56% of B2B Buyers Study Reviews Before Making Purchase Decisions

BY Kathy Crosett
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Is there a trust gap between your clients and their prospects? As more millennials move into positions of authority, they’re doing their homework. The landscape in the B2B marketplace has changed significantly in the past few years. Prospects aren't going to make a purchase decision until they get their hands on the kind of content that matters. 

The Power of Websites and Reviews

The B2B Buying Disconnect report from TrustRadius focuses on technology market purchasers. Buyers may listen to a pitch from your clients’ sales reps, and over 60% take a product demo into account when making a decision. But other factors play a big role in whether prospects will sign a deal with your client. Specifically, over 50% of prospects study the vendor’s website. They aren’t just developing an opinion based on what the vendor says. At least 56% also read user reviews. That number marks a big increase over the 49% of buyers who said the same a year ago.

Marketing Collateral Is Not Enough

Your clients may still be working on the kind of content that isn’t clicking with buyers. Consider the case for marketing collateral. Over 80% of vendors develop and distribute this kind of information. On a scale of 1 to 4, this collateral scores at 2.7 in terms of moving buyers through the purchase funnel. While 14% of buyers say marketing collateral is effective, your clients may be putting too much stock in the format. Collateral works well to make prospects aware of a product and its features. 

However, to get people to make a purchase decision, your clients must make more information available. In fact, 72% of buyers want to know a product’s shortcomings in advance. That position may seem counterintuitive to your clients, but the thinking is based on the prospect having a clear picture before making an investment. This attitude explains why so many more buyers are reading user reviews. They believe these unfiltered analyses of a product will tell them what they need to know. 

Managing reviews for a client can be lucrative for you and your agency. Keep in mind that the B2B buying process, especially when it comes to tech, involves many individuals at a prospect’s company. In fact, the recent-​conducted SMB Purchase Survey from SalesFuel revealed that, for purchases of between $10,000 and $50,000, four to six staff members are involved in the decision nearly 30% of the time. In addition, purchases of that size typically have a sales cycle of two to six months at 34% of buyer shops and seven to twelve months at 24% of buyer companies.

Talk with your clients about managing reviews — good, bad and mediocre — as part of the content that will convince prospects to buy.