View the B2B Buyer Loyalty infographic.
Measuring Key Performance Indicators Webinar
Primary Intelligence shares findings from the latest industry research on Key Performance Indicators including buyer willingness to recommend losing vendors to colleagues, buyer likelihood to do business with vendors in the future, industries with the strongest KPI ratings, and strategies to leverage KPIs for future wins.
To purchase the “B2B Buyer Loyalty” report, click here.
As Director of Industry Insights, Carolyn is responsible for analyzing aggregate data to understand best practices and root cause issues surrounding Win Loss and Customer Experience programs. Utilizing primary source research and secondary information, Carolyn produces syndicated and custom client reports that help to illustrate best practices and benchmarking metrics. Prior to her current role, Carolyn served as a Program Consultant at Primary Intelligence since 2013, with direct responsibility for customers’ Win Loss and Customer Experience programs. Read full bio
Connie is the Digital Marketing Specialist for Primary Intelligence. She has over 20 years of experience in contracting, acquisitions, and communication. Connie studied global perspectives and leadership as an undergraduate at the Pennsylvania State University. She is an accomplished navigator of government and nonprofit business environments as well as a proven professional with the ability to create reputable relationships with stakeholders, employees, the media, and public.
Key Findings from the Key Performance Indicators: Measuring & Tracking Success Webinar
Primary Intelligence shared its latest industry research, B2B Buyer Loyalty: How Sales Engagements Can Influence Product Perceptions, Referrals, and Future Business, focused on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
KPI Background and Research Methodology
Primary Intelligence retrieved results from over 10,000 interviews with B2B buyers since 2008. Interview ratings include both Primary Intelligence clients, as well as non-clients who were short-listed in competitive evaluations. None of the vendors’ names are used in order to protect their privacy.
In the report, Primary Intelligence includes both high-level findings about KPI results, as well as more detailed information that’s broken out by vertical industry, geographic region, and wins versus losses. Only competitive sales deals (i.e., no license upgrades or renewals) were reviewed and the buyer feedback was captured as part of telephone and online surveys.
Some of the questions Primary Intelligence was trying to answer with the research included the following:
- What are buyers’ overall perceptions of vendors’ brands?
- Do overall brand perceptions influence buyers’ purchase decisions?
- How willing are buyers to consider future purchases with losing vendors?
- How willing are buyers to recommend vendors, including vendors they don’t select?
- Do attitudes toward brand loyalty vary by industry? By geographic region?
- Overall, how can vendors improve buyer loyalty and their chances of future consideration?
Primary Intelligence uses three KPIs in its Win Loss programs with clients to determine buyer attitudes toward vendors:
- Look at product quality. In other words, what are buyers’ perceptions of a vendor’s overall product offering?
- Evaluate recommendation likelihood by answering how likely the buyer is to recommend a vendor to colleagues and friends?
- Examine future business likelihood, which is the likelihood that a buyer will do business with the same vendor in the future.
Three Key Findings from B2B Loyalty Research
Based on the above background and framework, Primary Intelligence examined the key findings from its research.
First Key Finding – Future Business is Strongest KPI
Primary Intelligence found “Future business” is the strongest of the three KPIs that Primary Intelligence looks at:
- 46% of all B2B buyers say they’ll consider evaluated vendors for future business opportunities with their firms.
- Less than that, just 40% of buyers, gave strong ratings to vendors when asked to judge product quality.
- Even fewer buyers, just 39%, said that they’d recommend the vendors they evaluated to other companies and friends.
- Understand low “Product Quality” ratings.
Since product considerations are typically the driving force that buyers use to determine which vendor to choose, providers must do everything possible to understand why buyers are rating the quality of their offerings as merely “average,” and not “excellent.” This is true not only when firms lose, but also when they win. If buyers have a poor perception of your product quality, they’ll be less willing to choose your firm in future business, whether that’s renewal business, add-ons, or new products altogether.
- Uncover “Future Business” ratings.
Primary Intelligence found 46% of buyers said they’ll consider the firms they evaluated in future business opportunities. While that was the highest percentage of all three KPIs, it still means that 54%—over half—of buyers won’t consider the vendors they evaluated for future business opportunities.
