve the impact of your product, marketing, and sales strategies. Learn more and register.