Understanding The Buyer’s Journey – Part 2

Mark Donnigan

In the previous article, we tackled the Steps in the Buying Journey. The buyer will trust the company that provides the most helpful information to answer critical questions.

In part 2, I share other factors to help you achieve greater B2B sales success.

Channels of Information

The salesperson used to be the only source of information the buyer had access to. Today, information can be obtained from multiple channels, starting with the internet. In fact, most buyers are channel-agnostic. This means that they do not care where the information comes from, as long as they get the information they need. 

Vendors do not have a monopoly on information as they once had. Now, customers are just as likely to get critical insights on technology and vendor decisions from peers across the industry as from the companies supplying products and solutions.

To cope with the changing demands of today’s buyers, a fundamental change has to happen. Heads of Sales or Chief Revenue Officers must not only be leaders of salespeople – they should also be leaders of the problem-solution definition and presentation. And this involves all channels that can facilitate the buying process.

Aside from managing the team, sales leaders must also be involved in how information in different channels is presented so that there will be coherent messaging between the sales team and other marketing channels. 

In addition to measuring the sales performance of each team member, sales leaders must be well-versed in understanding and evaluating metrics of online or digital engagement platforms. This will give them an essential window into the buyer’s interests and concerns as they navigate the different tasks of the buying process and stand ready to supply buyers with relevant information at each step of the journey.

In short, sales leaders must be information purveyors and information connectors. As their roles require them to anticipate the customer’s needs, they are well-positioned to provide answers that will make the buying process for their customers easier. They also have to make sure that buyers will continue to be engaged so that they can push for more thorough discussions that will ultimately help them achieve a higher percentage of closed/won status reports.

Strengthening Digital Channels

The process of buying and selling has always been an interaction between people, thus the need for sales reps. You will be forgiven if you think that digital channels are of lesser importance in B2B, but the truth is that there has been a trend massively favoring the use of digital channels by buyers during the whole purchase process. 

Gartner data shows that buyers are now using vendor websites and sales reps equally, yet, they spend just 17% of the sales process time talking to sales reps!

Let that sink in and contrast that to the 27% of the time spent conducting research online.

Considering this fact, along with the increased probability that the buyers we are working with are digital natives and more comfortable with digital channels, it’s not surprising that an astounding 44% of millennial buyers say they prefer zero interaction with sales reps.

Given this preference for digital engagement and that 50% of individuals in the workplace are digital natives, it would be irresponsible not to align and strengthen your marketing information and messages to tell your story better – e.g. what’s the problem that you are uniquely positioned to solve?

In the following article, I will share the last factor that helps you achieve greater B2B sales success. It’s the Buyer Empowerment is Key. I will share ways to empower buyers, how this “Dark Social” works, and why it is important in modern marketing.

Here's a video that helps marketers identify a super-strong tactic for community building.


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