Opportunity for partners to move on unhappy software customers

There was a potentially worrying take on software purchasing for the channel this week.

A new survey has found that three-quarters of B2B software buyers are unhappy with service they have received – yet 77 percent admit to renewing their contracts anyway, feeling there are few better options.

The research by DemandScience reveals that given business software buyers’ low satisfaction levels, 70 percent of software decision makers are reviewing the tech stacks they are responsible for at least every quarter. Moreover, only three percent wait until they are forced into renewing their contracts by waiting until the deadline arrives.

Yet, despite these high levels of consistent evaluation, buyers still struggle to find solutions they are satisfied with.

Importantly, the research also reveals that a third (33 percent) of software buyers report that a positive and timely approach from a sales professional would help trigger a move to a new software provider.

Other considerations include providing better value than the current provider (37 percent) and offering the latest technology (35 percent).

However, channel partners need to be able to move quickly, as just over a third (34 percent) of buyers’ purchasing cycles are up to three weeks, and more than half (52 percent) are a month or less, suggesting that sellers have a short window of opportunity to be in dialogue with buyers when they are actually in market.

DemandScience is a company that specialises in buyer intelligence and demand generation software – and unsurprisingly, contends that sellers need to be making it as easy as possible to set themselves apart from the competition by accessing insights about who is in-market for their solutions.

But the fact is that data now underpins any successful channel partner’s business, as it does across any industry. Indeed, predictive analytics was cited as a key characteristic of the modern channel partner by Canalys.

And the findings remain the same. Chris Whife, managing director global of DemandScience believes B2B software companies are missing a huge opportunity to acquire customers.

“With so many buyers not currently satisfied, sellers need to be making it as easy as possible to set themselves apart from the competition,” he said.

Chris emphasised that “in today’s competitive marketplace, sellers need to arm themselves with the right buyer intelligence to support their lead generation efforts and their company’s overall business growth. While many B2B data providers offer ‘intent’ data, not all of it is as predictive as marketers and sellers want.

“Further, with so many people changing jobs in the market today, knowing how best to reach potential leads across a variety of channels is critical. This was reinforced in the survey, as 37 percent of B2B software buyers reported that they prefer to be contacted by email, while 33 percent prefer platforms such as LinkedIn. Fortunately, only two percent said that they don’t want to hear from potential providers.”

This is definitely food for thought for channel partners specialising in software – especially given 2020 research by McKinsey shows that more than 75 percent of B2B buyers say that they prefer purchasing online and prefer remote interactions with sales representatives over the traditional in-person interactions. Moreover, only about 20 percent of B2B buyers say they hope to return to in-person sales, post-Covid!

Daren Bach

Daren Bach (FCIM)

Chief Creative & Digital Officer
The Channel Agency: Purechannels
Helping Channel Marketing teams unleash indirect revenue through creativity, digital and storySelling.