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The Biggest Driver of Longer Buying Cycles

By Hank Barnes | July 19, 2022 | 0 Comments

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After many months of build-up and teases, we finally revealed some important facts about large scale technology purchases last week at our virtual conference (#GartnerTGI).  There have been press releases and articles and lots of tweets from me that you can go find, but let me reiterate the most important facts:

  • The majority of large scale tech purchase decisions were made with high regret (High regret is when expectations are not being met and customers settled for something less ambitious than they were looking for when they started).
  • In high regret purchases, 89% of respondents felt team members had very different and conflicting objectives for the purchase
  • The high regret purchases took, on average, 7 to 10 months longer than purchases with no regret.

We’ve been talking about democratization of technology, the new chasm, and consensus buying (starting with “The Challenger Customer”) for a while.   Now we know the real impact of these consensus issues–when we encourage and support—or don’t try to address–appealing to individuals unique goals,  we are delaying decisions.

I decided to look a bit deeper at the conflicting objectives story.  The chart below shows all of the responses (over 1000) to the question that was built using a 7 point likert scale.   As the chart shows, folks that feel strongly that there is no conflicting goals buy much faster than everyone else.   As soon as I get to neutral or agreement that there are conflicting objectives, the time takes a big leap (after a small bump with a choice of “3”).

The overriding advice given this data:

  • The Enterprise Persona matters more than any Buyer Persona.
  • You have to search for common ground across the buying team vs. pursuing unique appeals.
  • Any sales process should have a step around driving agreement on the objective of the purchase.

Worried about longer sales cycles?  Then you should be worried about the impact of conflicting objectives

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