How do your customers buy from you? Do you know? And what about these questions:
- What steps do they need to go through to close a deal?
- Who has to be involved?
- What are their fears and concerns at each step of the process?
- What do you need to address that other vendors aren’t to make customers want to buy from you instead of your competitors?
These questions are the essence of buying process research, especially for complex, B2B purchases.
While the questions and their answers are intriguing, many people remain uncertain about what these answers really mean. Here’s some of what people gain by doing this kind of research.
Align your marketing strategy to the customer’s buying process
Today, most content marketing still falls into the “spray and pray” category—marketers put out excessive amounts of content pieces that they believe are “engaging” (spraying), and wait to see if the target audience is interested (praying).
But that tactic just doesn’t cut it anymore. You can’t put out content based on the hope that someone will read it, use it, or contact you for more, because hope doesn’t produce leads or sell products—interactions and sales rep engagement with prospects do.
Buying process research enables marketers to gain deep insights into how B2B buyers are making decisions, and then to plan campaigns that actually promote and move people along that process—getting closer and closer to a buying decision all the time. You can identify key steps and then create content that helps the client through those steps.
Tracking buyers’ involvement with your content
As the prospect goes through the content, marketers can track the customer’s progress and compare it to successful buying processes. This way, marketers know exactly when prospects are actually ready to buy. This means you can hold your reps back until the prospect is ready, and get them to engage at just the right time.
Prepare your sales team
When you understand the buyer’s process, you can prepare the sales team to meet buyers at their point of biggest concern. You can provide them the right tools at the right time. Maybe it is a chart to help think through the problem, or an ROI calculator, or a unique approach to a product demo. Sales people are far more productive when they’re prepared to address the customer’s known concerns as opposed to improvising the entire sale.
This is just a start…
I will provide more posts on this in the coming months, but if you want to see more about buying process research, why it is a good idea, and even some ideas on how to get started, consider joining our hour-long B2B Buying Process Research webinar on September 22, 2016, just follow the link below to sign up now.