B2B Vendor Success
- Report Description Table of Contents
In the B2B Vendor Success study, Primary Intelligence analyzes eight criteria buyers use to judge overall vendor effectiveness in business to business (B2B) markets, including a firm’s reputation, experience in the buyer’s industry, and the company’s perceived future direction. While buyers typically make selection and non-selection decisions based upon product- or service-related criteria—the solutions proposed by competing vendors—company-related factors are also important and can tip the scales in important deals.
Understanding how buyer perceptions change over time in terms of what’s most important when judging vendor effectiveness can give firms a competitive edge. For example, knowing that experience in a buyer’s industry is the leading factor buyers use to determine company effectiveness can help business development reps more carefully target opportunities and help account teams better position their companies as industry veterans with deep expertise.
Knowing how buyer perceptions change on a geographic basis can also aid firms when selling into different markets. Sellers in EMEA and Asia Pacific, for example, will need to work harder than sellers in Latin and North America to counter buyer perceptions that they can deliver what they’ve sold and that they’re experienced in buyer industries.
Understanding trends in vertical markets can also be instructive. While Healthcare vendors generally rank highest in the percentage of “excellent” ratings buyers award to different industry sectors, all vendors struggle with buyer perceptions of their future strategic direction.
B2B buyers’ most important criteria related to vendor consideration is a firm’s experience in buyers’ industries.
- 49% of buyers rated “Experience in your Industry” as the most important company- related criteria in their evaluation, topping seven other criteria used by Primary Intelligence to judge company-related effectiveness.
Buyers’ second most important attribute is vendors’ ability to deliver what the sales team sold to them.
- 44% of buyers chose “Deliver What was Sold” as the most important company-related criteria in their evaluation of vendors.
The largest percentage of buyers rated vendors as “excellent” in seven of the eight categories defined by Primary Intelligence.
- The criteria buyers judge vendors most harshly on is “Future Direction,” in which buyers gave a higher percentage of “average” ratings to vendors compared to “excellent” ratings.
Vendors receive “poor” ratings from approximately 1 in 5 buyers.
- Buyers are most unhappy with vendors’ “Customer References.”
Buyers see little differentiation in vendors’ company-related criteria for “wins” versus “losses.”
- This signifies that company-related criteria, while a consideration when evaluating competing vendors, are less important than other selection criteria, such as solution capabilities.
Compared to buyers in other verticals, Healthcare buyers are generally most satisfied with vendors’ company-related criteria.
Approximately 75% of Healthcare buyers awarded their vendors “excellent” ratings in 7 out of 8 company-related criteria:
- Company Size Fits Needs
- Customer References
- Deliver What Was Sold
- Experience in Your Industry
- Service and Support
- Vendor Financial Viability
Geographically, vendors in Latin and North America fare best in buyer perceptions of their company-related attributes.
Buyers in the Americas consistently give vendors a higher percentage of “excellent” ratings and a lower percentage of “poor” ratings compared to buyers in EMEA and Asia Pacific.
Asia Pacific buyers are especially dissatisfied with their vendors when it comes to:
- Customer References (33% “poor” ratings)
- Experience in Your Industry (30% “poor” ratings)
- Future Direction (29% “poor” ratings)
Buyers in EMEA are particularly dissatisfied with vendors’ capabilities in:
- Customer References (28% “poor” ratings)
- Experience in Your Industry (26% “poor” ratings)
- Service and Support (26% “poor” ratings)
How Can This Report Help You?
B2B Vendor Success is a guide for sales and marketing professionals to better understand the role of company-related factors in competitive B2B sales opportunities.
The study answers important questions, such as:
- Out of the eight criteria Primary Intelligence uses to measure buyer perceptions of the vendors they evaluate, which are most important to buyers?
- How have buyer priorities of company-related selection criteria changed over time?
- How well are B2B buyers judging organizations in terms of each of the eight company- based criteria?
- How do buyers’ decisions to select or not select vendors impact their perceptions of those evaluated organizations?
- How do buyers in different vertical industries perceive vendors in terms of company- based attributes? Are there patterns in the ratings and are ratings consistent over multiple attributes?
- Do buyers in specific regions of the world view vendors differently when judging their performance in various company-related criteria?
- How can organizations improve buyers’ perceptions of their firms in the discrete categories tracked by Primary
- Intelligence? Are there steps companies can take overall to improve their effectiveness from a top level when selling to demanding B2B buyers?