IT makers often regret technology purchases

As technology becomes more important to organizations, technology customers have access to more options and information than ever before, leading to more cases of buyer regret. Fifty-six percent of the organizations said they had a high degree of regret over their biggest technology-related purchases in the past two years, according to a new Gartner survey. This was reported by the research firm during the Virtual Gartner Tech Growth & Innovation Conference. Gartner analysts partnered with IT makers to explore the future of technology acquisition, growth and retention.

In November and December 2021, Gartner surveyed 1,120 respondents in North America, Western Europe, and Asia / Pacific to understand how organizations tackle large-scale enterprise technology procurement. Respondents should be at management level or above, aware of large-scale technology procurement efforts over the past two years and be directly involved in the evaluation or selection of products or services for technology projects.

“High levels of regret are at their highest for technology buyers who have not yet started implementing, indicating significant frustration with the buying experience,” said Hank Barnes, an analyst at Gartner. “It used to be relatively easy for product managers to predict who buyers were, but not anymore. The dynamics of the purchasing team are changing and customers may find it a real challenge to buy.”

Barnes identified significant changes in technology buying behavior during the opening of the 2022 Gartner Tech Growth & Innovation Conference, which recently took place virtually.

“There can be a major downside to regretting in connection with business technology decisions. The survey showed that organizations that said they deeply regretted their purchase took an average of 7 to 10 months longer to complete the purchase,” Barnes said. “Slow purchasing decisions can lead to frustrated teams, wasted time and resources and even, potentially, slower growth for the company.”


According to the survey, 67% of the people involved in technology purchasing decisions are not in IT, which means anyone can be a technology buyer for their organization. In this environment, a gap is emerging for the introduction of new technology. This new divide separates organizations that are trusted users and buyers of technology from the vast majority that are not. High-tech providers need new approaches to identify and engage these different types of B2B customers and predict what type of customer they are dealing with to increase the chances of winning a good business.

“To change strategies, we need to think about psychography in addition to motivation to buy to include how decisions are approached and which groups drive the strategy,” Barnes said. Gartner developed a psychographic model called Enterprise Technology Adoption Profiles (ETA), which revealed seven specific customer segments. The use of ETAs is an element that can help high-tech providers move from a product / market adaptation strategy to a product. / Customization Strategy. ”

In addition, high-tech providers need to create a model that helps identify “best fit” and “must avoid” situations. Situations that best suit should be captured in an ideal customer profile – a business person – that focuses on the characteristics of the organizations targeted, not the individuals in those organizations. It can include several factors, including the technologies they use, their business situation, the resources available to them, and psychographic ETAs.

“There will be a large gray area in between that you need to think about carefully when assessing whether you want to commit to pursuing the opportunity. This is about improving your options and allocating resources and investments effectively,” Barnes said. .

Understanding the ideal customers will help high-tech providers (IT vendors) shape their strategies. With this in mind, Gartner recommends that high-tech providers do three things:

  1. Focus the bulk of the investment and effort on supporting the ‘best suited’ situations with the right offers, the right messages and the right type of content and engagement activities.
  2. Train customer-facing teams in recognizing the customer characteristics that indicate a ‘best fit’.
  3. Train customer-facing teams in how to adapt their approach when encountering leads that fall into the gray zone between ‘best fit’ and ‘should avoid’.

* Enterprise Technology Adoption Profiles (ETAs) are a proprietary model developed by Gartner that assesses the psychography that determines how and when organizations make technology decisions.

Learn more about tackling purchasing challenges to accelerate technology sales growth in the free Gartner e-book “Pushing Beyond Enterprise Tech Buyer Regret”.

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