Today’s buying committees are diverse; Millennials are already taking their seats among Generation X and Baby Boomers at the buying table, making navigating the already complicated buying environment even harder, thanks to their different preferences.
According to a SnapApp and Heinz Marketingsurvey over two weeks in late June 2017, to understand and identify the generational differences, and impact of those differences, on the B2B sales process and buyer’s journey, the report looks at the differences between the rising Millennial buyer, their Generation X and Baby Boomer counterparts, and how B2B marketing and sales strategies can address the gaps between them.
The responses came from 503 professionals with buying influence and/or authority across B2C and B2B businesses, in different functional areas, and from organizations that range from SMB to large enterprise. The key findings included:
The buying habits of Generation X fall between Millennials and Baby Boomers, creating even more uncertainty within the buying committee. Unlike Millennials, however, Generation X is more likely to reach out to sales at the beginning of the decision-making process, which aligns closely to the actions of Baby Boomers. In fact, Generation X and Baby Boomers share more commonalities than differences:
Comparison Of Buying Groups
Researcher or influencer
Seeks solutions for their own issues; vendor values are important; avoids sales at all costs
Influencer or decision maker
Focuses on features; engages sales early; relies on salesperson for insight on solutions
Baby Boomer Buyer
Seeks solutions for team; skeptical of free trials; relies on experts.
Source: SnapApp, September 2017
The buying committee today is diverse, says the report. With anywhere from three to 10 stakeholders when looking at companies with over 100 employees, 45% have a minimum of six stakeholders. Isolating companies with more than 1,000 employees, the number jumps to 10 or more. The power and influence of Millennials on these committees is growing fast. Today, 13% of Millennials are already making buying decisions; an additional 28% more are influencing decisions. A total of 82% of Millennials are involved in the buying committee in some way. The role of millennials on the buying committee is like this:
For organizations who want to effectively engage buyers, marketing and sales must pay attention to the Millennial buyer and their influence on the buying committee. The old playbook won’t work, says the report, not just with them, but Baby Boomers and Generation X as well. The report concludes with some best practices for success:
A noninvasive approach is key to gaining any traction within this cohort:
For Generation X,
Marketing and sales should reach out early in the buying process:
For Baby Boomers
Early engagement goes a long way with this generation:
For additional details from SnapApp, please visit here.