B2B Buyer Behavior: Web & Phone Channels
IndustryView | 2013
To help companies better understand business-to-business (B2B) buyer behavior on the Web, I recently dug into Software Advice data collected from more than 6,000,000 unique visitors. My goal: discover when B2B buyers perform research on the Web, when they convert on a website and when you can get them on the phone.
If you manage an inside sales team that responds to leads generated on the Web, you need to read this report. Here are the key takeaways from my analysis.
Before diving into the details, I want to provide two quick definitions of terms used in this report:
After a buyer converts on our site, our chance of qualifying them drops with each second we wait to call.
When looking at buyer activity month to month, I discovered conversion rates are highest at the beginning of the year, possibly because companies are renewing budgets and new funds are available. Meanwhile, qualification rates peak during summer months. This is because we have fewer leads to call during the summer and, as a result, our sales team can focus more intensely on qualifying available leads.
I should note that the above findings for qualification rates are specific to our business. Variations in qualification rates are largely due to the seasonality of our unique business. Your month to month trends in qualification rates might look very different from the data above. As such, you should evaluate this data with an understanding that this reflects our experience.Key Takeaway:
As you might expect, B2B buyer activity is highest Tuesday through Thursday. But the best day for buyer activity depends on what you measure. For instance, while traffic peaks on Tuesday, conversion rates are highest on Wednesday. Additional findings are summarized in the charts below.
Next, I looked at buyer activity by time of the day. To see how activity fluctuates, I categorized time of day into three buckets: before work hours (12:00 AM to 7:59 PM CST), during work hours (8:00 AM to 5:59 PM CST) and after work hours (6:00 PM to 11:59 PM CST).
Finally, I wanted to know what happens to buyer activity on holidays. I found we may underestimate how active buyers are during holidays. Meanwhile, there are a few holidays our data suggests you should take off.
Data below is relative to business days in the month the holiday occurs. For example, unique visitor data for Independence Day is compared to the average in July.
These are holidays we take off as a company. As a result, our qualification rates are lower than average partially because our sales team is not in office. Regardless, our data shows that, compared to the average for other business days, our traffic drops 60 percent and qualification rates drop by 22 percent. In other words, these are logical holidays to take off.
While many companies take off the holidays below, our traffic is close to 90 percent of our average across these holidays. Meanwhile, conversion and qualification rates are above average on several days so you should consider working these days.
I was surprised to find buyer activity is higher than expected the week before Christmas.
Much like Christmas, buyer activity the week after New Year’s is stronger than many might expect. Conversion and qualification rates are above average on several days after the New Year.
As B2B buyers continue to research their purchases on the Web, it’s important for your company to understand their online behavior. Our findings show calling conversions right away can significantly improve your ability to qualify leads generated on the Web. Moreover, there are certain times of the year, week and day when you need to plan your inside sales team’s capacity to maximize your ability to turn website conversions into leads.
While this report is based on data from our unique business and lead qualification processes, I hope it provides fresh insights into how B2B buyers are researching and converting on the Web.
This report analyzes Software Advice data collected from more than six million unique website visitors. Unique visitor data was pulled from Google Analytics. Traffic was limited to unique visitors in the United States, and it was limited to commercial landing pages. We also excluded international conversions from the data to limit analysis to domestic buyers. Duplicate conversions were removed to avoid artificially inflating our conversion rates from buyers converting on our site multiple times for the same product or information. Finally, this report focuses on buyers that came to our website in search of information on business software (i.e. B2B software buyers).
To further discuss this report, or ask questions about my research, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.