Know your decision-maker: how to get buy-in on your budget

Know your decision-maker: how to get buy-in on your budget

SEMrush

It’s that time of year again, and there’s lots of talk about budgets.

Maybe you’ve got ambitious plans you need approval for. Maybe you’ve got an idea you’re pitching for a best-in-class solution. Whatever the case, getting buy-in from your decision-maker¹ isn’t always easy

Here, we share key insights into business decision-makers at a global and regional level, to help you get those ideas over the line. 

Because just like your audience, to influence your decision-maker in the most effective way, you need to know them. Using our B2B data set, here’s what our latest research says.

Decision-makers think in practical terms.   

When considering bringing in a new product or service, practical considerations outweigh the rest. At a global level, what we’re seeing is a case of substance over style. 

39% of business decision-makers say improving efficiency and processes in the company is their most common purchase driver. 

What else?

  • 36% say the benefits of the product or service have to justify the cost.
  • 35% say  a new product or service that can help cut costs within the company is one they could feel incentive to buy.

That said, other factors can enter the equation. 

Their approach to buying differs across regions.

Convincing someone who has the authority and budget is about framing your pitch correctly. These regional insights can help shed light on a thing or two – namely, the right things to emphasize. 

Europe 

Compared to those in other parts of the world, decision-makers in Europe are more utilitarian in their approach to buying. Their leading purchase drivers for bringing in new products are cutting costs in the company and improving efficiency.

This tells us they won’t necessarily be swayed by the latest, most exciting innovation (even if you are). 

How to get buy in? Really focus on communicating the efficiencies the product or service will create.  

Questions to address:

  • How will it help the business achieve things quicker? 
  • Will it help save money? 
  • What advantage will it give your business over others?

Asia Pacific

A third of decision-makers in the Asia Pacific region would consider adopting a new product or service simply to keep up with the latest trends. This tells us that here, decision-makers like to keep their finger on the pulse, and being seen to have modern working solutions is important.

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How to get buy in? Convey how the product or service will help your organization stay ahead of the curve.

Questions to address:

  • How long has the tool been around and what makes it different? 
  • Why will being an early adopter benefit you over competitors? 
  • What credibility and status will the new product or service bring your organization in the eyes of others?

North America

Things differ again in North America. Decision-makers here are 38% more likely than their global counterparts to consider bringing in a new product or service once their current vendor no longer meets their needs:

How to get buy in? Don’t just focus on the new product or service you want to bring in – focus on what you’re currently using, and, how it can be improved. 

Questions to address:

  • Why is what you’re currently using out of date? 
  • How will the new product or service solve these issues? 
  • What else does the new product or service offer that your current solutions don’t?

Age and experience have an influence on perspectives.

Generally speaking, the average business leader (many of whom, are decision-makers in consequence) is 38 years-old in APAC, Latin America and North America, 39 in the Middle East and Africa, and 41 in Europe. 

Unsurprisingly, younger decision-makers are more sensitive to the advice and guidance of those around them. 1 in 4 aged 16-24 say they take requests from their senior managers into account when making such choices.

They’re also 43% more likely than those in other age categories to say recommendations from industry experts are relevant to their thought process (1 in 3 say this).

Like those in Asia Pacific, younger decision-makers are also particularly responsive to current trends – a third of 16-24s in this group would consider buying upon becoming aware of a new product or service that looks appealing.

At the other end of the spectrum, decision-makers aged between 45-64 feel the strongest about wanting to cut costs in the company, and ensuring that the benefits of a product or service justify the cost.

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They value and trust recommendations and reviews. 

45% of decision-makers say user reviews are very influential when researching a new product or service for their company.

43% also find recommendations from industry analysts helpful, and 40% would consider recommendations from colleagues, friends or contacts. 

And while product advertising through websites, demos or trials remain important (for around 4 in 10 in this group), our data suggests that decision-makers value the voice of their community above all else, as trusted sources of reliable information.  

More generally, 87% of business leaders say it’s important to be well-informed about things. So whether you need budget or buy-in on your new marketing strategy, an idea, or a new product or service, if you want to be heard, just know who you’re speaking to. 

4 key takeaways for selecting the right tools

  • Choose solutions that solve the unique problems of your business.

Is it a household brand? Is there hype surrounding it? No one cares. Unless it helps you and your business specifically. 

An obvious one. Make sure you’ve had the chance to demo the tool. Then ask yourself, is it clear this will meet the expectations and needs of the business? 

  • Assess how it will be integrated.

Based on the tools you already have,  how feasible is it to integrate something additional or something new? Does it include an API, so it can slot in easily with your existing tools?

  • Invest in research tools that have a transparent methodology. 

When it comes to getting quality data, methodology is everything. Do your research to make sure your provider’s methods are clear and robust, so you know it’s something you can trust.

¹Decision-makers are defined as those with purchase influence in technology, IT, telecoms, software products/services, or other products/ services. “Influence” ranges from being the ultimate decision-maker for a company, to having some influence in decision-making, but not making final purchase decisions.

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