If you’re not a SaaS business, beware of the “SaaSification” of B2B marketing
B2B buyers are spending more time between major purchases. How can marketers adjust?
Statistics show that only 5% of B2B buyers are always in the market for your product or service. This is according to research conducted by the bright minds of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for his LinkedIn B2B Institute.
According to the report, businesses change service providers, such as banks and law firms, on average about once every five years. That means only one-fifth of all business buyers are “in the market” for the entire year. About 5% in the quarter.
To be fair, this isn’t rocket science, nor is it particularly surprising. However, the 5% figure is only a guideline. In fact, it varies greatly between specific his B2B markets. And it matters. many.
Why B2B Companies Stay Married to Systems
Let’s say you sell an ERP system to an enterprise. Switching system providers is doable, but not without significant disruption and upheaval. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect most customers to continue using the system for about five years. .
But if you’re an auditor at a large accounting firm, you know it’s not uncommon for clients to stay with the same firm for 10+ years. quarter.
But for a SaaS business targeting the SMB market, if you have an average monthly churn rate of 5% (ouch!), that number can be much higher. 15% of buyers may be in the market in the quarter.
Of course, it’s not that simple. Because a lot of his SaaS business sells to customers who are trying to solve a new problem they’ve just encountered rather than trading something in a similar way. In this case, in-market buyers may represent an even higher percentage.
Related article: Use B2B marketing strategies to grow your business
Are you ready for the long haul in B2B?
Another notable difference is the length of time it takes to make a purchase. All his B2B sales are longer-term than, say, buying him a pair of jeans, but SMBs can opt for the new monthly payments software and start using it in a matter of weeks.
But most other B2B buy-sells are risky and can take years. The challenge revolves around getting multiple people with different agendas to agree on something whose business costs him five or six figures and involves high stakes.
In fact, according to a recent survey by Considered Content, 78% of marketers agree that getting consensus from buyers on sales is becoming more difficult. This is not helped by the fact that over half (55%) of buyers are considering more possible vendors with each purchase.
Related article: New priorities for next-gen B2B marketing
Demand creation and market growth are important
So it’s easy to see why applying the SMB SaaS rules across the board to long-cycle enterprise sales is a bad decision. However, today the strategies and tactics employed by marketers tend to be more and more ‘simplistic’. This means it is tuned to market standards where there are many in-market buyers and high churn.
If you have more buyers, you can legitimately focus more on lead generation and immediate profits. There is a possibility.
Because when there are few buyers in the market, companies need to focus more on creating demand and growing the market as a whole. So that when these buyers enter the market, their brand immediately comes to mind, they need to focus on being memorable among the “not right now” crowd. And for many of his B2B marketers, this is basically the long game, not his SaaS play of hit and run.