by Kati Manninen, September 17, 2018
The customer buying journey has changed forever, and not only in the business-to-consumer sector. B2B buying is transforming in parallel with B2C, as decision-makers are also human beings who expect a smooth sales process that comes with a seamless omnichannel experience, even when they are shopping for new, complex solutions to help grow their business.
Forrester reports that more than 70% of the B2B customer journey now involves no contact with sales representatives. The fact is, people are searching for information whenever and wherever — and you aren’t even aware of it.
For you to be on your potential customers’ radar, you need to know how your customers make decisions, what makes them tick. You need a good understanding of what kinds of problems they are trying to solve. You need a 360 view of your customers.
When customers finally do contact you, they expect you to have a good grasp of their business and their needs. If there have been previous encounters, they expect you to know how those went. They want a seamless experience that naturally develops from the digital touchpoints to a personal, in-depth discussion.
The good news is, you likely have the data to answer all those questions and conduct a thorough customer journey analysis. Just dig into your CRM (customer relationship management) system and website analytics, and talk to your sales reps who keep in touch with the customers. You need to get on top of your data game.
90% of B2B customers say content on vendor’s site has an effect on their decision. Customer journey analysis can help you provide better content.
Data is a powerful tool that helps you understand your customers’ decision journeys, what they need and what you must do to get close to their hearts. By using data, advanced analytical tools and AI, a sales organization can make decisions faster: Where do the greatest returns come? What resources are needed to win the account? And which should we prioritize to drive sales?
Data can also help you with the next crucial part — content — to assure your success. According to Forbes, 75% of B2B buyers admit that the winning vendor’s content had a significant impact on their buying decisions. CMO Council’s data reports that 90% of B2B buyers say online content has a moderate to major effect on purchasing decisions.
Customers increasingly expect to find comprehensive information on a provider’s website, content that educates them on how to tackle their business problems. They also look for reference cases that highlight benefits others have achieved, thanks to you. They need to see you can deliver on your promises.
But content is not just blog posts, examples and basic product information. You also need to provide useful information such as stock availability, sales terms and customer-specific price lists.
Aligning marketing and sales — plus customer service and all those who communicate with customers — with a thorough customer journey analysis will make life easier for your organization and your customers. Making purchasing easy creates new ways for added value. And your data and content can facilitate better networks and ecosystems that benefit the customers even further. We are more than happy to help you with all this.