|Image Source: TrustRadius
In June, TrustRadius published the findings of its sixth annual survey of B2B technology buyers. The 2022 B2B Buying Disconnect report is based on a February 2022 survey of business professionals who were involved in the purchase of new software or hardware for their organization in the year preceding the survey.
The survey received 2,185 responses from technology buyers. Seventy-five percent of the respondents were manager level or above, and just under two-thirds (63%) were affiliated with companies having 500 or fewer employees. Sixty percent of the respondents were millennials (ages 25-40), and 29% were GenXers (ages 41-56).
The primary message of this year's survey findings is that B2B technology buyers are more committed than ever to taking control of their buying process. For the press release announcing the publication of the survey report, Vinay Bhagat, the Founder and CEO of TrustRadius, said:
"The main theme echoed throughout our 2022 report is that we are in 'The Age of the Self-Serve Buyer.' In past years, we found that millennials and generation Zs were primarily relying on self-service channels. It's a fact that we've come to expect, but now, we're finding that all generations and decision-makers are following suit. Our research found that virtually 100% of buyers want to self-serve all or part of the buying journey, a 13% increase from just last year."
It's important to emphasize that the TrustRadius research focused exclusively on the attitudes and behaviors of B2B technology buyers. Therefore, the findings of the research may not be completely applicable to all types of B2B purchases. However, most of the findings are relevant for those that involve high-consideration products or services.
Information Used to Support Buying Decisions
A primary focus of the TrustRadius research has been to identify what sources of information B2B technology buyers use to support their purchase decisions. The researchers asked survey participants what resources they consulted during their evaluation process. The following table shows how respondents answered the question in the 2022 survey and in the 2021 edition of the survey. The table also shows the change in reported usage (percentage point difference) between 2022 and 2021.
As this table shows, except for product demos and vendor blogs, the use of vendor-provided sources of information by technology buyers declined from 2021 to 2022. In contrast, the use of most "independent" sources of information increased over the same period. This finding confirms that technology buyers are relying less on vendor-provided information when researching products and services.
TrustRadius also asked survey participants what information resources they considered most impactful when making purchase decisions. A majority of survey respondents identified five information resources as impactful.
- Product demos (71% of respondents)
- Free trial/account (67%)
- Their own prior experience (67%)
- User reviews (59%)
- Consultant recommendation (52%)