The Marketing Strategist:

Who Takes the Lead Role at Each Stage of the Buying Process?

August 7, 2014

Dianne KimIn complex buying cycles with multiple stakeholders, influencers, and decision makers, knowing who to sell to at each stage is invaluable. Which roles or personas are most active at which stages of the buying process? How should solution providers tailor content to increase relevance and personalization throughout the buying process? ITSMA sought to answer these questions in its 2013 How B2B Buyers Consume Information study.
Lead roles of purchase process
Survey data shows that each function plays a different role in the buying process. While end users take the lead in identifying the need, it is the lines of business and IT executives, including the CIO, who research potential providers and ultimately identify the short list. The finance organization and C-suite usually get involved in the later stages of the buying process—the final selection, authorization of purchase, and post-purchase stages. ITSMA has conducted its annual buyer research and uncovered important buying trends since 1999, providing unprecedented insights into changing buyer behavior. Our global study surveys business and IT executives from large enterprises that purchase technology-based solutions for individual contracts over $500,000. Are you interested in sponsoring the 2014 research? There is just one sponsorship slot remaining for the 2014 study. Sponsors collaborate with ITSMA to design the questionnaire and can include two private questions. For more information, contact Dirk Mullenger at

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