Revolutionizing the B2B Buying Journey: Key Strategies

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Revolutionizing the B2B Buying Journey: Key Strategies


The Gist

  • B2B buying journey complexity. Involves many decision-makers, causing slow sales and difficulties in remote working environments.
  • Vendor shortlisting challenges. B2B buyers journey now includes evaluating more vendors post-pandemic, leading to delays.
  • Content strategy shift. Bridging gaps in B2B buying experiences by providing diverse, easily accessible content.
  • Sales role evolution. Shifting sales tactics to add value beyond product information in the B2B buying process.

The B2B buying journey is nothing like most consumer purchasing. If you need a new sweatshirt, you’re unlikely to ask the CFO, the head of procurement, Bob who sits on your left, and Cath in the Singapore office for their input.

The sheer number of decision-makers involved in many B2B purchases can slow sales to a never-ending repeat of one-step-forward-two-steps-back. This is made even worse by the fact that more people are remote working than ever. While this may be great for their work-life balance, it’s not so great for snappy purchase decisions. 

There’s also the cost and upheaval involved. The B2B buying journey tends to be into five or six figures, and onboarding new systems or machinery has a knock-on effect on operations. This is truly jobs-on-the-line territory. No one is going to rush things.

And then there’s the question of shortlisting suppliers. More than half (55%) of buyers are considering a larger number of potential vendors for each purchase than before the pandemic, according to research. This is likely due to a combination of risk adversity, increased scrutiny by procurement, and wider access to comparative information. The result? More delays as vendors are evaluated across multiple factors.

So what can you do?

Related Article: Product Knowledge: The Unmined Gem in the B2B Buyer’s Journey

4 Ways to Accelerate Sluggish Sales Cycles

1. Rethink How You Create Content

If you’re relying on a handful of out-of-date whitepapers and a clutch of product datasheets, it’s time to think again. Same for that top-of-funnel ebook with its shaky link to what you actually do. 

Today, you need to make it easy for B2B buyers at any stage of a sale to get what they need — both for themselves and to help convince other decision makers in their companies. 

A hiker's legs are visible wearing hiking boots and clothes waling along a leaf strewn path in piece about the B2B buying journey.
Today, you need to make it easy for B2B buyers at any stage of a sale to get what they need — both for themselves and to help convince other decision makers in their companies. danmir12 on Adobe Stock Photos

This means offering multiple content paths to enable buyers to succeed, whether they are at the very initial needs-search stage or comparing vendors for a short list, and whether they’re a purse-string holder or an end user. 

Often this will mean plugging gaps between what customers want from the B2B buying journey and what you’re currently offering. Some examples from our research:

  • 25% of buyers want to be able to get all the information they need online before contacting a salesperson — yet this is offered by just 9% of marketers.
  • 28% of buyers want to be able to view testimonials, case studies and reviews from named businesses — yet only 9% of marketers offer this on their sites.
  • 27% of buyers want to be able to access references from existing users that they can contact directly — just 5% of marketers offer this.
  • But 42% of marketers do offer pre-recorded demos — shame that less than a quarter (23%) of buyers want these.
  • And 40% of marketers ensure customers get easy access to the sales team — just a fifth (21%) of buyers want this (data source).

Related Article: What B2B Buyers Want, and Ways to Align Your Customer Journeys



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