What is a buying task?

Originating from Gartner’s B2B buying journey model, these are six tasks that must be completed before a purchase decision can be made.

B2B buying jobs

The buying tasks rarely proceed in a linear fashion, but overlap, often looping and playing out simultaneously. 

What occurs within each in task?

Problem Identification – “We need to do something”

  • This task is about recognising that there is a problem present and taking measures to identify the nature of the problem.
  • Questions to ask:
    • What is the source of the problem?
    • How is the problem affecting short and long term business performance and objectives?
    • What can we learn from others’ experiences of the same problem?

Solution Exploration – “What’s out there to solve our problem?”

  • The most intimidating task in the journey. In today’s information environment, the volume of high-quality information and the range of solutions available can be overwhelming.
  • Questions to ask:
    • What key features and benefits are available?
    • How do these features address the problem we need to overcome?
    • Which solutions are making it onto our short-list for further consideration?

Requirements Building – “What exactly do we need the purchase to do?”

  • Having gained a feel for what is available, it is necessary to build a set of requirements unique to match the business’s particular needs.
  • Questions to ask:
    • Is this purchase simply tackling a short-term problem or can it improve long-term business operations and growth?
    • What criteria available best matches the objective of the purchase?

 Vendor Selection – “Does this do what we want it to do?”

  • This ‘final’ task involves far more focused research on the particular benefits of the solutions which best match business needs.
  • Questions to ask:
    • What are the unique benefits of this vendor and how will they benefit the business?
    • What are existing customers saying about this vendor?
    • How responsive is this vendor to our request for further information/sales enquiry?
    • Does this vendor understand the uniqueness of the problems we face?
    • What are the risks involved in selecting this vendor?
    • Is the price justifiable?

 There are two additional ‘always-on’ tasks playing out across the entire buying journey:

 Validation – “We think we know the right answer, but we need to be sure.”

  • Whether identifying problems, narrowing down solutions, building requirements or, in particular, making the final supplier selection, validation of thoughts and opinions is a constant necessity.

 Consensus Building –  “We need to get everyone on board.”

  • Purchase decisions are not made by individuals but teams – across the entire buying process collaboration and consensus creation as the buying group works towards a final decision.

The importance of buying tasks on researchHQ

When researching complex B2B purchase decisions, the volume of high-quality information available can be overwhelming. 

Each piece of content published on researchHQ has been carefully organised and assessed as most relevant to one of the four primary buying tasks, allowing the user to refine their search to view the most relevant content at the right time.

Currently, the focus of content researchHQ is on problem identification, solution exploration, and requirements building. Over the coming months, we plan to develop our content selection further to help decision-makers select suppliers.