Millennials are making up an increasingly large portion of corporate buying teams, and it’s shaping the way buyers interact with their suppliers, finds the latest research from SnapApp and Heinz Marketing.
The companies recently released a survey based on 503 B2B buying companies, conducted in June. According to the data, 13 percent of companies said they have at least one millennial who is a decision-maker on their buying committees, while 27 percent said they have a millennial that is an influencer.
According to the report, personal relationships with employees on the supplier side are key to millennial buyers and are ranked as the most effective way millennial buyers evaluate the services and solutions offered by suppliers. It surpasses third-party references and case studies, the research found.
Millennials also weigh suppliers’ company community involvement as the thing that matters most when choosing to work with a vendor, followed by company values and website and marketing materials. These factors outweigh even product features and customer support, researchers found.
Only 9 percent of millennials say they engage with vendors’ sales teams early in the buying process — most, instead, only engage with sales teams once they have done their own research into the company and its services.
Separate research released last year from Sacunas also aimed to explore how millennials are changing B2B purchase behavior.
In that report, researchers found that 56 percent of millennial decision-makers in sourcing and eProcurement teams identify search engines, supplier websites and even social media platforms as critical sources of information when researching products and services. The survey also found that the younger the professional, the more likely they are to use social media sites as a source of information in the eProcurement process.
In terms of purchasing behavior, 85 percent of millennials said they use social media sites to research and procure products for their companies, while 40 percent identified Facebook as the top social media platform for this purpose.