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October 5, 2015updated 21 Oct 2016 5:33pm

Content and communication are vital amid big changes in who drives enterprise spending

News: There are at least six stakeholders to satisfy beyond IT who are now involved in purchasing decisions.

By Sam

Major blocks remain for suppliers trying to break into big new accounts

In a breakdown of tech buyers based on its own research business networking site Linkedin reported that firms with $2m plus budgets will rarely consider bringing in a new vendor.

An overwhelming number of purchases go to an incumbent with just 17% of those with big budgets are even open to the idea of switching.

Ashraf Kamel, head of sales UK for Linkedin told CBR the report reflected the reality that unseating incumbents is always difficult in enterprise tech but he added: "Two things we found out from the study, you’re much more likely to unseat an incumbent if you’ve inspired change thinking and were there throughout the entire buying cycle. Second you must be a provider of the right content at the right time to the right people all the way through to the point where a vendor is chosen.

Too many vendors only consider engaging after they receive an RFI said Kamel.

In research into purchasing decisions Linkedin reported the rise of the ‘purchasing committee’ comprising IT, marketing, sales and operations and extending to engineering, business development, finance and project management.

The involvement of these departments varies across the four sub verticals covered: Hardware for End Users, Software for End Users, Hardware for data centers and software for data centres.

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It also sets out six stages of the buying process as, Needs Analysis, Defining specifications/determining funding, vendor selection, implementation, management and renewal.

The report emphasises content as being key to engagement at every stage and with every committee member or department.

The report, Beneath the Surface, taking a Deeper Look at Today’s Empowered Tech Buying Process, said: "The tech buying process is not for the faint of heart: It’s very long, quite complex, and completely different from what it was just a few years ago. So, tech marketers must consider and target all the key players in their subvertical’s unique buying process. Ensure the availability of the content, communication and resources these individuals are seeking at every stage".

A change highlighted by the report was the inclusion of technology end users in this list of outside influencers. This includes usage statistics, user surveys and other user metrics. End users are gaining relevance in the tech buying process. Technology purchase decision makers are interested in their opinions, reviews and feedback. This is a relatively new phenomenon, Linkedin said.

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