Yesterday, I shared some of the results of our latest study on Enterprise Buying with attendees at the Gartner Tech Growth and Innovation Conference (I’ll be repeating the session in London next week). For clients, there is a variety of research coming very soon (in editing) and over the next several months.
But there was one area of the results that should sound alarm bells for the industry.
We asked qualifying respondents to focus on the technology buying effort they were involved in that had the biggest spend. Logically, this also would probably be the effort, and ensuing project, that had the most focus.
But many were failing. We asked respondents the level of agreement/disagreement with a number of statements, using a 7 point scale (7-strongly agree). 46% of them gave a score of 5,6 , or 7 to the statement “The offering we ultimately purchased is failing (or failed) to meet our expectations.” That is 46% who said the thing that likely mattered most, wasn’t delivering. We also looked at this issue for varying deal sizes (as a note, we grouped purchases under 1M together (even though we had many buckets) due to similarity of results–something sales reps who have experienced “a $1M sales process for a $100K deal can relate to).
That is alarming enough (although not surprising to many of us that observe the industry). But there is more to the story. We also asked the respondents about the satisfaction level with the buying experience and their lead vendor, again on a 7 point scale (7-very satisfied).
For this group, that basically say they aren’t being successful, 93% indicated that were satisfied with the buying experience and experience with the lead vendor (with 63% and 64%, respectively, providing a score of 6 or 7).
Really. Being fine with buying and vendor experience and then having a failing project is not good. It’s indicative of a culture of complacency.
While we can look at this with a glass half-full perspective (54% of projects are succeeding! customers love us!), this is one case where that would be foolish, particularly when you consider subscription based models and the high volume of buying efforts that occur (another aspect of the study).
Collectively, the technology ecosystem—customers, vendors, partners—need to improve.
In upcoming posts, I’ll take a look at some of the differences in buying behavior between those that are achieving success and the complacent 46%.
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