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Buying Disconnect & The Role of Trust in B2B Deals

Should you tell users the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? According to a new report out from TrustRadius, the answer is a resounding yes.

The B2B review platform released its 2018 B2B Buying Disconnect report and found that vendors who are more honest and open about their products (specifically, about those products limitations) were more likely to close deals. That’s interesting in light of all the slick messaging that fills the Web today.

The results from the report showed that trust (more specifically, a lack of trust) and candor is critically important when it comes to buying big-ticket B2B software

Some of the key highlights, findings and takeaways from the report include:

+ 85% of vendors say they are open about their product’s limitations during the sales process. However only 37% of buyers thought their vendor lived up to that promise.

+ Only 23% of buyers said the vendor was highly influential in their purchasing decision, and those vendors were twice as likely to embrace authenticity than the rest.

+ Of the buyers who worked with a very influential vendor, 56% said the vendor was upfront about product limitations (versus 31% of buyers with less influential vendors), 50% said the vendor provided customer evidence like reviews and case studies (versus 27%) and 42% said they were connected with customer references (versus 20%).

Another noteworthy finding in the study is how demographics impact these trends. According to the report, buying committees are quite common and the majority of their members are now millennials.

In fact, 56% of B2B buyers said two to five individuals were involved in the purchasing decision, while 25% said six to 10 were involved. Over 45% of buyers were 25-34-years-old, followed by 30% in the 35-44 age range. When it comes to their role in the buying process, the most common function was identifying or researching products (67%), followed closely by trialing or evaluating options (58%) and engaging directly with a vendor representative (55%). Influencing these roles and personas is paramount as the buying process becomes more democratic.

“Mainstream sites are plagued with fake and shallow reviews, which might be fine if you’re looking for a restaurant, but is unacceptable if you’re making a $50,000 purchase,” said Vinay Bhagat, CEO and founder of TrustRadius.

“The results of this study highlight why we are defining the next generation of reviews with a focus on authenticity and quality — every reviewer is verified, every review is vetted, the average review is over 400 words, and we don’t sell ads or leads. Buyers need a trusted partner in the buying process, especially when vendors are not stepping up. Perhaps one day consumer-facing review sites will follow in our footsteps.”

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