How Many Millennials Does it Take to Buy Software?
The 2019 B2B Buying Disconnect
No, this isn’t some kind of lightbulb joke. What do today’s software buyers really look like? In short, there are more millennials involved than you might think. In the new 2019 B2B Buying Disconnect report, we gained insights from 712 buyers and 229 vendor representatives to understand perspectives on both sides of the sale. But before we dig into why and how to pay attention to millennials in software sales, here’s what the research revealed.
57% of buyers that took our survey came from companies that were made up of between 1-250 employees, meaning 43% came from much larger companies (251-10,000+). Among these respondents, 48% held a leadership role (Manager, Senior Manager, Director), 17% were Analysts, and the remaining 35% comprised of C-Suite and VP executives, entry-level associates, consultants, and all of those in between.
Although a good majority of our respondents came from IT (30%), Marketing (19%), and Operations (10%), the remaining 41% were pretty distributed among Engineering, Sales, Accounting/Finance, HR, R&D, and more.
Collaboration in the Buying Process
The first thing the research revealed is that 95% of software purchases are collaborative. This means, more often than not, that it is not just one person making the buying decision. In fact, the majority of buying groups consist of between 2-5 people, each with unique perspectives–though often they may work together on discovery, evaluation, and selection of new products. .
The size of the buying committee grows with the size of the company. For example, at smaller companies between 1-250 employees, 3 out of 4 purchases were made by a committee of 2-5 people. At companies with 500-1,000 employees, more than half of all purchases were made by a group of 6+ people. At companies with 5,000+ employees, around 1 in 3 purchases were made by a group of 11+ people. .
So where do millennials come in? A key demographic to notice in these committees are millennial buyers. We learned last year that Millennials are beginning to dominate the workforce, and have made their way into the business technology buying process. This year, it became very clear that millennials are now the force to be reckoned with. 59% of our respondents were between the ages of 22-37, making this generation a key ingredient in successful B2B deals.
Why is this important to you?
Millennials Play a Big Role in Buying Committees
Case and point, Millennials approach buying software differently than their predecessors. They thrive doing their own research via demos and reviews and they prefer to stay away from vendor reps until they have questions of their own or are willing to make a purchase.
It is important to understand how to sell to Millennial B2B buyers, because, even in committees, they’re going to be the majority of the stakeholders within the committees. In fact, 1 in 3 millennials in a committee are the lead buyers.
So how are Millennials in committees approaching software? Check out our infographic to get more details:
The Wrap Up
The idea of a buying committee is not new. That being said, Millennials are now taking charge of the committees and changing the way that software is being purchased. As a vendor, if you’re wanting to get the most out of the process, and close a good deal, you’ll need to close the trust gap and make sure you know your audience and their preferences.
There’s a lot to be learned from the 2019 B2B Buying Disconnect. Download it now to get a very intimate look inside the trust gap and how to speed up your sales cycle.