Skip to main content

Tech vendors have little insight into the modern buying process

communication technology
(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/violetkaipa)

At a time when the majority of organizations plan to increase their spending on technology, vendors are mostly clueless about what their customers want and need.

This is the conclusion of a new report from analyst firm Gartner, which claims vendor engagement strategies “continue to underdeliver”.

Gartner claims there are four types of technology buyers, based on “key behaviors that influence go-to-market tactics”: Cooperatives, Strict Planners, Catalysts and Business-Leds.

While the Cooperatives make up the majority (43 percent), they’re also the hardest ones to predict, as everything seems to be equally important to them. Strict Planners, on the other hand, have clearly defined buying processes, with a preference for proven technology that aligns with their strategic vision. When looking into a new purchase, most Strict Planners rely primarily on information about the features of various products and services. For that reason, vendors should focus on gesturing towards clear results, Gartner suggests.

Catalysts are happy to take a chance with new technology, but want assurances it will meet their needs. They are interested in understanding new products and services and, when replacing legacy tech, are most likely to interact with the vendor directly.

Finally, Business-Leds make up a fifth (21 percent) of the surveyed cohort and want assurances their purchase will increase business value. They are looking for customer references and proof points, and rely heavily on direct engagement with vendors. 

“Technology providers often create go-to-market (GTM) strategies with limited insights into how an enterprise will make a buying decision,” said Christy Uher Ferguson, Research VP at Gartner. “As the size of buying teams continues to increase, ideal customer profiles (ICPs) increase in importance. While understanding individual buyer personas is important to align messaging and content to specific role-based needs, buying teams act as an organization, with organization goals first and individual goals second.”

“Strategies must be built that are relevant to buyers and will engage buying committees throughout their buying and owning journeys. Using buying behavior analysis, technology teams should develop personalized engagement strategies (messaging, account-based marketing programs, content and channel mix strategies) that are relevant to each cluster and implement these into their GTM efforts.”