Print Posted 04/27/2017

Why B2B Buyers Love Neutral Authority Websites

By: Robert Hennessey

Why B2B Buyers Love Neutral Authority Websites

B2B Buyers are seeking out information about solving their business problems bypassing the traditional B2B marketing sales funnel. They now engage in Self-Directed Marketing.

Self-Directed Marketing Turning the Traditional B2B Sales Funnel on Its Head

Consider these realities of B2B Buyers in the new “Buyers on In Charge” sales cycle.

  • 70% of the buying process is now complete by the time a prospective buyer is ready to engage with sales. (SiriusDecisions)

  • Today's buyer is anywhere from 66% to 90% of the way through their journey before they reach out to a vendor! (Forrester Research - Lori Wizdo)

  • 90% of business buyers say when they're ready to buy, they'll find you. (DemandGen Report)

Self-Directed Marketing is as simple as its name implies. B2B Buyers do not sit around waiting for Sellers to target them with typical Internet advertising and marketing. Instead, Buyers take the initiative to search the Internet to find website platforms that are neutral, unbiased and free of ads to find answers to their business problems.

Empowered by the Internet B2B Buyers no longer are at the mercy of Sellers. Why, because Buyers can search and find what they are looking for not what some Seller wants to sell them.

Discovering Legitimate Neutral, Authority Websites

If you are a B2B Buyer, you use the Internet to begin your search for solutions to your business problems. The frustration of many Buyers is to find neutral authority websites that respect B2B Buyers and are not just another pretense to lure them to what looks like a neutral website and then ask for a privacy exchange for information, a paywall or lots of annoying ads.

Many so-called “neutral platforms” including social media blogs are far from neutral and more aggravating than most Company websites that just tell and sell you something or where you have you trade your privacy for content. Web sites that deceive Buyers, disrespect Buyer intelligence, or purposefully look to grab Buyer privacy information you should avoid at all cost.

The Problem With Company Websites

Not understanding or accepting that the Internet has put Buyers in control of the sales process is why there are so many Company websites that disrespect B2B Buyers. Also, Company websites may never get this concept because almost all have an intransigent resistance to the tell and sell mentality. Most suffer from an enduring brochureware hangover that will not go away. Not to mention that having good quality content is difficult and expensive to produce.

A lot of companies are still trying to hunt down B2B Buyers, and more and more companies are trying to use big data to predict ad placement that will entice, lure or fool Buyers into clicking on ads.

Wow! Do Sellers think is this the smart way to start a long term relationship with a B2B Buyer?

Old Sales Habits Die Hard

Most B2B Sellers do not want to hear or contemplate that they have lost control of the B2B sales cycle. In fact, the multitude of marketing tech companies that have appeared on the market is a testament to this stubborn quest for wanting to find how to capture, cajole or fool Buyers in purchasing from them.

The real answer is Buyers are not stupid. They are tired of being targeted, and the privacy invasion that surrounds Seller targeting tactics resulting in Buyer flight. Now Buyers are finding neutral and unbiased platforms that respect Buyers to do self-directed research of their business problems before engaging any Buyer.

The reality is there has been a growing shift of advertising dollars leaving the more traditional mediums and moving to various areas online options. Within this realm, overall market spends, and customer acquisition costs (CAC) are going up not down. If B2B Sellers want to reach specific target audiences and easily measure ROI then why not embrace the “Buyer In Charge” reality and alter these disrespectful and costly marketing approaches.

Why can’t B2B Sellers benefit more from a more intelligent approach to reaching B2B Buyers? We think they should and can by adopting the “Buyer In Charge” reality. 

The irony is most B2B Sellers are also Buyers so the golden rule should always apply in B2B commerce.  

How To Spot Neutral, Respectful & Unbiased Websites

Here are a few tips in looking for web platforms that will indicate if they are “B2B Buyer Friendly.”

  • No Site Registration Required
  • No Advertising
  • Serious, Relevant Business Content
  • Content is free to access and print
  • No paid content referrals
  • Transparent attribution of content source
  • Privacy safe, no exchange of your identity for information
  • Avoid platforms that cater to B2B Buyers with content that is just disguised sales pitches but lack real problem/solution content

Other Characteristics of Respectful B2B Websites

  • Should save time with a single destination website for everything B2B
    • All the content should focus on serving the needs of B2B professionals from B2B content to Events, Jobs, Classifieds and New Products/Services

  • Easy to compare and contrast various business solution problems
    • A variety of quality business content in the form of Application Stories, Articles, Case Studies, Market Research, New Product & Services Profiles and White Papers is a must

  • Look for the ability to add your comments so that you and your peers can communicate openly

  • Users can browse and gain knowledge on various business solutions important to their business, and then they can directly engage the sellers they decide to contact without an intermediary

Bottom Line

How important is sending a clear message to your potential Buyers that your brand is one they can trust to respect them? B2B Buyers that continue to ignore the new reality of “Buyers In Charge” will do so to the detriment of their sales and more importantly their brand.

Those B2B Sellers that recognize the changes in the new B2B sales funnel and are willing to adjust their marketing approaches to serve Buyers needs instead of harassing them will be more successful and build brand equity.

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