B2B buyers go on a long journey before they reach their final destination. If you want to ensure that your company is where they come to ‘rest’ at the end of their journey, you need to have a good understanding of how they made their way to you.

The B2B buyer’s journey can be a complex one, and consumers will consume a lot of content before they start making inquiries and decide to make a purchase.

In this article, we’ll look at what exactly the B2B buyer’s journey entails, so you can plan your marketing efforts to accommodate your target audience every step of the way.

What Is the B2B Buyer’s Journey?

Essentially, this is the process that consumers go through so they can become aware of a service or product. Once they’re aware of it, they will evaluate it and compare it to similar options. If they’re satisfied, they will proceed to make a purchase. These days, most of the buyer’s journey takes place digitally.

That’s a very simplified description of the buyer’s journey and a lot of things happen during these steps consumers take.

To get buyers to end their journey with you, you need to understand their journey. When you’ve got a clear picture of the B2B buyer’s journey, you can improve your target audience’s experience, offer them more value, and improve your conversion rates.

Difference Between B2B Buyer’s Journey and B2C Buyer’s Journey

B2B companies and B2C companies have many differences, and they’re reflected quite clearly in the buyer’s journey. 

Target Audience

The audience that a B2B company targets is not at all the same as the one a B2C company will be focused on. B2B companies are selling to teams rather than individuals, and every member of the team or group will likely have input in the purchase decision.

Typically, between one and six people are involved in the B2B purchase process, so the decision-making can take a lot longer and be far more tedious.

With B2C companies, individuals make the buying decision, so decisions can be made quickly and it’s easier to convince one person to buy than it is to convince a group.

Deal Size

In most cases, B2B transactions are much larger than B2C transactions. This is true when it comes to the order size as well as total revenue per customer. Although these transactions can take longer to get to a point, they’re worth a lot more money per sale.

This means that B2B companies can afford to spend more money to acquire leads, but the lead generation process must be more precise.

Sales Cycle

The sales cycle for B2B companies is a lot longer than it is for B2C companies. This is because you are selling to a large team of people with opinions and preferences rather than one individual.

That is why it’s essential for B2B companies to provide all the necessary information about a product or service upfront. Don’t make your target audience need more details and prolong the process.

A B2B sales cycle can sometimes be up to 12 months long, which is not something that typically happens with B2C sales cycles.

Customer Connection

Most marketers feel that B2C marketing is more emotional than B2B marketing and that the latter should have a logical approach. However, that is not always the case. 

Many B2B customers are emotionally connected to the vendors or service providers that they support. Although logic still plays an important role in the B2B buyer’s journey, the relationship between B2B companies and their customers is more long-term, so this emotional connection makes sense.

After all, B2B buyers have to find the providers they trust the most and feel is a better fit for their unique needs.

The Stages of the B2B Buyer’s Journey

Every step of the buyer’s journey is important, so it’s essential that you’re familiar with all the stages involved.

Awareness Stage

This is the first step in the journey and it’s when a person or group recognizes that they have a problem that needs a solution. They will identify the challenges that they’re facing and ask themselves if they need to take action.

It can also be seen as the stage when you make your potential buyers aware of your product or service. There is a lot of opportunity in the awareness stage and rather than wait for your target audience to start their buyer’s journey, you can start it for them.

Use marketing to reach your audience and show them how you solve a problem they may not yet know they face. At this stage, you shouldn’t be focused on promoting your brand or company, but on discussing your buyer’s pain points.

Consideration Stage

The second stage of the buyer’s journey happens when they have defined their problem and now have to research the ways they have to solve it. Consumers will be using general search terms to find out what their options are.

The buyers will be able to understand when vendors offer the solutions they need and when they don’t meet the requirements. They’ll eliminate the vendors that don’t offer them what they want and narrow their search down to a few top contenders.

Having the right resources on your website can be helpful at this stage. Give your potential buyers all the information they need in the form of analyst reports and whitepapers. Make it easy for them to determine that you’re giving them the best solution to their problems.

Decision Stage

At this point, the buyer is ready to make a decision and choose the vendor they feel will offer them the best solution. 

Your sales team will play an important role during this stage. It’s crucial that they have in-depth product knowledge and can communicate effectively with your target audience. They should be able to gently persuade the buyer to buy your product or service.

Purchase Stage

The final stage in the B2B buyer’s journey could come after months of communication and deliberation. The buyer will be ready to commit and your team will have all the paperwork ready.

The terms of the deal and the price will now be in discussion. A drip nurturing program can benefit your company so you can attract buyers who are ready to make a purchase.

Guide Customers Through the B2B Buyer’s Journey With GoingClear

Now that you know more about the B2B buyer’s journey, you can start planning what actions you need to take at each stage to improve your sales. Responding appropriately can make a big difference to your marketing efforts. You may need experts to show you the way.

GoingClear is a group of dedicated experts in web design, development, marketing, and strategy located in the Boston, MA area. We can help you make the most of the buyer’s journey so your company can benefit in many ways. Contact us today to find out how we can help you!