SaaS buyers: The process is frustrating

Over 90% of B2B buyers want to communicate about and negotiate offers, while almost 80% are frustrated by the B2B purchasing experience. That’s according to a new report from Qwilr, the proposal and quote design solution for B2B sales.

SaaS Buyer Experience 2021” questioned 114 U.S.-based respondents, almost a third of whom work in the technology/software sector. Frustration was based around excessive paperwork and too many calls or meetings with sales reps. The buying experience is complicated and has too many steps (35%), and takes too long (26%). No fewer than 59% of respondents called for faster, easier processes.

Against that background, it’s no surprise that there’s support for self-service options with reduced sales involvement (25%), and that a healthy proportion want to be able to conduct demos themselves or try the product for free (40%) and want to do their own research and product comparisons (over 30%). Peer reviews come in only second to cost when it comes to influencing the final purchase decision. The report concludes: “Buyer conveniences can accelerate the deal.”

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Why we care. One takeaway from reports like this has to be that the pandemic got sales reps out of customers’ hair. Perhaps that’s not a kind reflection on sales, but it’s clear that the trend towards purchasers conducting their own research and (where available) trials has only accelerated. And after 15 months of doing research and discovery, and making consumer purchases online, why grapple with a much more complicated process when it comes to B2B?

Of course, it might be said that a multi-thousand dollar software investment is bound to have some complexity to it. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t incumbent on vendors to smooth the path as much as possible. It is notable that it’s still less than half of purchasers who want to avoid sales-conducted demos and enjoy a self-service process: but there’s little doubt that those numbers will grow.

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