Our most recent buying study focused on decisions related to line-of-business functions in several industries. As with other studies, we see notable differences based on the New Chasm.
One of the things we assessed in this study was the relative importance of various buying criteria, using a MAXDIFF test. This asks respondents to contrast a subset of options to identify what is most and what is least important in the set. It then repeats the process with different combinations multiple times before computing a score. If all criteria are equal, the scores will all be 100. Scores above 110 are more important factors, below 90 are less (though possibly not unimportant factors).
When looking at the results, we grouped the respondents by their ETA profiles, further combining the three profiles on the left side of the new chasm and the four on the right. We then look at the percentage of respondents for whom a subset of the criteria was more important. The results are interesting (as usual).
As the chart shows, the most consistently important criteria was a vendor’s reputation for providing good service and support and their ability to bring innovations from other industries to the respondent’s industry (something we have seen before). But then we see some divergence.
The next four items in the graphic are all areas where profiles that are more likely to be effective buyers are statistically significantly more likely to identify as being more important. The criteria focus on business fit–both through customization or tailoring and compatibility–and longer term value projections through vision alignment and exploring future roadmaps.
The last three are the opposite–statistically more likely to be chosen by ineffective buying organizations. Having a partner network, lowest cost, or short time to value are more likely to matter more to this group. As I’ve said in the past–it is not that these criteria are unimportant, but that they are not the best choices as primary decision factors. These folks are more focused on short term concerns than value–and sustained value at that.
Assessing criteria is a great way to understand where you customer is coming from and adapting your strategy accordingly, here is more evidence of that.
For clients that want to dive deeper into these results, schedule and inquiry or explore the growing body of research we are publishing to our Tech Buying Behavioral Insights KI. I’ve also recently published a note that uses the New Chasm to look at the challenges that these LOB buyers anticipate for their function and their technology efforts. Clients can access the doc at the link – “The New Chasm View of Challenges Facing Line-of-Business Buyers.”
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