Optimizing B2B Buyer Journeys and Touchpoints to Maximize Sales
As a marketer, it’s vitally important to map your B2B buyer journey – what we term the entire process from a buyer’s first awareness of your brand to evaluating your products and services and finally making a purchase decision.
B2B buyer behavior is distinct from B2C. In the B2C market, potential buyers are usually individuals or families with specific needs. Their concerns revolve around convenience or personal financial capacity. Marketers need to target a broad customer base via a sound segmentation strategy.
In contrast, the B2B market involves multiple stakeholders with specific interests, within the same organization. From the CXO buyer to end-users, each stakeholder plays a role. Relationships develop over an extended period, with sales and account management resources targeting specific organizations. The success of the account hinges on your ability to connect with all stakeholders, not just a single decision-maker.
The B2B buyer journey is often non-linear; mapping it helps us put a structure to it and create suitable marketing and sales interactions for each touchpoint – the interactions of prospects with your brand.
By tracking potential customers’ journeys using data, you can follow their path from initial content and marketing outreach to the first contact with the sales team. The business benefit of managing the buyer journey at every touchpoint and guiding prospects towards closure is not just about new business; there’s significant potential for organic growth from existing customers through cross-selling and up-selling.
Top CSOs and CMOs optimize this journey. They identify the right mix of digital and human interactions, based on the preferences of prospects. Amid complex buying processes, organizational disruptions, and uncertainties, marketing teams play a key role in guiding buyers toward confidence and clarity in this way.
Showcasing the Value Proposition
Successful organizations leverage digital interactions to create value through websites, social media, and email. Marketers need to showcase the value proposition for buyers by aligning content with buyer objectives. Content that solves problems that prospects may be facing, or helps them achieve their objectives creates the right context for your solution. The benefits and features of your product or service then flesh out the value proposition.
Next, marketers must demonstrate the value they will deliver so potential buyers are equipped to make a purchase decision. You need to understand buyer needs well to set this up effectively. This demonstration of value may be through product demos, or online, interactive tools such as savings calculators, product selectors, visualizers, and user reviews. These tools help quantify the benefits to buyers, instill confidence in them, and enable them to move ahead in the buying journey. Marketers need to guide buyers to the next step with clear calls to action.
How to Map Your B2B Buyer Journey
Buyer journeys are different for each product or service. To understand yours, you need to study what’s driving your customers, how are they searching for information, and how are they making purchase decisions. Then your focus must be to provide the right interaction or content at each touchpoint so that they move down the funnel and become your customers. You need ways to optimize each touchpoint to maximize conversions. The starting point is to examine the following areas.
What’s Driving Your Buyers
Identify the specific reasons behind a customer’s interest. Are they seeking a solution to a problem, exploring potential requirements, or searching for a new supplier? What is triggering their awareness of a need for a solution? If you can segment potential leads based on their intent, you can design tailored buyer journeys that address specific needs.
How Do They Seek Information
The buyer journey probably commences before they ever engage with your brand. Once they have identified a need, potential buyers will search for information – both online, such as search engines, and through in-person channels such as tradeshows. Aligning your content with these searches directs the right audience to your top-of-funnel content, initiating the B2B buyer journey. Understanding their starting point enables you to guide them effectively towards the desired endpoint.
Utilize data to gain insights into how buyer journeys result in purchases. Analyze how customers discover and engage with your content, progressing to the next stage. This data-driven approach allows you to reinforce successful strategies, eliminate ineffective ones, and swiftly address gaps in the journey where customers are lost. Adjust your content and sales efforts accordingly to enhance the overall journey and drive conversions.
Mapping your B2B buyer journey and delivering value at each touchpoint is essential for marketing success. From initial awareness to the purchase, you need to guide and help your prospects to reach a decision. The best marketers recognize the importance of blending digital and human interactions seamlessly. Our role extends beyond showcasing value; it’s about demonstrating it, instilling confidence, and guiding prospects to conversion. This approach is proven to lead to success in acquiring new business and also unlocking organic growth from existing customers.
Learn a structured approach to mapping your B2B buyer journey with Suhasini Kirloskar’s course B2B Sales Growth and CRM Overview published on Udemy. You will learn how your sales pipeline needs to be to achieve your targets. How many deals do you need, and how many leads will help you get those leads. What do your prospects need at each stage of their journey?