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Study: IT, Finance Departments Most Influential in B2B Purchases

By Nick Price

This article was originally published by FierceCMO

When it comes to B2B buyer committees, the information technology and finance departments are the two most influential over the typical B2B purchasing decision, according to a new study.
The “Which Departments Wield the Most Influence Over Purchase Decisions in Your Industry” report from LinkedIn highlights the results from a survey of 6,000 buyers, marketers and salespeople globally. The study found that the IT (32 percent) and finance (31 percent) departments were the most influential departments in B2B buying decisions, with business development (26 percent), accounting (23 percent), operations (22 percent) and administrative (21 percent) departments rounding out the list.
“We also found that the average number of departments influencing the buying decision differed by industry,” Sean Callahan wrote in this LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog post. “For instance, the services industry had an average of 3.3 departments that influenced the typical purchase decision. In manufacturing, the average was 4.6 departments wielding influence over the purchase decision.”

This variance in the number of departments that influence purchasing decisions also carries over to the departments themselves. For example, in the services industry, operations (33 percent), finance (23 percent) and business development (22 percent) were the top departments involved in buying decisions, while in manufacturing those departments are (engineering) 50 percent, operations (47 percent) and purchasing (42 percent). So there is some variance depending on the target industry.
Since buyer committees are now a matter of course in B2B purchasing decisions, Callahan wrote that “marketers need to ensure that their company’s message reaches various departments – from finance to human resources to information technology – across the entire organization.” That’s solid advice for marketers looking to connect with these key decisionmakers, regardless of industry.

Nick Price

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