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What You Need to Know About B2B Buyers to Increase Conversion

October 30, 2023

by Hannah Hicklen

Clutch surveyed over 300 US-based professionals to understand more about B2B buyers and what motivates them when hiring a service provider. Read on to learn what we found.

For B2B companies, understanding a prospective client’s motivations, goals, and pain points is the key to appealing to them and, ideally, converting them into paying customers.

With a solid understanding of what drives your clients, you’ll be able to personalize interactions, provide valuable insights, and offer exceptional customer experiences. As a result, you will be able to build stronger relationships with customers, foster trust, and improve customer loyalty.

We surveyed 312 US-based professionals who have hired B2B service providers to learn more about them and what drives them. Here’s what you need to know.

Our Findings 

  • Millennials make up the majority (54%) of those making B2B hiring decisions.
  • Increasing efficiency is listed as the primary reason why companies hire B2B service providers (47%), followed by needing support for a product launch (43%) and scaling their business (39%).
  • Understanding your clients specific business needs (29%) and ability to provide the service (28%) are the 2 biggest deciding factors for B2B Buyers.

Young Leadership is Driving Buying Decisions

In recent years, we’ve seen millennials move into leadership positions where they are making major decisions for their organizations. Now they make up the majority (54%) of decision-makers when hiring a service provider.

That doesn’t mean they’re inexperienced, though — most decision makers remain senior-level and have been in their role for 4–6 years (53%).

Still, this shift marks a major change in workforce dynamics. Rather than appealing to Gen X, B2B companies need to target younger professionals who have different perspectives, values, and expectations than their predecessors.

Millennials grew up in the digital age and are often more tech-savvy than previous generations. They rely more heavily on online research and reviews to make informed decisions and often prefer digital modes of communication.

This means B2B companies must build strong online presences and utilize digital platforms to reach their ideal customers and appeal to them.

For instance, companies can educate millennial buyers through informative content, case studies, and whitepapers, among other strategies. By providing valuable insights that demonstrate your expertise and build credibility in your industry, your company will likely receive more inbound leads from Millennial buyers.

Additionally, you should utilize collaboration tools and online platforms that help buyers communicate with your team. While that looks different for every organization, team chat apps, project management software, cloud storage apps, and video conferencing software allows teams to communicate more effectively.

Agile communication enables teams to make faster decisions, as they can quickly address questions, resolve issues, and gather feedback. Rapid decision-making helps organizations respond swiftly to changes and stay ahead in dynamic environments, which appeals to millennial buyers.

Still, the most important aspect of converting buyers — regardless of their demographics — is by addressing their problems and providing a solution.  

Increasing Efficiency As a Primary Goal When Outsourcing

Nearly half (47%) of B2B buyers list increasing efficiency as a primary reason for hiring a B2B service provider. By delegating tasks that are outside of their expertise to specialized external providers, companies hope to channel their internal resources and efforts towards areas where they have a competitive advantage.

Many companies outsource services to gain access to specialized skills and knowledge that may not be available internally. They're able to enhance efficiency by ensuring that tasks are performed by experienced professionals.

Understanding that efficiency is a motivating factor for potential clients can help your team appeal to interested parties. Sales teams that highlight how their services can impact their business and internal processes are more likely to convert them into paying customers.

Buyers may also reach out to service providers when they need additional support for a new system or product launch (43%) or when they’re planning to scale their business (39%).

Knowing what motivates each client allows your team to customize their sales process and help buyers feel more confident in the buyer journey.  

When a potential client reaches out to your team, make sure to ask about their goals and what they’re hoping to accomplish by outsourcing certain aspects of their business.

After all, the key to closing a sale lies in understanding the business needs of prospective clients.

Understanding a Potential Client’s Business Needs is Essential to Making a Sale

To convert a prospective client, they must be excited and confident that their partner can provide a solution and resolve their unique issues. When surveyed, 1 in 3 B2B buyers listed a service provider’s understanding of their specific business needs as the most influential factor when selecting a partner.

When buyers say this, they mean they are seeking a partner who can provide a tailored solution for their industry, company size, and clientele. They want a provider who can adapt their services to align with their business processes, goals, and more.

Assessing a prospective client’s unique needs and proposing a solution, however, can be challenging for sales teams just getting to know them. Spending more time in discovery so you can help you understand the nuances of their business and allow you to provide a custom solution for them.

Understanding ‘why’ users need your services allows you to highlight how you can help them accomplish their goals.  

Knowing What Motivates B2B Buyers Drives Sales

Throughout the B2B buyer journey, prospective clients are looking for a service provider that understands their business and can help resolve a problem they have. By taking the time to understand prospective clients, B2B service providers can nurture them and help move them through the sales process.

While shifting demographics mean that B2B businesses need to adjust their marketing and sales strategies to appeal to a younger audience, the factors that influence their buying decisions are very much the same.

They’re often searching for partners that understand the nuances of their business and can help them run more efficiently.  

Clutch is a B2B ratings and reviews platform that helps companies reach prospects throughout their buyer journey. Through various offerings, Clutch can help you target buyers looking at services like yours both around the world and in your area. You can target specific buyers on an individual page within a specialty service, country, or city.

Learn more about how service providers can reach B2B buyers more effectively in Clutch’s webinar, “Understanding the B2B Buyer Journey.

About The Survey

Clutch surveyed 312 US- based professionals, who have experience looking for business service providers. Representing a mix of ages between 18-75 years old, genders, and U.S. regions to provide broad insights. Each survey consisted of in-depth 45-minute online interviews and 15-minute online surveys with 2 open-ended questions between November 30th to December 12th, 2022 and January 26th to February 5th, 2023. 

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