Why B2B Tech Decisions Need To Include Non-IT Staff
Bringing new technology online in B2B requires involving company stakeholders from every department in the strategic process. Sales, marketing, IT, manufacturing, supply chain and customer service all have critical input in the decision of new technology. This article talks about who those stakeholders are, why they need to be included and how to best communicate with them when it comes to technology buying.
63% of B2B technology purchasing decisions are influenced by non-IT staff.
According to LinkedIn’s The Age of Agility report, “63% of technology purchasing decisions are influenced by functions outside the IT department.”
43% of businesses surveyed in that same report said that they intend for their post-COVID tech budget to stay the same or increase. That means that the stakeholders who are making up B2B buying groups and making decisions may tend to be more focused on the business outcomes than on the tech itself.
How do non-IT stakeholders affect technology buying decisions in B2B?
By including non-IT stakeholders in the buying process for technology, B2B businesses will find that technology investment becomes more than adding applications, software and platforms to their technical architecture. It becomes a way to get universal buy-in for real change.
By including stakeholder interviews as part of the buying research process, B2B organizations can find out what exactly is needed from a new tech solution in every part of the business. Digital transformation does not happen in an IT silo, it requires frank, genuine conversations with all company stakeholders.
Talking technology to non-IT stakeholders
Historically, technology changes have been initiated by the people that have to develop them, install them, maintain them and keep them secure. That meant that the teams that spent the time researching features, benefits, and pricing were generally people who could understand the product’s technical complexities. Those were the IT geniuses, not necessarily the people that had to use the tech in day-to-day operations.
Now, with non-IT staff making up more than half of the decision-makers around technology investment, it is more important than ever to get the conversation right. Find out what each department needs from a solution, what their biggest pain points are and talk through how those pains can be resolved with technology. Getting stakeholder interviews done right will speed up the buying process, make it easier to roadmap development and project management, as well as increase buy-in for digital transformation.
"A transformation is 5.8 times more likely to be successful at organizations where CEOs communicate a compelling, high-level change story, and 6.3 times likelier when senior leaders share aligned messages about the change effort with the rest of the organization." — The People Power of Transformations, McKinsey & Company
Improving technology buying communications for B2B
In order to improve the technology buying communications, B2B businesses must start the conversation with every one of their key stakeholders. These conversations will get the entire team on board and ensure project success.
The conversation around buying new tech and digital transformation needs to be aligned at all levels of the company, starting with the top down:
- Understanding how a new piece of technology will meet a business outcome will allow the C-suite to assess action items.
- Outlining how operations can be improved or automated will help supply chain, logistics and fulfillment teams get on board for change.
- Talking to the IT team and developers about how the new investment will improve data flow, improve technical architecture and how it will integrate into the business’s ecosystem will make project planning easier and implementation smoother.
- Having key conversations with marketing and finance teams to build long-term game plans for the investment will ensure that it continues to be used effectively and funded as it goes through the business life cycle.
Conducting stakeholder interviews, step-by-step
We have also prepared this amazing guide on How to Conduct Purposeful Stakeholder Interviews to improve the conversations B2B companies need to have with all stakeholders.
Do you need help getting stakeholder interviews started? At Acro Media, our experts talk about new technology every day. We can help get the conversation started for B2B organizations. Reach out today to book a call. We are here to help.