Ray Collis

A Mahogany Buying Revolution Catches Sellers Off-Guard

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Two fundamental changes are transforming the way important corporate buying decisions are made.  The first change everybody is aware of, that is the global economic slowdown and the slow process of recovering from recession.  The second change, although equally important, is much less obvious.  It concerns the increasingly sophisticated nature of corporate buying decisions.

The combined effect of these two trends is a chiasmic shift in how high value solutions are bought, as well as sold.  It is nothing short of a B2B Sales Revolution – although one that can easily be overlooked.

The transformation of organizational buying is ‘a mahogany revolution’, in that it started in board rooms and executive suites.  For that reason vendors and their sales teams can easily overlook its significance – after all it is by in large taking place behind closed doors!

Buyers have essentially rewritten the rules as to when, why and how they buy.  In many cases they have elevated buying to the level of a science.   Today’s buying decisions are more sophisticated, structured and systematic than ever before.  They involve more people, information and complexity.

Even small buying decisions are now complex!  For example, it is not unusual for purchases as small as €10,000 to require senior management sign-off and as low as €20,000 to require a summary business case.

The seeds of the Buying RevolutionTM can be traced back over a decade – some would argue as far back to vendor sales frenzies, such as; the millennium bug. However, while buyer sophistication had been a gradual trend, the global credit crunch inspired recession has been greatly accelerated the trend.

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