B2B Buyers Reward Brands That Focus On Six Ingredients, Study Finds

There has been a sharp increase in the number of B2B buyers who complain about delivery times, according to Superpowers 2.0, a study from Merkle B2B conducted with B2B International. 

Of the decision-makers polled, 44% agree that “it takes far too long to make a purchase from most of our B2B suppliers” -- up 28% in 2020.

However, the customer-experience gap is narrowing between leading and lagging brands, with performance scores tightening by 51% since 2020.

These six ingredients have taken on increased importance:

  • Consistently delivering on time and as specified
  • Quick to respond and can adapt to changing plans
  • Products & services can be customized
  • Provides the expertise, info and support we need
  • Working with these companies teaches me new skills/knowledge
  • Have a progressive approach to all stakeholders

The increases in scores for these six ingredients is largely coming from the C-suite, and less so from the vice president, associate and manager levels. 

The professional-services sector saw the most consistent improvement in these areas. 

While still critical for success, these four factors are rated as less important:

  • Support us with expertise
  • Working with them keeps me up to date and more employable
  • Leader in innovative products & services
  • Improve our productivity, saving us time and resources

“Only one of those ingredients -- "Improve a customer’s productivity/save them time and resources" -- has (for now) fallen off the list of ingredients that currently drive successful B2B customer experiences,” the study states. “At a time when many businesses were battling to cope with change and to survive, this is not entirely surprising. “

Meanwhile,  67% of buyers agree “it is increasingly important that the B2B brands we work with offer both positive social and business value.”

“Through this research we found that brands that deliver fully across the six newly important ingredients are 80% more likely to see increased spend from their customers in future,” concludes Simon Calvert, chief strategy officer, Merkle B2B, UK. 

Calvert adds: “We also found that the gap between this year’s winning and losing B2B brand has narrowed significantly.”

B2B International surveyed 3,505 buyers of B2B products and services spanning over 6,000 recent B2B purchase experiences.


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