The Ultimate Guide to the New Buyer’s Journey – Part 1: What is the New Buyer’s Journey?
We’ve all seen the stats from Gartner and Forrester by 2020, more than 80% of the buying process will occur without any direct human-to-human interaction. As a result, organizations need to rethink their customer engagement strategy. This means if you have not evaluated your customer’s buying journey to understand how it has changed and how you should align to it, you may be left behind. The average firm leaves millions of dollars in revenue potential on the table by waiting to respond to this changing buyer’s journey. Together, we can help you take that home.
What Is the New Buyers Journey?
New and innovative channels are playing a major role in the way customers purchase goods and services, and this landscape is evolving rapidly. Furthermore, the data to provide deeper intelligence about customer needs, preferences, and behavior is widely available (although often difficult to identify and even harder to integrate).
Organizations that are winning in today’s environment are building digital channels and data analytics into their go-to-market strategy in order to dramatically improve the productivity of their sales and marketing resources, thus increasing revenues, reducing costs, and improving the customer experience. Understanding the digital landscape is essential for marketers to understand this journey and learn how to segment customers.
How Is the Journey Changing?
Part of understanding the new buyer’s journey includes understanding the main areas where the journey is changing. The Internet has created an information landscape that companies can no longer control, pushing SEO and other efforts to the top of the marketing heap. These tactics are important because they ensure that you’re the source for company information.
Being that source of information is important because:
- 57% of the buying process is complete before a prospect reaches out to a sales representative.
- 67% of buyers find the majority of their information online, instead of from sales.
- 76% of B2B buyers are looking for unique content that addresses them and their stage of the buying journey.
- 95% of all buyers prefer companies that provide engaging content that speaks to customers’ needs and values.
How to Segment My Customers
The new buyer’s journey is digital and that means there is a steady stream of data available about your potential customers. This information provides the best route for making changes in how you segment customers.
When building a segmentation strategy, there are some key considerations:
- Make clear pictures — Sales teams can best use persona information when it creates a firm picture of the individual’s attitudes and buying scenarios. Personas allow your sales team to optimize their script for conversions, and high-quality personas can also help secure executive buy-in when trying to expand your software.
- Have a conversation — Understanding the new buyer’s journey also includes learning how to talk to customers as they continue down the path. The digital space allows the buyer to control much of the journey, so your sales team needs a conversational approach to meet the buyer on their own terms.
- Build for the future — To make money, segmentation strategies need to be flexible enough to allow for continuous design. The initial design is focused on sales campaigns, and continued usability requires adjustment based on how campaigns are executed and how success is measured.
The ultimate goal is to take information from these millions of touch points and integrate them with your CRM, transaction history, social data and other identifying pieces of information. If the customer is willing to show you the stage where they entered the new buyer’s journey, you can then apply segmentation at that point. While analytics can eventually fine-tune your strategy, one of the best ways of initiating segmentation tactics involves a clear strategy around touch points and journey stages.
What does the new buyer’s journey look like and what should organizations do about this rapid change? Read our whitepaper on The Ultimate Guide to the New Buyer’s Journey for a holistic look at the journey.