A LinkedIn survey from 2018 examined which factors most influence business decision-makers in the US to make an initial engagement with sales.
The top factor was the salesperson representing a well-know company with a strong professional brand, as cited by a slight majority (52%) of decision-makers, representing a large increase from a similar prior study.
The importance of branding to B2B companies has also been seen in other research: a 2017 study found that the vast majority (87%) of B2B companies had increased their brand investments over the previous 5 years, with most (82%) of those seeing those investments pay off, most commonly in the form of increased sales and customer acquisition. Read more of this research.
According to the GlobalWebIndex’s GWI Work wave 2 survey of 2,889 business-to-business buyers from ten markets, 61% prefer to contact B2B vendors via email near the end of the research phase of the buyer’s journey.
46% prefer contacting a sales representative by phone. 33% prefer filling out a form on a vendor’s website, while 32% would ratehr speak to a salesperson at a trade show.
Only 27% would prefer to contact a vendor on social media.
Additional findings from the survey include:
- 43% of buyers find social media posts by current users of a product useful when conducting research – ranked above those of thought leaders (32%).
- Nearly half of buyers say recommendations from experts in their network are very influential when researching a new product.
- 52% of buyers aged 25-34 say user reviews are very influential purchase influencers, compared to 28% of 55-64s.
- Over a third of buyers think case studies are the most useful kind of content when looking to buy a new product or service.