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The Technology Concerns of Functional Departments.

By Hank Barnes | March 28, 2023 | 0 Comments

tech buyer behaviorgo-to-market

As we deepened our coverage of business buyers of technology recently, we encountered yet more evidence of technology related challenges facing these buyers and, by extension, the companies trying to sell to them.  (Side Note:  For clients, check out our resource center for a quick way to explore all of the research in this area or to filter it on functional areas of interest (Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Finance, HR, or Supply Chain).

We asked over 3000 people working in the departments above what their top two departmental business objectives were.  We then asked the biggest challenge or obstacle they faced in achieving the top objective.   The top 4 issues are quite revealing:

The number one and number 4 choices are both technology related!.   For nearly every department, technology is so intertwined into the way we work that many can’t see how to get work done without it.   But even as we rely on it more, our confidence in it–or better stated our confidence in understanding it–remains low.  (As a note, for clients, we dive into the full list, including breaking it down by each of the departments in this research note.)

The number two challenge was the one we expected the most.  We consistently see talent issues being top of mind aross the organization.

But let’s add number 3 to the pile.   Disagreements within the team.   Surprising? No.   Alarming?  Yes.

All of this just reinforces our research on regret and high-quality deals (or the lack thereof).   The biggest driver of regret is disagreements within the team on objectives.   The majority of buyers feel their expectations have not been meet for big technology purchases (more on that next week for these departmental buyers).   Add a backdrop of lack of confidence in their ability to choose the right tech or implement it correctly and we can see how decisions may drag on and on or how growth after a win can not go smoothly.

Those looking closely might say the %’s are low.  And they are—there were 12 options to choose from.  Only 2% of respondents said they saw no major obstacles.  But even with that spread,  3 of the top 4 just reinforce all of our research and viewed through that light, we can see how there issues are on the minds of many customers, even the ones that did not choose them as their number one choice.

For vendors, the implications are clear.   Make it your aim to help your customers build confidence and consensus.  Confidence in the approach to selection, so they are confident they are choosing the right technology (Let’s face it, all tech works at some level, if you help them be more confident about themselves, that good will will rub off on you and you will win your fair (and likely bigger) share.  Help them build confidence in their ability to achieve value.   Help them build confidence in gaining high adoption rates.   And help them build consensus (see my recent post).

Tech is part of everything we do.   It’s time to work together to reduce the fear and uncertainty around it.


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