As B2B marketers look to cater to the demands of their customers, new research has uncovered the intricacies of vendor-buyer relationships. An eBook from LinkedIn titled, “Rethink the B2B Buyer’s Journey,” shows that 52 percent of B2B buyers consider trust to be the largest reason for their vendor relationships becoming stronger.
Personal relationships (45 percent) and responsiveness (45 percent) are also significant contributors to strong relationships.
“Perhaps, after years of preaching customer focus, B2B marketers and salespeople are doing more than talking the talk and are finally walking the walk of taking care of customers,” wrote the researchers of the report. “It’s also likely that technology, multiple communication channels, and online help centers and community sites have helped scale customer support.”
On the other side of the spectrum, lack of responsiveness (31 percent) is the top reason why B2B buyers feel their relationships with vendors weaken over time. Financial terms (30 percent) and speed of delivery (28 percent) were also large factors cited by B2B buyers.
According to the data, B2B buyers’ willingness to engage with a vendor is largely influenced by the vendor’s understanding of the company’s business model, their subject matter knowledge, consultation ability and overall familiarity with their company.
Predicting the Moves of B2B Buyers
Many B2B marketers create buyer personas to try to understand their target audience, and research has shown that those who do, fair better. The “2016 Benchmark Study on Understanding B2B Buyers” from Cintell has found that about 70 percent of companies with documented buyer personas exceed their goals.
Additionally, companies that have been successful at leveraging buyer personas have updated their personas within the last six months. They have also used a wide variety of sources, including qualitative interviews.