The Changing Buyers Journey

With all the  content available to your customers, the B2B buyers’ journey has become longer and more complex than ever before. 43% of marketers agree that their B2B sales cycle has increased in length. The time of systematic sales campaigns that could consistently close a proportion of leads has passed. That is why the marketing and sales process must be tailored and targeted to your audiences in order to attract the right traffic and, perhaps more importantly, keep them engaged.

Keeping traffic engaged is all about getting potential leads the information they want at the correct time for them. Many companies today are struggling with accomplishing this because buyers have changed in two major ways: First, buyers are better informed. They know that they can learn a lot about your company and your product without even engaging directly with your marketing or sales team.

In fact, it’s increasingly common that a buyer could be through 90% of their buyers’ journey before they even contact a salesperson (See image graphic courtesy of Ardath Albee). What does that mean for your business? It means that your buyers are participating in a journey outside of your control.

Buyers do not have time to completely engage with your company all of the time. Distractions happen, and if a buyer needs to work for a piece of information they will either lose interest, try and find it a different way, or provide you with false information. For example, if a lead needs to call a salesperson to learn about pricing, he/she might be tempted to look for that information elsewhere to avoid talking to someone on the phone. To keep that lead engaged, they might want to use an online tool like EchoQuote™ to get the information they want easily.

The way many companies are purchasing items has also changed. It is estimated that at least two people are responsible for B2B purchases within a company. Often, this number is larger if shareholders are involved. This means businesses are no longer your leads: the people responsible for the purchases are, and they are going to have individual needs from your marketing and sales teams.

B2B sales cycles are inherently long because they require multiple touch points, have higher price points, and are generally highly technical in nature. Still, despite the availability of big data and tools designed to help shorten sales cycles, the B2B buyers’ journey has continued to increase in length over the past three years, and this trend will likely continue.

Looking for a way to reach your buyers at any point along the buyers journey? Click here to learn learn how can help your business today.