In our last post, we mentioned Millennials in the 2018 TrustRadius B2B Buying Disconnect. In short, this research study highlights the perspectives of buyers, distinguishing what buyers like, dislike, and need from vendors in a software buying process.
Millennials proved to be a dominant demographic in the TrustRadius study. This makes perfect sense, being that this age group (22-37) make up over one-third of the workforce. In fact, when it comes to making technology purchasing decisions, 73% of millennials who work in business are involved in the decision making process for their companies.
We recently discussed what Millennials seek when buying a product from a vendor. In the end, Millennials are looking for a product to commit and be loyal to. When they find the right product, they are notoriously vocal about their approvals and recommendations.
Overall, 84% of all buyers, millennial and non-millennial alike, are willing to share their perspective with other buyers. That being said, more than half of millennial buyers use reviews when making a purchasing decision, much more than other generations, and there is a reason for that.
So what can younger buyers teach other buyers? Here are some takeaways you can adopt from millennials.
What Millennials Look for When Buying Software
#1: Explore your channels:
With the rising focus on transparency, there are now many review sites you can take advantage of to inform your purchases. Don’t forget about social media. 92% of B2B buyers use social media to follow and engage with thought leaders. Thought leaders are considered experts for a reason. They have valuable wisdom to share with buyers and advise on how to use tools to create company success. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and more are all platforms to gather transparent information from buyers like you. On average, buyers use 5 different channels before buying a solution.
#2 Do Your Research First:
Only 19% of buyers want to talk to a salesperson during the awareness stage of their buying process. The top two things buyers want to talk about during their first call with a sales rep is pricing and product demos. You can research products via reviews, product websites, influencer blogs, and ‘freemiums’ before talking to a sales representative. Most SaaS products offer free trials or even free subscriptions for the most basic plan to help clients understand if their product will meet their needs. This research will be the most valuable part of your purchasing decision.
#3 Seek Transparency:
If you are part of the team making a purchase for your business, you carry a lot of responsibility. You need to know if this product will fit your company or team well, drive success, and increase revenue. Many products will offer you their services “at scale,” that “integrate” with all of your other apps, while supporting “agile” teams, for “big data.” These terms are real and valuable if they are used appropriately. But there is risk that these buzzwords are just thrown around because every SaaS company is using them. Know which questions to ask and expect the sales rep to be a technical expert. Keep in mind your goals and hopes for this solution. You will already have done your research. You need to confirm your findings with an honest salesperson.
#4 Hands-On Experience:
SaaS products can promise scalability and hundreds of integrations, but you won’t know until you try it. Case studies used to be a popular way to understand the uses of a product. Today, case studies don’t cut it. All businesses are shaped differently and buyers need to know if the solution will meet the needs of the business. One of the most trustworthy ways to see if a product will meet the right needs and drive results is to try it first hand. If, for some reason, a trial isn’t cutting it, find reviews of peers in similar roles, or at similar companies. Their experiences can give you some perspective and answer questions that you might still have.
#5 Look for a Brand You Can Trust:
Millennials have been described as the most “brand-loyal generation”. Millennials value authenticity and engagement. If they trust a brand to be authentic, aligned with their values, and engaging, they will stick with it. If millennial buyers trust the company to be socially responsible or to always keep its products top of the line, they will likely remain loyal. It’s hard to find companies to trust, so when they do, they want to stick with them.
With Millennials dominating the software buying space, there is a lot to take away from their buying habits. Hopefully, with these key points, you might have a new strategy on how to appraoch your next big purchase.
Do you agree with the way Millennials look at purchasing software? What has your experience been?