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June 09, 2021

Team Member Renee Spurling

Renee Spurlin


Executive Vice President

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How the pandemic has permanently changed our economy and lifestyles has been the subject of many a media report, blog and dinner conversation. Heck, we’ve certainly explored it on our Marketing Sandbox podcast several times. We’ve all seen the data on remote/hybrid work preferences, telehealth satisfaction, the rise in grocery delivery and more, but what we hadn’t seen was data on the tangible ways COVID impacted B2B tech sales, marketing and public relations.

So, ARPR surveyed tech buyers and sales teams alike to find out.

Our blog Today’s Tech Buyers are Making Faster & Bigger Purchasing Decisions explored a few highlights from our CIO/CTO respondents, but it’s interesting to juxtapose their responses against those of the sales professionals we also surveyed. Comparing the two, there are key ways the responses differ.

Despite Increasing Demand, Prices Stagnate 

63% of CIOs and CTOs said their IT budgets increased slightly or significantly due to COVID-19. However, despite this increasing demand, tech companies did not respond by increasing pricing. In fact, nearly 30% of our survey respondents actually decreased pricing last year, while another 35% kept prices steady.

With economic fears abounding, it’s not surprising that tech vendors were leery of raising prices against so much uncertainty, but if the drive for digital transformation continues at its current accelerated pace, which all signs point to, it would be wise of software companies to revisit their pricing strategies now.

The Dreaded Phone Call

When asked which marketing channels they rely on most to learn about new software, B2B buyers ranked cold calls dead last. Instead, buyers preferred more of an inbound marketing approach, with media articles, digital ads and search engines all ranking toward the top of their lists. Yet sales leaders ranked phone calls second only to email marketing in terms of effectiveness. 

Despite buyers’ preferences, as long as sales leaders are seeing the effectiveness of cold calls, we doubt the phone will stop ringing. But tech marketers would be well-advised to implement an inbound marketing approach in addition to sales outreach for a more informed, and happier, buyer.

Even with these dichotomies, there was a lot that B2B tech buyers and vendors did agree on in our report. If you enjoyed this sneak peek of our findings, be sure to download the full report here: Post-Pandemic B2B Sales: IT Buyers and Software Sales Teams Weigh in on the New Landscape.