Many business owners dream of the day they can send out a piece of marketing and have a buyer immediately make the decision to purchase. Unfortunately, this kind of compulsive purchase rarely happens in the B2B world. With so much on the line, any B2B buyer is going to be extremely particular about what they decide to spend company money on.
Since a B2B purchase typically has higher risks and costs associated with it than a B2C transaction, marketers need to create more thorough strategies. In a B2B purchase, it is important to fully understand the decision-making process that occurs at each stage of the buyer’s journey.
In this article, we'll take a look at what the buyer’s journey looks like, what decisions the buyer will need to make, and some of the things you can do to help speed the process along. Let's get started!
- The B2B buyer's journey is longer and more thorough than that of the B2C buyer.
- B2B buyers are doing online research prior to connecting with a salesperson.
- They will look for more data, statistics, and examples to convince other company decision-makers that your product or service is the right choice.
1. B2B Buyers Conduct In-Depth Online Research
The internet makes it easier than ever for us to find the information we need to solve our problems. This means that buyers in all industries and departments—including those in the B2B world—are turning to the web to research products or services that may be able to provide a solution.
In fact, 70% of the buyer’s journey is complete by the time they reach out to a company. This means you need to provide informative, educational, and interesting online content for them to browse through during their research phase.
Your website and social media pages should be full of easy-to-access resources. These should help your buyer understand how you can solve their problems while also making the decision process easier.
This pricing table from MailChimp is an example of informative and educational content a buyer would like to see before they contact the company. It helps them clearly understand what they can expect to pay for the features they’re looking for. When they reach out to the company, they might just have a couple of questions, or may have already decided which plan is right for them.
2. B2B Buying Decisions Often Involve Multiple People
When marketing to a B2C buyer, you typically only have one or two decision-makers involved in the purchase. This doesn’t typically apply in the B2B world, and a company may require many individuals to sign off on the purchase of a new product or service.
This means you need to create marketing materials that assist multiple people through the buyer’s journey, all with different factors influencing whether or not they support the purchase. For example, the CFO of the company will be interested in how the purchase will affect the business financially, while the CEO will want to see how it can move the business towards achieving its larger goals.
Once you’ve sold your direct contact on the product or service you’re offering, don’t be afraid to ask what information they need to convince the next person in line. Have as much information as possible prepared ahead of time so you can deliver it in a timely manner.
3. B2B Buyers Care More About the Details Behind the Pitch
Things like statistics, case studies, and educational support are incredibly important to a B2B buyer. They have so much riding on the success of your product or service, especially if it's difficult to switch to a competitor down the road. They’ll need to know you’re capable of providing their company with the complete solution they’re after.
You need to create the right materials to convince the buyer that your product or service is tried and tested and straightforward to use or implement. You can do this through offering them statistics, providing case studies, and showcasing your educational material up front.
For example, the HubSpot Academy provides a plethora of trainings and tools to help its users. They can easily access the HubSpot Software Training page and watch videos about the various tools available. Having these materials readily available assures the buyer they're getting a complete solution.
Bonus: Building Strong Relationships is Crucial to Closing Sales
As a marketer, the B2B buyer requires a bit more nudging than a B2C buyer. As mentioned, they'll want to know more details, and will therefore likely ask questions, request various forms of content, and take time to make a purchase. This is where building a strong relationship is crucial.
If you’re able to establish a solid connection with your audience, you can better provide them with the information they’re looking for. You’ll understand their needs, problems, and concerns, and know just when to share the perfect content.
Don’t try to guess what your audience is looking for. If you’re not sure what they need or how you can help, don’t be afraid to ask them questions. Pay close attention to social media, forums, and search engines to see what your audience may be looking for and create the content to fit their needs.
A successful B2B marketing strategy comes down to making a connection with the right person—it just takes a bit more convincing. Once you understand the unique challenges that the B2B buyer faces during their decision making process, you’re able to provide them with the content they need to move to the next phase of the buyer’s journey.
Let’s recap the four things you should know about this journey and what you can do to prepare for them:
- B2B buyers are doing lots of research on their own, so you need to create the appropriate content to feature online.
- Have multiple forms of content ready so buyers can convince other company decision-makers your products or services can solve their problems.
- B2B buyers care about data, so use statistics, case studies, and educational tools to convince B2B buyers to make a purchase.
- Building strong relationships is crucial to closing sales, so it's important to listen closely to the individual needs of the buyer.
Which of these tips will you be applying to your B2B marketing strategy first? Let us know in the comments section below!
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