Issue: 16
Date: December 2019

Buyers Journey and Evolution

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The B2B and B2C buying journeys have changed drastically in the last decade. Recently, both purchasing acts of consumers and company executives have changed considerably with the digital age. While the consumer product purchases of individuals turned to use of e-commerce sites, the purchasing flows of organizations mainly included researching on the internet for information and multiple options, beforehand.

In both areas, the impact of typical salespeople are diminishing. In the 90s, information about the product would mostly be shared face-to-face or on the phone by salespeople, whereas, today even details can be accessed via blogs and videos found on the internet in a very short period of time. This proves how powerful being found on the internet via websites and search engines is, for the vendors.

When we divide the purchasing process into stages, we can evaluate it as: 1) Awareness 2) Evaluation 3) Decision Making. At each stage the needs of the purchaser are separate. It is also often the case that B2B sales will involve more than one person’s decision. This makes all stages more complex for a company, as various authorities contribute opinions from their angle.

One of the most common mistakes made is to attempt to close the sale when a buyer in the awareness stage. Also, repeating information for awareness during the decision making phase is a common repellant. Providing information targeting each stage on a website and managing the process with sales, marketing people is often the most effective way to go.

The phases for the vendor can be summarized as 1) Attract 2) Convert 3) Close 4) Delight, according to Hub Spot. SPIN (Situation - Problem - Implication - Need / Payoff) relatively an old method, was created by the research of 35,000 successful salespeople. It is still effective for companies that have long sales cycles.

It should also be remembered that the sales decision is ultimately an emotional process. Therefore, impact of brands on individuals, their experiences during purchasing process, and emotional content conveyed in marketing campaigns (for example, intensely shared ‘viral’ videos) are extremely effective in purchasing decisions. It is possible to create a multiplier effect on these sales stages with creative and effective web content.

Customer tracking systems (often called CRM) that are used by sales people should be practical, useful and user-friendly applications that do not take too much time to enter information. They should help organizing and executing sales and marketing activities, instead of just generating mechanical standard reports for managers. With the digital age, buyer funnels are no longer linear and predictable. It will be more and more necessary to use an ever changing, flexible, agile digital systems to follow up with clients.


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