- Investigate buyer reasons for the lack of confidence in your company.
Here are three best practices vendors can adopt:
- Share product roadmaps.
- Highlight recent product certifications.
- Distribute enthusiastic customer testimonials or case studies.
Second Key Finding – Buyers Rate Winning Vendors Higher Than Losing Vendors
Primary Intelligence also discovered buyers are giving higher ratings to winning vendors and lower ratings to losing vendors. Now this, in itself, is not too surprising. But what is surprising is that:
- 44% of buyers indicated a willingness to consider non-selected vendors—or, those vendors they did not choose—in the future.
- 35% of buyers—over one-third—said they’d be willing to recommend a losing vendor to others.
- 29% of buyers judged the overall product quality of losing vendors as “excellent.”
- Stay in touch with buyers.
Don’t think that just because you lose in a competitive sales opportunity that you are out of the running over the long term. Stay in touch with your buyers to make sure you’re considered in the next competitive bid.
- Collect ongoing buyer feedback.
Make sure that you’re collecting ongoing, continuous buyer feedback about your company’s product offerings to make sure that your products are top notch and will satisfy the needs of demanding buyers.
- Update buyers on new product features and releases.
Let buyers know about new product updates and product releases to generate future interest with your firm. Share your product roadmap if at all possible.
- Investigate non-product related losses.
Look into non-product related issues. If close to one third of buyers are telling us that that the product quality of the losing vendor is excellent, there must be other factors that influenced them to go with another firm. Ask these questions:
- What are those reasons?
- Does your sales team need more training?
- Are there outdated perceptions about service and support that cause lingering doubt about your firm?
- Is your pricing unaligned with what the market’s expecting?
Find out the non-product reasons that are causing your firm to lose and then correct them.
Third Key Finding – Hardware and Healthcare Industries Shine While Software Struggles
From the research, Primary Intelligence noticed that vendors in the Hardware and Healthcare industries performed the best in all three KPI categories while Software vendors struggle the most.
- Product Quality:
- Vendors in the Hardware and Healthcare verticals received close to 50% “excellent” ratings when buyers were asked about their “Product Quality.”
- In contrast, Software vendors only received 37% “excellent” ratings for “Product Quality.”
- Primary Intelligence also found that more than 1 in 5 Software buyers—22%–said product quality was “poor.”
- Meanwhile, only 17% of Hardware buyers and 15% of Healthcare buyers said product quality was “poor.”
- Recommendation Likelihood:
When Primary Intelligence looked at “Recommendation Likelihood,” there were similar patterns:
- Close to half of Hardware buyers and a little over 40% of Healthcare buyers said they’d recommend their vendors to others.
- Meanwhile, only 36% of Software buyers plan to recommend their vendors, and 29% of Software buyers said they would never recommend their vendors.
- Future Business Likelihood:
- 55% of Healthcare buyers and 52% of Hardware buyers plan to do business with the vendors they evaluated in the future.
- Only 41% of Software buyers plan to do business with the vendors they evaluated in the future.
- For those buyers who won’t do business with their vendors in the future, Primary Intelligence discovered:
- Only 15% of Healthcare buyers said they wouldn’t do business with their vendors in the future,
- 20% of Hardware vendors said the same thing, and
- 28% of Software buyers (nearly one third!) do not plan to engage in future business with the vendors they evaluated.
- Software vendors need to uncover reasons for low scores.
Software vendors must determine the root cause for their lower feedback from buyers in product quality, recommendation likelihood, and future business. It could be related to the software industry specifically – there are generally more choices for buyers when they’re evaluating and selecting software solutions compared to products and services from slower moving industries, such as Computer Hardware and Healthcare. Or, it may be due to specific issues with their products, sales approach, service, or price. Whatever the reason, software firms must investigate to better understand their lower ratings.
- Hardware and Healthcare firms should leverage recommendation and future business opportunities.
Healthcare and Hardware vendors should leverage their strong ratings, particularly in “Recommendation Likelihood” and “Future Business,” for new and ongoing business with their buyers, as well as customer references and referrals. These firms are doing quite well in terms of receiving 9 and 10 ratings and they should do all they can to exploit those advantages.