Email teams seeking to sell B2B tech products face many challenges, including disfunction in the B2B buying process, judging by a new study from Zip: 2023 Trends In “B2B Purchasing.”
Of finance and accounting professionals surveyed, 79.4% say their firms face challenges when buying software and services.
There are many possible problems. For one, 48% say their firm requires six or more cross-functional approvals for a new software or vendor purchase.
And 35.5% are struggling with employee experience, 34.4% with a slowed purchasing process and 29.7% with friction between employees and the procurement or purchasing team.
On the positive side, 71% have a uniform process for employees to initiate a purchase request, although more than 33% are largely unaware of it.
But companies are buying — 57.7% of respondents are seeing more than 50 new purchase requests for software or services per month.
Most firms use “old-school” forms of communication to manage initial purchase requests:
Phone calls and texting—60%
Capturing the email address is essential, not only for marketing but for identity verification.
When managing approvals of purchase requests, the top three tools for communication are email (49.2%), Microsoft Excel (47.7%) and Microsoft Teams (30.1%).
Of the finance leaders polled, 62.6% cite increasing efficiency and team productivity as a top priority for the coming year.
In addition, 48.7% plan to ensure compliance with financial regulations, and 48.2% with security and privacy regulations.
And almost 50% of organizations hope to reduce operating expenses by more than 20% in 2023.
The solution may be found in technology: 70.9% believe their processes for initiating purchase requests and approvals should be automated. Only 30% have a fully automated process in place, and 17.8% have none at all.
The study also uncovered these findings:
“Over the last several years, the digitization of back-office processes has allowed businesses to achieve greater operational efficiency, better positioning them to weather current economic headwinds,” says Rujul Zaparde, co-founder and CEO of Zip.
Nut the end-to-end procurement workflow has remained stagnant for over a decade,” Zaparde continues. “It is becoming ever more critical given the renewed focus among finance leaders to reduce costs and mitigate business risk.”
Zip surveyed 1,056 U.S.-based finance and accounting professionals.