In today’s buying environment, customers shy away from being cultivated as sales prospects, watching demos, and being closed. Instead, buyers want to educate themselves and make solid buying decisions. SiriusDecisions estimates that 67% of the buyer’s decision takes place before a buyer even reaches out to sales. However, that doesn’t mean that companies don’t have control over buyers’ decisions. Savvy companies can guide and personalize the sales process by understanding the buyer’s journey.
Anytime a person purchases a product, they embark on a journey. Hubspot explains the buyer’s journey as “the process buyers go through to become aware of, consider and evaluate, and decide to purchase a new product or service.” The more complex the product or service, the more important and complex the journey will be. For example, buying a new home will involve a more in-depth journey than purchasing a new shirt. The journey consists of three stages, which can also make up an inbound marketing framework.
In the awareness stage, the buyer is just realizing he/she has a problem that needs solving or a need to fill. He/she may not know the solution to that need, let alone that your company could fill it. Your company can assist buyers with this phase of the process by better understanding their pain points, how they go about doing research on these challenges, and any common misconceptions buyers hold about addressing their needs.
For 72% of buyers, identifying a need leads to Internet research. At this stage buyers are looking for general information such as educational materials to better understand their pain point, customer reviews, and testimonials. As customers conduct their research, they will begin to prioritize their criteria and begin to narrow the types of companies that suit their criteria—or not.
During this stage, buyers have clearly defined their paint point or goals, and they are motivated to address it. They’re also ready to evaluate different solutions or methods to address their needs. Organizations that are aware of the buyer’s journey will begin to consider how buyers perceive the pros and cons of each possible solution and how buyers reach a final decision about which one is right for them.
Buyers will again return to their Internet research—some estimates expect they’ll do so two to three times during their buyer’s journey. They’ll dive deeper into a company’s offerings and do thorough comparisons of each vendor’s solutions.
When buyers are in the decision stage, they are—as you might guess—ready to make a final choice about the solution that best meets their needs. Perceptive companies understand how their offerings stand out from their competitors. This might include items such as start-up costs or customer support. Companies should also understand any potential concerns customers have with their solution, the role of each person who is involved in the decision-making process, and if buyers need to make additional preparations such as implementation plans or training strategies prior to purchasing.
Why the Buyer’s Journey Matters
When your company understands your buyer’s journey, you’re able to meet customers where they are. You’ll be able to avoid the mistakes that turn customers off—like delivering a hard sales pitch—and nurture their buying decision at every phase. For example, to appeal to customers in the awareness stage, you may be able to increase your company’s visibility with SEO. You may also be able to provide content on your website that informs rather than sells vie e-guides, white papers, industry research, or other educational content. Understanding their needs will build trust and will ultimately influence the customer’s purchasing decision. Put simply: Nurturing a lead according to the buyer’s journey gives you the highest potential of converting them.
How LuckyTamm Digital Marketing Can Help
LuckyTamm Digital Marketing works with teams to unpack the buyer’s journey. We research your competition and user experiences to articulate your current clients’ buying paths—and provide insights into how to improve the process. We present this buyer’s journey in a professionally produced booklet that’s easy for everyone on the team to understand. We hope this will provide you fresh perspective about what you’re doing well and how you could improve the customers’ experiences.
If you’re ready to better understand your buyers’ journey, get in touch for a free consultation. Our team can help diagnose and recommend ideas that will help streamline operations and make your process better. Connect with us, today!