Blog post

Primary vs. Secondary Decision Factors

By Hank Barnes | July 05, 2022 | 1 Comment

tech buying behavioral insightsgo-to-market

The difference between tech choices that result in regret vs. those that don’t come down to decision making (more on that in my keynote next week at the Tech Growth and Innovation conference).  In looking at the characteristics of these different purchases, and the organizations more likely to fall in each camp, using Gartner Enterprise Technology Adoption profiles, there is an important distinction that jumps out.

Buyers with less regret have their “decision criteria” priorities in order.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

These buyers prioritize things that are largely about increasing value, reducing risk of attaining that value, and manageable change.  For them, the things that standout include:

  • A provider showing they understand their situation and their industry
  • The ability of that provider to provide the expected levels of service and support
  • A provider that shares the necessary information to build confidence in change

The customers more likely to regret are more likely to care first about what probably should be secondary factors:

  • Cost
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Time to value claims (often made without providing the details on how to get that value)
  • Recommendations from the Product Vendor (when the sales model is through channels)

The key thing is that these factors are not unimportant, but the more successful buyers worry about other things first, then evaluate the secondary factors.   You can think of this as “if primary factors are equal or close, then let’s evaluate secondary factors.”  Doing that out of order leads to regret

For providers, this should also play into messaging and engagement approaches.  You need to decide what your lead story is vs. the secondary and supporting elements.   And for those using a channel strategy, the last secondary factor is interesting.  As you make partner recommendations, are you doing so based on the partner that can best address the primary factors or just choosing based on a lead distribution model that does not factor those elements in.  If so, you could be contributing to delays in growth opportunities within your customer base.

Helping customers make better decisions is really job 1 in today’s environment.   This is one part of that responsibility.

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1 Comment

  • Bemanningsföretag Sweden says:

    Taking any decisions and managing them afterwards can be quite difficult for anyone. When it is about decision making, one should be very careful. thank you very much. I would really like to know more good information on this!
    Bemanningsföretag Sweden