I found this wonderful image below courtesy of Gartner. It is true that buying can be a long, hard slog when it comes to Business to Business transactions.
So many steps, questions, more steps, answers, more questions and finally a decision is made.
A lot of purchases are made using what I call “re-buying”. Which means you bought it once and you are buying it again. Basically 80% of buying would fall into this category. The percentage will change by industry and by role but the number should be close.
The other 20% is strategic sourcing which based on the steps below takes a lot of time, money, knowledge, dedication and resources. A lot of companies don’t allocate enough time, money or resources which leads the potential lack of innovation.
This is where skunkworks comes in. It is where a relatively small and loosely structured group of people research and develop a project or solution, often with a very large degree of autonomy, primarily for the sake of radical innovation. People who staff these projects can allocate up to 10% of their time with no questions asked. Look it up and you will see several examples.