People buy with emotion and justify with logic. Sales people have known this forever and good marketers do, too.
Bob Johnson at IDG Connect and Kim Wallace of Wallace & Washburn had done research into the behaviors of B2B buyers. They found that in 97% of cases vendors introduced in the first buying team meeting were the ones that made it to the short list, so if you weren’t a pre-favorite it was almost impossible to get in on the opportunity later. Marketing is critical for becoming a pre-favorite.
Understanding the emotional triggers of buyers is a central part of this, too. Risk reduction is a classic B2B emotion, which is why for decades “no one was ever fired for buying IBM”. ROI may not be the top consideration; it may be superseded by emotions such as ease of use or the promise of hassle-free implementation.
The emotions that are paramount to buyers in your industry can only be learned by asking them, by doing in-depth market research. Then your marketing needs to include emotional trigger phrases such as “on-time implementation” and “easy to use” to win them over and get your sales people in the door.