Earlier this month, TrustRadius published the findings of its fifth annual B2B buying disconnect research. The 2021 B2B Buying Disconnect report is based on two surveys that were conducted in September of this year.
One was a survey of 907 individuals who are involved in making business technology purchases for their organization, and the second was a survey of 227 individuals who work for technology vendors in a sales or marketing capacity. More than 75% of the respondents in these surveys were based in the United States.
In my last post, I described some of the characteristics of the technology buying process identified by the TrustRadius research. In this post, I'll discuss what the TrustRadius study discovered about how technology buyers learn about products or services and research potential purchases. I'll also review where there are still disconnects between technology buyers and sellers.
It's important to note that the TrustRadius research focused exclusively on the attributes of technology sales and purchases and on the attitudes and behaviors of technology buyers and vendors. Therefore, the results of the TrustRadius surveys may not be completely applicable to all types of B2B purchases and sales. However, these research findings are relevant for those that involve high-consideration products or services.
Information Used to Inform Buying Decisions
A primary focus of the TrustRadius surveys has been to identify what sources of information technology buyers use to inform and support purchase decisions and which sources they view as trustworthy and influential. The latest survey found that buyers used an average of 6.9 sources of information when researching potential purchases, up from 5.1 sources in last year's survey.
The sources of information most widely used by technology buyers have not changed for the past five years, although their rank order has varied slightly. In the latest TrustRadius buyer survey, the five most frequently used sources of information were:
- Product demos (58% of buyer respondents)
- Vendor/product websites (51%)
- User reviews (45%)
- Vendor representatives (43%)
- Free trials/accounts (41%)
- Their own prior experience with the product (25% of buyer survey respondents)
- Recommendations from their network (15%)
- Online search for top products (15%)