How to Connect With German Software Buyers

May 26, 2022
Contributor: Ina Schumann

Discover buyer behavior insights in Germany to optimize your B2B marketing strategy.

Germany offers immense business opportunities for software and SaaS providers looking to expand into new global markets. Germany’s software market, valued at $27.3 billion in 2021, is Europe’s second-largest software market and has an expected CAGR of 10.1% through the next two years. 

However, entering Germany’s software market isn’t easy. German software buyers’ preferences for well-known brands present challenges to positioning new offerings. Despite the initial effort required to build brand presence in the region, the return is likely worth the investment. SaaS and software marketers should take the time to understand the top concerns and business priorities in order to maximize their ROI in Germany.  

In this post, we share insights about software buyers in Germany and how to best engage and convert them with a strong international marketing strategy.

The main challenges for German software buyers

It’s important to understand the main concerns of German software buyers before creating an international marketing strategy. Here are the most common challenges that motivate German businesses to invest in new technology, according to Gartner Digital Markets’ 2022 Global Software Buyer Trends Survey:

Top 5 challenges when investing in new software

The No. 1 concern for investing in new software for German buyers is the need for compatibility with existing systems. We recommend providing enough information on your website, product profile, and digital marketing campaigns, including all your integrations, to better reach your target audience in Germany. By answering common questions through your profile content, German software buyers will be able to identify themselves as a good fit for your product. 

Understanding software buying behavior in Germany

The key to a successful digital marketing strategy in Germany is to understand what B2B software buyers really value. The research phase is very important for German businesses so you should explain your product’s value proposition well before a B2B buyer encounters a sales rep. During the research process, 42% of German software buyers will spend the most time identifying which systems will best solve their problem. 

Most German businesses rely heavily on their IT department to manage software purchases. This means German software buyers are tech savvy and seek in-depth software specs to make informed decisions. We recommend describing your product’s functions in detail and promoting integrations and data security on your product’s profile to show how your software is compatible with their existing tech stack. German software buyers also value data insights or study information during their extensive research process.

As a software provider looking to start marketing in Germany, you should consider optimizing your software product pages and feature them on the right channels to acquire high-quality leads in the region. This will help drive conversions and build buyers’ confidence for your target audience. 

Creating a brand profile on trusted third-party channels, such as customer reviews sites, helps accomplish two things:

  • It brings in qualified leads that have already identified a business problem and are seeking possible solutions. 
  • It improves your site’s search ranking by acquiring links and builds consumer confidence in your brand by creating social proof around your products and services.

Engage with German software buyers

When purchasing new software, German businesses prefer software providers they’ve previously worked with or providers that have an established market presence. When German businesses are researching new software, it’s important to note that 42% of German software buyers prefer vendors they’ve already worked with and 61% prefer to work with well-established software brands. 

German buyers have an affinity for well-known brands

For software companies crafting a digital marketing strategy for a German audience, there are many ways to establish your brand reputation in a new region and get your software in front of prospective buyers.

  1. Software ratings and reviews sites. This includes user reviews on third-party research websites like Capterra, GetApp and Software Advice. Leveraging review websites where customers post testimonials can build trust for buyers and show how your product is relevant.
  2. Video calls with sales representatives. This is a great way to show off what your software can do in real-time with prospective customers. Practicing situational awareness during these calls will ensure that the conversations will continue between the buyer and the provider.
  3. Provider websites. Think of your website as an extension of your product profile. Taking a strategic approach to your landing pages’ design will ensure that your website only displays relevant information to your target audience and make sure that it’s been translated into German.
  4. Personalized emails. Properly targeting customers through email marketing is a great way to source leads and get the word out about your product.
  5. Webinars and events. Webinars or in-person events offer a good way to reach niche, more informed audiences. They allow you to discuss a topic in detail and establish thought leadership within your industry. 

What German software buyers value

To differentiate your offerings in the German market, software marketers should identify attributes that play an important role for German buyers in the qualification of a software tool compared to alternatives. In Germany, the most influential factors in the software purchase decision are focused around IT needs, such as distributed cloud and cybersecurity, according to the Gartner Digital Markets’ 2022 Global Software Buyer Trends Survey.

Most important features when evaluating software options

German software buyers greatly value localized content, preferring to receive content and communicate with vendors in German. More specifically, 47% of German software buyers prefer in-language support services and 38% of German software buyers prefer in-language software user interfaces. 

The best way to start marketing in Germany is to provide translated content. Translated materials offer the benefit of conveying the same message to your target audience without any confusion. We recommend preparing some translated materials, such as landing pages and product details, prior to implementing your go-to-market strategy.

How to keep existing German customers engaged

The onboarding process is critical for customer marketing in Germany and keeping existing clients engaged. B2B software and SaaS providers can avoid post-purchase regret by providing support services, training, and a positive onboarding experience. German software buyers noted that personalized training was the most valued factor in the onboarding process, with access to customer support and customized implementation as the second most valued factors, according to the 2022 Global Software Buyer Trends Survey. 

A positive onboarding experience will assist with keeping existing German customers happy and engaged when it’s time to renew. This is important to keep in mind during renewal season since 48% of German software buyers do a cursory evaluation of alternatives before renewing and 28% of German software buyers evaluate alternatives in-depth before renewing. You can improve customer satisfaction and retain clients by collecting user reviews and analyzing the voice of the customer (VoC).

Connect with more software buyers in Germany

The German software market is growing rapidly. While there are plenty of opportunities to connect with B2B buyers, it’s important to understand their behavior and preferences to target them at the right time with the right information. Download our report on Germany’s software market to gain more buyer behavior insights and craft an optimized marketing strategy.

eBook: Germany Software Market Landscape

eBook: Germany Software Market Landscape

Position software offerings more effectively in Germany.

Ina Schumann

Ina Schumann is a Senior International Marketing Specialist at Gartner Digital Markets. She launched Capterra and GetApp sites in the German market and has 9 years of experience in marketing to European markets. She particularly enjoys working on new strategies, SEO and innovation marketing. Connect with Ina on LinkedIn.


Survey methodology:

Gartner Digital Markets 2022 Global Software Buyer Trends Survey

Results presented are based on a Gartner Digital Markets study to understand business challenges and approaches to technology and software investments. The primary research was conducted in October 2021 among a total of 2,501 respondents in the following countries: United States, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, India, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Portugal, Brazil, Colombia, Belgium, Poland, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Ireland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Germany and France.

Respondents were screened for having recently purchased technology and decision-making authority. Respondents were required to be responsible for making decisions on purchasing technologies for their organization. 

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