If a data center wants to gain more clients, its sales team needs to understand how IT buyers research and make their purchasing decisions.
Consumers typically buy products or services for one of two reasons:
- Solve a problem: The purchase must make the buyer’s life easier in some way by addressing a concern or pain point. For example, an intuitive accounting software that makes it easier for small business owners to balance their books.
- Increase pleasure: The product or service must arouse enjoyment. Examples include a smartphone with free games installed or a trendy designer handbag.
Social Media: A Buyer’s Vetting Zone
According to Social Media Today, 78% of consumers rely on social media to make a buying decision. These buyers admitted to checking a company’s posts on Facebook, Twitter, and other outlets to decide whether they would purchase what the company was selling (i.e., whether they trusted the seller).
IT Buyers Reading the Reviews
In 2010 the Nielsen Company published a study that confirmed what sales and marketing professionals already suspected: reviews influence consumers when making a buying decision.
Nearly 60% of online buyers said they read about other customers’ experiences before purchasing electronics.
This finding was affirmed nearly five years later when the Mintel report American Lifestyles 2015 stated 69% of American consumers use the Internet to read peer opinions and reviews before buying goods or services.
These conclusions suggest data centers should start gathering reviews on their sites or (at the very least) publish a testimonial page.
If a center also sells commodity products, it is usually possible to pull reviews from an external site such as Amazon.com and place them on the company page.
Word of Mouth Driving Data Center Purchase Decisions
Although online research and social media reviews are predominating, people still value good old-fashioned word of mouth when purchasing.
A study by Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, suggested that people who discovered a brand through a peer were 18% more likely to stay loyal to the company than those who found it via other means.
Consumers appear to have a firmer attachment to a product or service if their friends or colleagues are also loyal to it.
The Bottom Line
The key to a successful sales approach lies in understanding buyer behavior and using that information to create a strategic and effective marketing campaign; this is one instance in which knowledge is both power and key to ongoing business success.
Does your data center understand how IT buyers research and make purchasing decisions? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments box below.