SalesTech Star

The Five Distinct Buying Groups in B2B

B2B buyers have different purchase journeys than B2C. In B2C, there is only one individual who takes the decision most of the time. However, in B2B, different individuals play an instrumental role in decision-making. If we try to categorize these individuals into a group, they will form B2B buying groups.

To define it well, a B2B buying group refers to a collection of individuals within an organization who participate in the decision-making process for purchasing a product or service. The groups are divided into evaluators, gatekeepers, end-users, and more, and each group contributes to the final purchase in its own unique way.

  • They help brands reach a wider audience. Instead of targeting one individual, companies can target a group of individuals to increase their reach.
  • Buying groups help businesses save money. Buying groups can negotiate with suppliers on behalf of the group and get better rates for products and services.
  • As a buying group consists of many people, they pool in their expertise and knowledge to make an informed decision.

Read More: SalesTechStar Interview with Paresh Vankar, CMO at LTIMindtree

Types of Buying Groups

Here are five distinct B2B buying groups to know more about:

1. Vertical Buying Groups

They are associations of businesses from the same industry. B2B marketers can target this group to reach a wider audience in your industry. This is because all group members have similar needs and requirements. These groups are popular for saving money because they can negotiate with suppliers on behalf of the entire group.

For instance, a vertical buying group in the Martech industry might negotiate with companies to offer CRM products at affordable rates. A few people have negotiated the deal, but everyone in the group will have access to the discounts.

2. Horizontal buying groups

Horizontal buying groups consist of businesses from different industries. The members of these groups have different needs and requirements for products and services. Marketers must target these groups can be a valuable tool for businesses looking to reach a wider audience across various industries.

A horizontal buying group can also negotiate with suppliers to get better prices for members. The more the group stays in touch with suppliers, the more opportunities for members to access different products and services.

3. Industry associations

The group is made up of businesses belonging to the same business associations. They also have the same interests and goals. Industry associations work like a community and these can be a valuable tool to stay up-to-date with the latest information about regulations and trends in the industry.

For example, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is an industry-specific buying group. Every group member has access to the latest industry trends, regulations, and more.

For B2B marketers looking to engage with businesses in the same industry, they must take these groups.

4. Online buying groups

It is a buying group that knows how to buy products online. These groups can be an invaluable tool for businesses that are seeking to reach a wide audience through online media.

5. Cooperatives

These are cooperative associations that have come together to form a group. They work to pool required resources for all group members so that everyone can benefit from them.

Read More: Internal and External Challenges Salespeople Face: Changing Approaches and Solutions

Besides the above-mentioned groups, the B2B buying groups are further divided into the following:

1. Evaluators

As the name suggests, these are detail-oriented individuals who keep an eye out for upcoming products and services for their organizations. Evaluators play an instrumental role in the purchase decision because they recommend products to the ultimate decision-makers.

2. Influencers

The members of this buying group may not take the ultimate decision to purchase but they hold a significant stake in influencing the final decision. People in this group are experts in their fields and can offer valuable insights to decision-makers.

3. Gatekeepers

Individuals who control the flow of information regarding a purchase decision are called gatekeepers. They are responsible for filtering and vetting potential vendor information for the organization.

4. Decision Makers

They are the final decision makers who hold the authority to make the final decision. Marketers must build trust and credibility while dealing with this group.

5. Users

They are the end-users who will use the product purchased. Their feedback and products insights are valuable and can impact future buying processes.

Wrapping Up

The advent of B2B buying groups will change the face of B2B transactions. B2B marketers need to understand the importance of these buying groups. Marketers must recognize the unique characteristics of each buying group and customize marketing plans to engage, influence, and ultimately push these buying groups into making a purchase decision.

Any B2B buyer can fall into the above-mentioned buying groups. To target any buying group, it is imperative to recognize the best buying groups for your business. Offer valuable information to the buying group members so they make a decision about your products or services.