Ah, the buyer's journey.
As human beings, we love stories, and while you might think us a little bit geeky when it comes to tech stuff and sales (and trust us, we're proud to be that way), we love imagining buyers on an adventure when it comes to sales.
From exploring far-off lands and websites, trying to find clues detailing where they should go next, fighting with sales reps, and overwhelming amounts of information that stand between them and their beloved treasure: a service or product that helps their business grow.
Diving into the nuances of the buyer's journey is a lot of fun. As a sales team, understanding this journey and setting yourself up to welcome a prospect most reassuringly is a great way to increase win rates and conversions.
But while it’s a lot of fun, it can also be pretty complicated.
Statistics show that a stunning 90% of B2B buyers don’t follow linear sales funnel paths. Some buyers come in at the top, and some will join halfway through. This means all your layers need to be optimized and ready to go for whoever jumps out into your funnel.
So, roll out the red carpet and light the path for your prospects with this guide detailing how your B2B sales teams can use the buyer's journey to sell smarter than ever before.
After reading this post, you'll better understand your buyers' challenges and needs so that you can close more deals and boost your sales figures.
So let's get started!
The buyer journey is the path a buyer takes before ultimately deciding to purchase a product or service.
In B2C relationships, this could literally be as simple as;
Buyer is hungry > Find food they like to taste and are happy to pay for > Order food > Eat
Breaking this down, the journey always starts with a problem the buyer wants to solve. They'll then look at various solutions (in this example, budget, preference, and dietary requirements) before making a final decision and then purchasing.
In B2B sales, the journey is more complex as the stakes are often higher, and buyers may have to involve multiple stakeholders in the decision-making process.
Typically, 22% of returning buyers have a sales journey lasting around a month, with 38.4% averaging between 1 and 3 months. The average B2B buyer journey is between 1 and 6 months, although 45% of them are between 1 and 3.
Understanding all this allows you to anticipate buyers' needs and sell smarter.
It's important to identify at which stage of the buying process buyers are, so you know what type of content marketing, sales materials, and messaging will be most helpful for them during their research.
Additionally, anticipating specific challenges will enable potential customers to move swiftly through the buyer's journey and put you one step closer to closing that sale!
We speak about this a lot in our content because it's pretty much the only reason everyone is not buying your product or service right now.
A buyer navigating their B2B sales journey will come up against a fair share of roadblocks that prevent them from purchasing. We generally refer to these as bottlenecks, pain points, or reservations.
These challenges may include the following;
- Finding important documents to close the deal
- Searching for and adding additional stakeholders who have a stake in the conversation
- Deciding on which product or service to go for and addressing all those pain points (like cost, onboarding issues, features, functionality, etc.)
- Managing communication with the sales representative
As if this weren't challenging enough, these issues can cause significant delays– making the journey even more uncomfortable for buyers. As a sales team, by anticipating and being prepared for these challenges, you can help ensure the buyer's journey is as smooth as possible, increasing the chances they'll turn into a profitable client dramatically.
Let's get to the heart of this.
Identifying these challenges and overcoming them.
First, you need to identify what challenges the buyer is facing.
Common challenges, such as locating documents, getting approval from multiple stakeholders, negotiating decisions, and communicating with sales reps, can be frustrating.
Then there are service or product-specific issues, such as deciding whether your products are within budget and have a positive ROI, what kind of resources need to be invested into integrating your product, and how easy the experience is.
It falls on your sales team to help buyers overcome these reservations.
Generally, this will involve creating content and sales material that already addresses these pain points and provides all the answers they're looking for. This could be in the form of blog posts, articles, video tutorials, or a Knowledge Base.
Your sales team can also engage the potential buyers and provide helpful links or resources for locating documents quickly, arranging webinars to reach out to multiple stakeholders, and providing clear communication avenues from the get-go.
Your sales team's job is to make this process as easy as possible and ensure their decision process is smooth and carried out with transparent communication on both sides. This means potentially collaborating in real time via chat applications so that nothing gets lost in translation.
Successful B2B sales can be a tricky hurdle to overcome without a clear understanding of the buyer's journey. That's why many companies have taken steps to ensure they're meeting their buyers' needs every step of the way.
Take Starbucks, for example.
They identified that some customers felt let down by the speed it took to get their orders, whereas some were happy waiting.
So, Starbucks introduced a loyalty program and a comprehensive app that allowed customers to place orders ahead of time and pick them up quickly while retaining the number of customizable options they could enjoy in person.
The results are that the Starbucks app is one of the most used restaurant apps in the world, clocking in over 10 million active mobile users, with 48% of their users using the app frequently, totaling over 5 million transactions a week through the app alone.
Pain point addressed.
Statistics show that around 67% of a B2B buyer’s journey is now completed digitally and that 83% of B2B marketers try to address this by using social media.
But there’s a better way.
When you consider that understanding and optimizing your buyer's journey for your B2B prospects is no easy feat, and it'll use a ton of resources if you're handling everything manually, you need a tool to do it all.
This is where Dealintent comes into play.
Dealintent allows you to create secure and highly interactive digital sales rooms. Within these spaces, you can keep everything related to sales in one place and invite your buyers and sales team to join and communicate while having all the resources they need on hand for the best engagements.
With the ability to integrate into all your existing CRM structures, Dealintent can create automatic buyer personas and ICPs using data on how buyers interact and engage with your content and offer hyper-personalized content recommendations to address pain points in specific buyer journeys.
All these insights and recommendations are also accessible to your sales team, who can then use the data to engage high-value prospects equipped with content, information, battle cards, and templates that can further smoothen the buyer's journey.
With reservations and pain points addressed, buyers are far more likely to invest in your services, allowing you to grow your business tenfold.
You're basically using state-of-the-art technology to get better results and do far more than any traditional sales team could do!
With Dealintent AI tools, businesses get smarter about B2B sales and are well on their way to success in no time.
If you can understand your buyer's challenges throughout their journey, you're well on your way to becoming a top-notch sales rep.
No two B2B buyers are alike, but by adequately analyzing data and using AI technology like Dealintent, you can locate common patterns to help support your selling strategy.
Let us show you how we can help you reach success on your next sale by using our cutting-edge software.
Contact us today and get started with your own customized onboarding process and 50% off the standard enrollment process.
Your sales team will surely thank you for it!