Social Networking Figures Heavily in B2B Buying Decisions

By Maggie O'Neill

Business executives rely on social media and social networks to a "surprisingly high degree" for help in making complex buying decisions, according to a recent study conducted by IDC, in partnership with LinkedIn. In fact, the more important the buying decision, the more important social networks become. The study found that 84 percent of upper-level executives use social networks for buying, compared with 75 percent of all surveyed B2B buyers. "Companies that sell complex technology solutions are missing a huge opportunity if they are not social-media savvy," said Kathleen Schaub, vice president of research in IDC's CMO Advisory Practice. "Reduced face-to-face selling time is not the only change that the digital disruption has caused. Now, relationship building, recommendations and referrals are shifting online. Opting out of social media could cause real damage to the revenue pipeline." Although companies in the channel should continue to use traditional methods to help them make buying decisions, they cannot deny the role of social media. Channel Insider looks at key findings from the study.

This article was originally published on 2014-09-23
Maggie O’Neill has worked as a hard news reporter for more than 10 years for papers in Northern Nevada.