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B2B buyer statistics for 2023: B2B buyer trends

Qualified's B2B buyer statistics for 2023 reveal valuable information on how to approach B2B marketing this year and beyond.

Shelly Weaver
Shelly Weaver
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May 18, 2023
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X
min read
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We aren’t telling you anything new when we say it’s been quite the year already, and we’re not even quite halfway through. The SaaS industry has seen massive amounts of change in the first half of 2023, and it can feel overwhelming to keep up with the rollercoaster. 

B2B buyer statistics are helpful in surfacing how these ripple effects have shifted the way tech consumers invest in technology, so we’ve collected a fresh round of data to get a better picture of what’s happening out there in the market, and what we should be prioritizing when outlining your demand gen, sales, and account management strategies for the back half of 2023. 

Some key takeaways from our B2B buyer statistics research: 

  • Conversational marketing is still very much in play, and is not only popular, but now the expectation when a buyer lands on your website
  • Buyers are doing more and more research on their own before engaging in sales conversations, which means your website has to be able to keep up with the personalized needs of each buyer, wherever they are in the buying cycle.
  • Buying committees are bigger than ever, so you’re talking to multiple different personas over longer periods of time before decisions are made. Tracking buyer intent and ABM strategies are more important than ever to keep up. 

Millennials are taking over as the decision maker, but Gen Z is close behind

To set the scene with these stats, it’s important to zoom out and understand the buyer market from a generational perspective. Millennials are quickly overtaking the workforce as they enter their forties, and the older members of Gen Z are stepping into more prominent roles in the buying committee. Buyer behavior will go through a massive shift in the coming years to accommodate the different buying styles of younger generations as they leave internships behind and start developing their careers. 

  • Millennials are involved in 73% of all B2B buying decisions. (TechJury)
  • In fact, 44% of all final decisions are now made by Millennials. (SFE Partners)
  • Even more important, Gen Z is now part of the buyer cycle, and their buying habits are radically different from either of the generations preceding them–they’re quicker to be turned off by a bad buying experience and willing to tolerate less back and forth from brands. (Digital Commerce 360)
  • Older B2B buyers are increasingly picking up the habits of their younger counterparts to stay up to date on current trends, so it’s important to stay current. (Harvard Business Review)

Conversational Marketing still matters, but it’s not enough

Chatbots are no longer a novelty, and they’ve become a buyer expectation, so the chatbot strategy your team developed in 2018 no longer stands out to buyers. Your chatbots need to work in concert with your demand gen, outbound, and inbound marketing strategies. 

  • 88% of customers report having had at least one conversation with a chatbot in 2022. (Tidio)
  • 70% of millennial consumers prefer to communicate with brands using text-based channels such as chatbots. (ChatBot)
  • By 2025, 95% of all consumer interactions will be facilitated via AI. (Salesforce)
  • By 2027, chatbots will become the primary customer service channel for roughly a quarter of organizations. (Gartner)
  • 62% of customers feel comfortable using a chatbot rather than a customer service agent. (Tidio)
  • 40% of web users say they don’t mind communicating with a bot as long as they get the customer support they need. (HubSpot)
  • An ABM strategy can increase B2B revenue by 208%. (Warc)
  • 85% of marketers say ABM significantly benefited them in retaining and expanding their existing client relationships. (Triblio)

Learn more about developing your conversational marketing strategy beyond chatbots in our book, Bots Scale, Humans Sell here ➡️

In the age of AI, personalization makes all the difference

Now that generative AI is a factor, well-researched, personalized content and outreach is vital to the buyer experience. Automation provided by AI tools will streamline a lot of our workflows, but it can also harm the buyer experience if we aren’t careful to fact check and stay human. 

  • 74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized. (Business 2 Community)
  • 80% of B2B buyers expect the same buying experience as B2C customers. (GitNux)
  • Personalization can lead to a 20% increase in user engagement in B2B marketing. (GitNux)
  • 94% of customer insights and marketing professionals said personalization is important for meeting their objectives (ContentStack)
  • Smart personalization engines used to recognize lead intent will enable digital businesses to increase their profits by up to 15%. (Business 2 Community)

Learn more about how QualifiedGPT will help sales teams personalize their messaging without compromising their humanity here ➡️

Trust and Privacy concerns mount as AI becomes more mainstream

In today's fast-paced tech-driven world, it's crucial to prioritize the establishment and preservation of customer trust. As we navigate through constant technological advancements, it’s our job to make sure our customers’ data and security comes first, and they need to know it matters to you well before you’re in procurement. 

  • In 2023, 97% of companies surveyed reported plans to increase spending around data security. (Sword & the Script)
  • The average number of SaaS tools used by companies has increased by 1,275% since 2015 (Mad.x Digital)
  • 73% of B2B marketers surveyed believed that most tech vendors aren’t hitting the mark when it comes to trust and transparency. (LXA Hub)

Read how our Co-founder, Sean Whiteley, thinks about approaching customer trust by prioritizing first-party data over on VentureBeat ➡️

It’s time to grow beyond our buyer’s expectations and wow them again

This research paints a clear picture of the future of go-to-market strategies–we need to keep pace, and keep innovating. The buying committee is now made up primarily of people who have grown up on the internet, and are craving more hyper-personalized, remarkable buyer experiences that stand out from the crowd of chatbots and played out playbooks. In order to keep a healthy pipeline, marketers need to think outside of the chat box and give buyers more to think about, in the channels they’re willing to engage. 

The funnel is no longer a linear process. Implementing solid account-based marketing strategies and focusing on conversational marketing tactics that are fresh and exciting helps marketing and sales teams stand out, address their market in the way they want to be spoken to, and generate more pipeline when we all need it most.

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