New Study: How buyers research products and where vendors are falling short

Julie Neumann
January 26, 2017

New Study: How buyers research products and where vendors are falling short

We are excited to unveil the findings from the 2017 TrustRadius Buyer-Vendor Survey in our landmark study The B2B Buying Disconnect. Designed to identify gaps as well as opportunities in the B2B purchasing process, we had over 600 technology buyers and vendors take aligning surveys. The results confirmed that the buyer’s journey has indeed changed, but vendors aren’t keeping up.

Despite a trend toward independent research, 60% of buyers considered their vendor influential in the purchasing process. Yet buyers also take information from vendors with a grain of salt — 58% did not believe claims made by the vendor they ultimately bought from. In an effort to get a realistic view of products, buyers prefer trials, demos, referrals and user reviews over vendor collateral and websites

Buyers Helpful Sources

Other key findings in The B2B Buying Disconnect include:

  • Vendors focus on providing materials that buyers don’t find very useful or trustworthy. Buyers ranked vendor-provided information and materials as the least helpful and trustworthy information sources. Yet, perhaps because they are also the easiest to produce, they are among the content types vendors most commonly shared with prospects.
  • What buyers really want is hands-on experience with the product and insights from customers. Product demos and free trials were the best resources for buyers, who use them frequently and for the most part find them helpful and trustworthy. After hands-on experience with the product, peer resources such as direct referrals from colleagues and user reviews are the next most helpful and trustworthy information sources.
  • Vendors have an arsenal of satisfied customers they are not leveraging. Overall, surveyed buyers are quite satisfied with the product they purchased — 46% are promoters, rating the product a 9 or 10, and 91% intend to renew. Additionally, 42% have independently recommended the product directly to a peer or colleague. Yet very few buyers have taken an action on behalf of the vendor that can be more broadly shared with prospects, such as serving as a reference or providing a testimonial.

For more insights into how your team can have a greater impact on purchasing decisions, download our full report on The B2B Buying Disconnect now.

If you have any questions or want to know how TrustRadius can help you bridge the growing gap between buyers and vendors, please reach out.

About the Author

Julie Neumann
Julie Neumann was the Director of Content Marketing at TrustRadius, where she focused on educating and engaging our vendors. A journalist turned tech marketer, she has built programs at Yahoo!, MapMyFitness, Bigcommerce, Clearhead and more. Julie has an MA in journalism from the University of Texas and a BA in English and Economics from Vanderbilt University.