Did that story help you get a better understanding of the B2B Client’s Journey?
You are probably familiar with most of these chapters (Discovery, Evaluation & Decision) and might dismiss the value of modeling this journey. Yet, you should never lose sight of how important it is to walk a mile in the shoes of your prospects to understand their pain points and better serve them.
They go through Awareness, Consideration, and Decision stages, and so should you from their perspective. We detail everything you need to know about these phases later in this article.
You must remember that every point of contact with your current and potential customers presents an opportunity to create positive experiences that generate trust. It is this trust that convinces prospects to become customers, and customers to become ambassadors.
When we consider the mechanics of B to B decision making, we understand how important it is to optimize the customer journey. The longer the customer journey, the lower the rate of transformation into a customer. Most buyer’s journeys are longer than they should be because of misunderstandings and lack of alignment both internally and between the buyer and the seller. This is why it is up to you to make your Buyer’s Journey as seamless and efficient as possible.
Understanding and mapping the customer’s journey will allow you to understand where you are succeeding and where you are struggling with your prospects. You will understand the questions your customers ask and it will enable you to create the right types of content to answer them.
What are the prerequisites to properly define the path of your customers?
Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer, he or she has very different priorities and expectations than you do during his/her long journey towards making a purchasing decision. It is your duty to adapt your structure and your content to meet the needs of your potential customers.
It's important to have an empathic approach and a good understanding of your prospects' issues. You must profoundly understand your prospects: what are their needs, motivations, fears, hopes, and beliefs? What are their problems and pain points? That understanding is what allows you to properly calibrate the content and experiences you offer them.
But how can you achieve that level of understanding?
There are proven methods: The Buyer Personas and the Jobs To Be Done (JTBD) method.
Modeling your Buyer Personas is an essential prerequisite to defining the customer journey because each journey is different for each persona.
This is precisely the goal of modeling your Buyer Personas: identifying and getting a better understanding of the different types of prospects you want to sell to. For more information on how to model Buyer Personas to transcend your commercial strategy, you should read our article: Personas, why and how to set them up?
Once you have defined your personas, you need to understand their underlying motivations and the challenges they face in relation to what your offer. The best tool for this is the Jobs To Be Done Method. It will allow you to take into account all aspects of your clients' motivation. Lucky for you we also wrote an article to help you master the Jobs To Be Done framework: Jobs-to-be-done, the 3 dimensions of customer motivation
How the B2B Buyer's Journey will help your company
Design a relevant and effective growth strategy
Taking into account the customer journey and understanding prospects is the keystone of a successful growth strategy. Once you’ve mastered the key stages of your Buyer’s Journey, when you associate your prospect’s perspective, it becomes much easier to determine which channels to be present on and which content to offer at each step of the journey. Not only will it help you convert your prospects, but overall customer satisfaction will also increase.
Align your sales and marketing teams
Understanding the stages of a customer's buying journey and aligning with prospects' expectations at each stage allows your marketing and sales teams to visualize where the prospect is in the buying process. This allows them to take the best path to close more deals by leveraging relevant content to move the prospect along the path with your company until they are converted into a customer.
Value-added content for your prospects
Understanding the Buyer’s Journey allows the creation of content adapted to the maturity of the prospects.
Every good content marketer knows how important it is to fit in with your reader’s expectations. For example, you are not going to send the same content to a "cold" prospect on your prospecting list, to an incoming lead who has contacted you via your website.
In one scenario you have to generate curiosity about your solution and the problem you are solving, in the other, you have to convince of the effectiveness of your solution and your ability to satisfy your customers.
Creating content adapted to all the objections, concerns and frequently asked questions of your prospects allows your sales teams to always be one step ahead. At each of their interactions with prospects (prospecting campaign, discovery meetings, creation of the offer, negotiation of the contract, etc...) they have what they need to guide the prospect to the next stage of his journey such as sales scripts, case studies, customer testimonials, interactive content, one-pagers, etc...
What are the main stages of the B-to-B Buyer's Journey?
The notion of customer journey may seem vague. Every customer has a unique buying journey. It is, therefore, necessary, when you map the customer journey, that you adapt it to your target. That’s why we can’t stress enough the value you’ll get from modeling Buyer Personas and their Jobs-to-be-done.
Stage 1 of the Buyer’s Journey: The Discovery Stage
From stranger to visitor: your prospect doesn't know you yet