What do 1,971 enterprise software projects tell us about what prospects want (2019 Demand Generation Report)

Megan Meade

What is a prospect is looking for when selecting enterprise software?

What information are they researching?

What content do they engage with?

It can be hard to determine exactly what content companies are receptive to when looking for software at the enterprise level.

That’s why we’ve researched 1,971 enterprise software projects for information on the selection process. We’ve analyzed how long software buyers spend shortlisting software, the topics prospects were most interested in, and the seniority level of those leading the selection project in our enterprise software Demand Generation Report 2019.

Here is a summary of our key findings:

1. On average, only 42% of companies purchasing software are replacing an existing system

Unsurprisingly, larger companies were more likely to already be using enterprise software. Yet, most companies with below 1,000 employees were implementing a system for the very first time.

Smaller businesses, with 0-49 employees, were most likely to be implementing a software for the first time. One of the most popular reasons businesses of this size were implementing enterprise software was to support business growth which suggests scalability is a key requirement during the selection process.

The significant portion of companies looking at software for the first time indicates these prospects would be ideal candidates for middle of funnel nurturing campaigns as they are only beginning to gather basic knowledge of systems and narrow down their needs. Prospects are in the consideration stage and are ready to engage with relevant content allowing marketers to develop credibility and authority.

Which topics are prospects most interested in when it comes to software?

2. Prospects were most interested in pricing and comparison topics when researching software

Our audience’s main areas of interest focused on content relating to pricing and comparison data. Lots of prospects were currently in the consideration stage for selecting a system as evidenced by their interest in discovery and shortlisting.

The variance in topic interest suggests that companies are invested in thoroughly researching and comparing enterprise software options before starting a conversation with a potential vendor.

At Prospect Path, we use topic interest data to segment our content based on our audience needs. This allows us to provide prospects with content to match their specific needs and determine their level of purchasing intent. From our data, almost 90% of surveyed companies fell into a high purchase intent segment resulting from their engagement with relevant content, which enables us to understand when they will be receptive to outreach from our sales teams to discuss their needs in more detail.

3. Managers were the most common senior-level employee leading software selection

The majority of those involved in software selection were senior-level employees.

The most popular position for those leading software selection were managers, followed by those who fell into the ‘other’ category; these include specialists, generalists, and executives. The strong presence of the other category suggests a significant percentage of those leading software projects are outside of high seniority positions; this is potentially a missed opportunity for software vendors who prioritize leads based on the seniority level who, without these leads, would miss out on 23% of the enterprise software market share.

This suggests that selecting software is a priority for senior management and they are actively involved in the selection process. Furthermore, those involved are decision-makers who are actively searching for solutions in the enterprise software space, with the seniority to move the project forward.

4. Most companies looking for enterprise software favored the cloud

The majority of companies searching for a new system were searching specifically for a cloud-based solution. However, it’s important to note that a significant percentage of prospects were neutral regarding the hosting method of their new software. This suggests that platform isn’t a significant deciding factor that most prospects consider when selecting their software.

Learn more unique insights on what enterprise software buyers are searching for in our Demand Gen Report 2019.

Thanks for taking the time to read some of the insights from our Enterprise Software Demand Generation Report, if you’d like to share your thoughts on our data, I’d love to hear from you. You can email any of your thoughts to me directly at: megan@prospectpath.com

Megan Meade

Megan is the Content Editor over at Prospect Path. Outside of work, she's usually competing with her dogs.

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