A study released this past spring by market research company, FocusVision, finds that most B2B buyers find the content they need to make buying decisions on vendor websites.

"In the B2B world, vendor websites typically refers to websites owned and operated by, for instance, jan/san manufacturers or facility service providers," says Robert Kravitz, president of AlturaSolutions, a B2B marketing content creation firm.

The study also found that B2B buyers read an average of 13 pieces of content before making a purchasing decision. Of those 13, eight come directly from vendors, with the remaining coming from third-party resources.

Additionally, 65 percent of B2B buyers cite vendor websites as "highly influential" when making purchasing decisions.

This latest study also indicates that the buying cycle may be getting shorter. In the past, it was generally believed B2B buyers took about four months to make a purchasing decision. However, the FocusVision study found that about one-third of B2B buyers now take about six weeks to make a buying decision and 40 percent make purchasing decisions even faster, in about three weeks.

Additionally, the study found that providing what was termed 'useful' content is essential when B2B buyers make purchasing decisions.

This included product specifications, information on how the product functions or is used, as well as product comparisons to similar products made by the same manufacturer.

"Another value of vendor content that must be noted is that it helps B2B buyers find the information they need in the first place," says Kravitz. "We have added posts to a manufacturer's website and found them on search engines a day or two later. Without this first step in place, the entire sales funnel would remain empty."