10 pain points of the B2B buyer’s journey

Navigating the B2B buyer’s journey means tackling a mix of market, tech, and relationship challenges. Here are 10 common hurdles with practical solutions to clear your path.

Stephen Reilly
4 MIN|March 8, 2024
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No one ever got fired for buying IBM, right? Imagine if your job was on the line based on the tech solution you decided on for your company. Pretty scary. Imagine you were IBM, pretty easy! I guess it’s all relative, depending on which side of the river you’re standing on.

But safe to say, for most of us, selling technology solutions and services is fraught with challenges that require not just strategic foresight but also a robust understanding of the B2B buyer’s journey, their market, and good ol’ human relationships. We’re going to outline 10 (ten!) common pain points for the B2B buyer so you can do something about it.

By understanding the stages a B2B buyer goes through—from recognising a need, through the evaluation of solutions, to the final decision and post-purchase evaluation—you can tailor your offerings, messaging, and support to align with each phase of the journey. Or at least that’s the idea.

1. Selecting the right (tech) partners

Ain’t that the truth…? Navigating the world of technology solutions (have you seen how big it is?) for brands who consistently deliver high-quality work is exhausting. Then you have to figure out the genuine from the chancers.

Solution: Differentiate your offerings with clear, evidence-based value propositions. Implement a transparent, easy-to-navigate discovery process on your platforms and actively participate in industry tradeshows to demonstrate your solutions’ value directly.

2. Navigating complex purchase decisions

B2B transactions often involve multiple stakeholders, each with their priorities and concerns, leading to lengthy approval processes and decision-making timelines.

Solution: Simplify the buyer’s journey by offering comprehensive guides, comparison tools, and personalised consultations to help stakeholders understand and evaluate your technology’s benefits clearly. Facilitate streamlined decision-making with digital tools that support collaborative evaluation.

3. Lack of pricing and process transparency

Transparency issues can manifest in several areas, including pricing, product availability, and delivery timelines, making it challenging for buyers to plan and make informed decisions.

Solution: Prioritise transparency in all communications. Offer detailed pricing, availability, and timeline information upfront on your website and through sales interactions. Adopt platforms that allow for real-time updates and access to this information. I know what you’re thinking: “You don’t get it, my company can’t do this because of ‘x’.” Oh, I get it. But there is a balance you can strike between transparency that will work for your lead and your strategic business needs. Providing pricing ranges, typical case studies, or interactive tools that allow potential customers to get personalised estimates without fully committing to set prices or timelines publicly may be the way you middle ground you’re seeking.

4. Compliance and regulatory challenges

Compliance with industry regulations and standards is non-negotiable. Failure to comply can result in legal ramifications and damage to reputation. So products must meet industry regulations and standards.

Solution: Proactively communicate your commitment to compliance and standards. Provide detailed documentation and case studies demonstrating compliance, and offer to assist buyers with their own compliance challenges through your technology solutions.

5. Managing multiple vendors

Working with numerous vendors can lead to inefficiencies and increased operational complexity, affecting your ability to maintain consistent quality and control costs.

Solution: Position your technology as a comprehensive solution that can reduce the need for multiple vendors. Offer integration capabilities that allow your product to work seamlessly with other tools and services the buyer is using.

6. Customisation and flexibility

The need for customized solutions and flexibility in order handling and delivery can be critical, especially for businesses with unique requirements or those operating in dynamic and rapidly changing markets.

Solution: Show your technology’s customisation options and flexibility. Provide examples of tailored solutions you’ve created for similar clients, and emphasize your willingness to collaborate closely with buyers to meet their unique needs.

7. Technological integration

Integrating new products or systems into existing operations without disruption is essential for maintaining continuity and achieving efficiency gains.

Solution: Demonstrate the ease of integration for your products. This can be so crucial to an ultimately successful sale. Offer technical support, documentation, and integration services to ensure a smooth transition, minimising operational impact.

8. Risk management

Supply chain disruptions, quality issues, and financial instability of suppliers are just some of the risks that can have significant impacts on your operations.

Solution: Highlight the reliability and stability of your supply chain. Offer guarantees, support, and contingency plans to reassure buyers of minimal risk in choosing your solutions.

9. Sustainability concerns

Sustainability is increasingly becoming a criterion for selection among B2B buyers, driven by regulatory requirements and consumer demand for responsible sourcing.

Solution: Emphasise your technology’s environmental benefits and any sustainability certifications. Collaborate with buyers to improve their sustainability metrics through your solutions.

10. Communication and service issues

Effective communication and high-quality customer service from suppliers is crucial for resolving issues quickly and maintaining a smooth operational flow.

Solution: Ensure exceptional customer service and clear, timely communication. Establish SLAs and regular performance reviews to keep service levels high and responsive to buyer needs.

Pain free partnerships

So, there you go, understanding these pain points enables you to offer the right selling strategy and positions the solution you’re hawking in the right way to the right customer. And by doing so it also positions you as a trusted partner. You’ve heard this a lot but for good reason: it’s not just about selling a product but providing a solution that addresses your buyer’s challenges, and that’s what ultimately leads to a successful, long-term relationship. 

Speaking of such relationships, if you’re shopping around for a marketing agency who specialises in the technology industry, look no further. We’re a full service marketing agency who specialises in B2B strategies for technology companies like you. Get in touch today to see how we can help you achieve success.

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Competition within the tech industry is extremely high. So, understanding your customer pain points and learning how to address them effectively with your product or service is vital.


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