The Buyers Journey
March 14, 2017 by brianoconn
Increasingly the buyers journey is now done online. Even B2B customers have adopted consumer-like behavior. They now conduct product research online and often make purchasing decisions without a sales rep’s involvement. Those B2B customers who engage with sales agents are already 57 percent of the way through the buying process before their first contact. This fundamentally changes the type and tenor of the interactions that sellers use to engage with customers.
The most often used description of The buyer’s journey is, ” the process a buyer will go through to become aware of, consider and decide to purchase a new product or service. This journey can be condensed down to a three-step process: The Awareness Stage: The buyer realizes they may have a problem. Consideration Stage: The buyer defines their problem and researches options to solve it and then the Decision Stage: The buyer chooses a solution.
During the Awareness stage, a buyer will identify an issue, or challenge they want to address. At this stage they decide what priority this issue or challenge should be. So ask yourself?
How would the buyer describe his or her challenges?
Where and how does the buyer educate themselves on the challenges facing others or their industry?
What would be the impact of non action by the buyer?
In your (the sales person or marketing) business, what are the common misconceptions a buyer could have in relation to addressing the issue or challenge?
What would be the compelling reasons when the buyer comes to deciding whether or not this should be prioritized?
At the Consideration stage, the buyer should have moved to having clearly defined the issue or challenge plus a commitment to dealing with it. They have self educated, read whitepapers, interacted with companies and sales people plus will have evaluated the different options available to pursue the end goal of resolving the challenge. Ask yourself:
Which categories of solutions do buyers investigate?
Where do buyers educate themselves on the various options or solutions?
How do buyers perceive the pros and cons of each solution?
How do buyers decide which option is right for them?
Lastly, at the Decision stage, the buyer have arrived at a decision on which solution matches their need. Some questions you should ask yourself to define this stage are:
What criteria or other considerations will a buyer use to evaluate the available offerings?
When buyers comes to investigating you (yes, they will) and your company’s offering, what do they like about what they see or read compared to the competition?
What concerns will you need to cover off on your solution?
Is there a buying committee or who else needs to be involved in the decision? For each person involved, how does their perspective on the decision differ?
What is the buying process or will the buyer have expectations around sampling/trying your solution before they purchase it?
What is the true cost of acquisition, so outside of buying your solution, do buyers need to make additional plans around implementation, IT or training?
The answers to these questions will provide a robust foundation for your own buyer’s journey