Your B2B Buyer's Journey: A Comprehensive Guide For Sellers | Selling Made Simple
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Times have changed for B2B salespeople. Not too long ago, buyers used to do light research on a solution before reaching out to a sales rep for more detailed information. These interactions helped educate buyers about the product. But they also gave salespeople all the power when it came to controlling the buyer’s journey. These days, however, the buyer’s journey is in the hands of the buyer. Pricing, product features, case studies—these sales assets (and many more) are typically all available online. And buyers now move through 70% of the buyer’s journey on their own, not at the urging of a sales rep. So, how do you navigate this new B2B selling landscape? And how do you determine what your own buyer’s journey is for your ideal customers? That’s exactly what this guide examines. Inside, we’ll be defining the buyer’s journey, explaining how it’s changed over the years (and what that means for you), and detailing what you need to consider when redefining your buyer’s journey. What Is the Buyer’s Journey? As a quick refresher, let’s outline exactly what a buyer journey is. Also known as a customer journey or purchase cycle, a buyer’s journey is essentially how your buyers go from being unaware of their problem to deciding to purchase your solution. As you know, buyers don’t wake up one day and make purchase decisions on a whim (especially true in the B2B world). Instead, buyers need to first recognize they have a problem, learn more about it, and research the best solutions before deciding on a solution. The length of a buyer’s journey tends to depend on the level of risk involved. For pricier solutions, the buyer’s journey is longer. Buyers need to do more research to justify their purchase. And they’ll need more convincing to jump onboard. For less expensive solutions, the opposite is true. With less at stake, buyers feel more comfortable making quick decisions. As a buyer progresses through different stages of the customer journey, they’ll have different concerns that need addressing before moving to the next stage. And it’s your job as a successful sales rep to meet those needs every step of the way. For example if your buyer is already at the consideration stage because they’ve consumed someone elses inbound marketing efforts then their buying process is nearly complete and it’s going to be difficult to win business from them. Alternatively, if you’re prospecting a slightly different buyer persona and they’re still in the research and decision process then you’ve still got a chance to solve a pain point or two and influence their purchase process. Breaking Down the Buyer’s Journey Stages So, what are the buyer’s journey stages? First, let’s take a closer look. * No Awareness – This stage is when the buyer doesn’t even know they have a problem. That can mean they’re entirely unaware of it in the first place, or (more likely) they don’t understand that a current inefficiency can actually be fixed. * Awareness stage – This is when the buyer acknowledges the problem exists and seeks out more information about it. A buyer in this stage will respond to content types that examine their problem and shed light on why this problem exists in the first place. * Exploring Solutions – Now that your buyer fully understands the problem they’re dealing with, they’re going to start researching solutions. What types of solutions are out there on the market? And which type will fix their problem? * Comparing Vendors – This is when buyers get into the nitty-gritty. After determining the solution type, it’s time to drill down into how the vendors stack up against one another. Which has the most valuable features?
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