We continuously conduct research with the 12,000+ executives in the Emissary human intelligence network to understand actual purchase situations executed by actual buyers. (Sign up for our newsletter if you’d like to receive our buyer research!). Although we collect dozens of metrics in these studies, there are four recent tech sales stats which should be top of mind for revenue teams, enablement leaders and field marketers…


👍 67% of technology buyers have the same,
or increased budget versus last year.1 👍

Tech sellers have faced a challenging first half of the year, with decreased bookings and widespread restructuring of sales teams. A client recently summed it up as “If you’re in tech sales right now, it just ain’t pretty.” Yet, as Emissary surveys the executive-level buyers in our network, we hear a slightly different take. 

Tech buyers still feel like they have the latitude to make software purchases and most feel that their budget equals or surpasses their previous year’s investments. The analysts agree. Gartner anticipates growth (albeit at lower levels than the previous year) with enterprise software a bright spot at 12%2.

So why does the market feel so relentlessly challenging?

There is money. However buyers caution that it’s a whole lot harder to actually spend it. Investments of any kind are receiving greater scrutiny and are subject to formal buying processes. 


 👎 72% of tech purchases over $250k
involve procurement.3 👎

With those formalized processes comes heightened complexity. There are more decision-makers (now 6-9 on average), more diverse buyers (79% of committees are cross-functional), and longer sales cycles (7.5+ months)4. The result is a growing array of hoops to jump through, over a much longer period of time.

At the same time, seller behaviors and approaches are under the buyer’s microscope like never before. Expectations are skyrocketing. Buyers caution that sellers should not misconstrue this as a temporary condition, however. Buyers expect more value from their sales partners from the very first interaction. With longer sales cycles, there are more opportunities to impress buyers – and equally, more opportunities to make a neutral or negative impression.

“Do not guess at my needs, come to the table with
a solution to a known problem. Guessing wastes my time.”

– Customer Data Domain Manager, Global Tech Co.

Take account and contact intelligence, for example. We’ve always said salespeople need to “know” their customers— but the depth of expected insight is greater than ever. Think of B2C experiences. As a consumer you’ve gotten used to the fact that vendors know everything about you. Now imagine being a B2B buyer spending six figures, and the seller is using boilerplate content that shows zero insight into your situation. These impressions build up over time and buyers have come to view salespeople overall as transactional and product oriented.


👎 Only 31% of surveyed CISOs said their sales
partners provide them with significant value.5 👎

The CISO role is another great example. CISOs influence a significant portion of tech purchases and increasingly they own the budgets. As a result, tech sellers have to win over the CISO even if they aren’t selling security solutions. Right now, CISOs aren’t impressed with what salespeople bring to the table. 

“Be a partner instead of a regular vendor;
Bring something unique to the discussion.”

– VP Technology Architecture and Innovation Govt. Administration Co.

That’s not to say that CISOs, or any other tech buyer we surveyed, harbor negative feelings towards sellers. They don’t (with the exception of the ones who bomb their LinkedIn inboxes with cold meeting requests). The problem is the missed opportunity. 


👍 64% of recent tech purchases were
decided by factors other than product.6 👍

When asked to dissect a recent purchase, only 36% of buyers said their chosen solution was ‘vastly superior’ to the second-place option. What made the difference in the majority of cases wasn’t product features, it was things under seller control: expertise, credibility, follow through, and reliability. 

“Offer advice rather than products…Be a thought partner.
My best vendor relationships are those that
provide insights and ideas…beyond the product they sell.”

– Director Information Security, Global Pharma Co.


Together, these sales stats offer compelling reasons for cautious optimism: 

♦ A significant 67% of technology buyers have maintained or increased their budgets compared to the previous year, especially for software.

♦ Process formality creates headaches for sellers. But it also creates more opportunities to make positive impressions with a larger audience. 

♦ Elevated expectations demand more preparation and expertise. But they’re also the key to seller differentiation. It’s easier to stand out when so few are making the grade.

♦ No product is a guaranteed win. The difference between first place and second is most often within seller control!

It’s by no means an easy selling environment.  But it’s the kind of market condition that separates the great from the mediocre. Through smarter work and better skills, the best sales teams will quite simply outsell their competitors.


1Emissary, Winter 2023 Buyer Snapshot, n=1,128
2Gartner, April Press Release
3Emissary, How Execs Buy Enterprise Tech, n=673
4Emissary, How Execs Buy Enterprise Tech, n=673
5Emissary. “Everyone needs to impress the CISO”, n=154
6Emissary, Winter 2023 Buyer Snapshot, n=1,128


About Emissary

Emissary is a human intelligence network that connects enterprise sales and marketing professionals directly to a community of over 12,000 talented senior and C-level executives across a wide range of vertical markets. These industry insiders bring recent experience at your most important accounts to their conversations with you, offering unparalleled insight and advice. Leveraging Emissary’s innovative approach and effective solutions  will enable you to shorten your sales cycles, close more deals, and build positive long-lasting relationships with your clients and prospects – because you’ve gathered the tacit knowledge on their challenges and needs.

Contact us at info@emissary.io or follow us on LinkedIn to learn more about how Emissary can help you win more deals this year.