State of Procurement

Executive Summary

Over the past year, procurement, like various other industries, has been forced to digitalise at a faster rate than previously. With pandemic lockdowns all over the world, procurement teams had to switch to digital platforms to avoid disruption. We asked over 50 B2B Buyers what their buying preferences were and the findings of the survey revealed some key results.

  • About 53.8% of the B2B buyers said they liked speaking to people and discussing the benefits before buying from them, 32.7% said they prefer doing their research online before getting in touch with the vendor and 13.5% said they preferred automating repeat purchases each month to increase efficiency.
  • 44.2% of buyers said they preferred doing their research online, 28.8% said they liked to gather their information by speaking to salespeople whereas 26.9% said they preferred repeating purchases from known vendors.
  • 57.7% of the buyers said they preferred to purchase from salespeople, 30.8% said they liked to automate processes, whereas 11.5% said they like to purchase online.
  • When it comes to looking for the right partner to purchase from, 61.5% said they looked for an informative salesperson, 26.9% looked for companies with a strong online presence and 11.5% said they looked for companies with automation options.
  • 55.8% of buyers said they were more likely to buy from a company that simplifies processes, 38.5% said they preferred companies with great sales teams and 5.8% said they preferred buying from companies with a strong online presence.
  • When asked about their views on technology, 59.6% said they loved how it made their life easy, 32.7% said they used it extensively for their buying decisions, 7.7% said they weren’t comfortable with technology, so they avoided it whenever possible.
  • 53.8% of buyers said they believed the buying process needed to be fast and easy; 26.9% said they preferred it to be traditional and standard while 19.2% said it needed to be digital and online.
  • 55.8% of buyers in the study said that they loved having someone on the inside to consult along the way, 38.5% said they enjoyed having a system for automating purchases, and 5.8% said they liked having a great online platform for purchasing.

Buyers Prefer Researching Online

When buyers were asked about their preferences for gathering information, 44.2% said they liked doing their research online, whereas 28.8% preferred speaking to a salesperson and 26.9% preferred repeat purchasing from known vendors. This shows that companies who want to succeed, need to strengthen their online presence as that is the preferred medium for gathering information.

Buyers and the Buying Process

When buyers in the study were asked who they were more likely to buy from, 55.8% said they preferred buying from companies with simplified processes and 38.5% said they preferred companies with strong sales teams. This shows that these two are the most important factors for companies to focus on in order to increase sales.

Additionally, when asked about their opinions on how the buying process needs to be, 53.8% said it needed to be fast and easy, 26.9% said it should be traditional and standard and 19.2% said it needed to be digital and online. This shows the shift in the industry towards simpler and digital processes as opposed to the traditional methods of buying.

Technology and Buyers

The study also reveals the increasing need for automation and digitalisation in the industry. We asked buyers for their views on technology and over 92% of buyers in the study were technology-friendly and used it extensively to make their buying decisions, whereas only 7.7% said that they were not comfortable with technology and avoided using it wherever possible. Furthermore, 38.5% felt having a system that allows for seamless automated purchases increased productivity.

Conclusion

The results of the study highlight recent changes across procurement in B2B industries. Whilst many still relied on traditional way of procuring, the pandemic increased the need for digitalization and automation across industries. Buyers are looking for simpler processes to make the buying experience easy and fast. Automation is another major player and suppliers who provide a platform for automating process will have an advantage over their competitors.

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