While we assess at great lengths how technology is changing the buying behavior of customers we often skip to analyze how customers actually buy technology. This analysis, however redundant in B2C marketing, is quite essential when it comes to software services being sold via B2B marketing.
Irrespective of whether the sale is B2B or B2C, emotions play a large role in the buying decisions. Even the B2B customer will think from a ‘self’ perspective before making the decisions; how the purchase will make him look like? Will the boss be impressed? Will it make the job easier? Hence, it becomes essential to speak to the customer as an individual and use effective persuasion techniques because the client also is well aware about the art of persuasion. It comes in handy to draw out consumer persona and know their buying modality. Due to digital era, business buyers have a lot of access to information and content through different online mediums. So chances are that they would have formed an opinion about you and looked for alternative options even before your sales team interacts with them. Software services sales are increasingly becoming self-directed buying journeys as highlighted by Forrester Research. The idea is to capture prospects early in the buying cycle. Hence, the need of the hour for any software selling company is to move on from traditional methods of Customer Acquisition Process. Prospects now are not willing to wait or fill tedious and long lead forms before even trying the product and thereby ‘freemium’ models are on the rise. Hence, the organizations that neglect the personals needs of prospects to evaluate and try their product hassle free, might in fact be paving path for their decline.
Organization buying behavior (OBB) in Software Services, additionally, depends largely upon, group decision making, participants from different functional areas and their changing roles during the buying cycle.
One would expect that integration of software within an organization would be a highly planned task but as highlighted by a study by Gartner, 43% of all buying decisions are in fact impromptu and unplanned. When comparing completion of the efforts taken in buying any technology the rate compares as 77% for planned decisions and 75% for Ad-hoc implementation (which is not much of a difference). These results reflect that quest for agility is greatly affecting the buying behaviors of organizations. Hence, it becomes essential for any software selling company to make the prospective enterprise feel that they need such an offering, creating urgency and to continuously assess customer situation and need.
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