Steven Casey, Principal Analyst and Lori Wizdo, VP, Principal Analyst
B2B buyers have more power than ever before. Ready access to pricing, performance, and other purchase information has given buyers much greater command of the buying process. In addition, Millennials, who make up a growing share of B2B buyers, value input from their peers much more than messages from providers. A preference for self-service and eCommerce — accelerated by social distancing — is also changing the nature of buyer-vendor engagement.
These converging forces have major consequences for B2B marketers and sellers, Principal Analyst Steven Casey and Vice President and Principal Analyst Lori Wizdo explain on this week’s episode. “The changing buyer is driving a fundamental shift in the role, remit, and purpose of marketing,” Wizdo says. “It’s no longer to attract and persuade; it’s really to engage buyers and help them through their journey.”
To successfully connect with (and ultimately sell to) these empowered buyers, B2B vendors should adapt their sales and marketing tactics to align more closely to buyers’ expectations and motivations. For example, purchases aimed at large-scale transformation, such as a new supply chain management solution, require a good deal of collaboration and education, while more routine, straightforward business purchases may call more for speed and pricing transparency.
Marketers and sellers also need to remember that B2B transactions are ultimately human transactions. “There is an emotional component that B2B marketers have for too long ignored,” Casey says. Certain big-ticket purchases could shape the course of a company, he notes — or a career.