Technology vendors need to amp up evidence-based content, like case studies and objective tests, to accelerate deal closure when selling into B2B financial services, according to new research from UK-based PR firm CCgroup that interviewed 67 senior decision makers in the US and UK.

The research found that the influencing factors very significantly during different stages of the buying process. Overall analysts, peers and consultants are more influential than traditional trade media — especially in the early stages of the process when firms are “longlisting.” During short-listing, buyers rely on vendor reputation and a unique perspective that stands out among competitors. When it comes to closing deals, it’s evidence-based content from the vendors that ultimately wins out. Many vendors, the research finds, fail to deliver this evidence-based content (like case studies and other proof points) — and in some cases, lose out on deals because of it.

But the research shows some bright spots for trade media. The internal business analysts (ranked as most influential) rely on trade media and industry analyst intelligence as key information sources. National and social media, however, showed little impact on sales because of lack of depth. Even advertising on social media didn’t register as influential in the study.

CCgroup commissioned the specialist research agency, MRops, to interview 67 senior decision makers responsible for the purchase of technology, equipment, software or services. 34% were a board Member, president or a C-level executive. 58% were based in the US, 42% were based in the UK.

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