B2B buyer journey is evolving fast and so are modern B2B buyer’s preferences and behavior. And in order to be effective in your sales and marketing, factoring these while planning your sales and marketing strategy is critical.
According to Gartner there are 6 buying stages or jobs that the prospect must complete in order to make a purchase decision.
Identifying the problem - Here, buyers are at the awareness stage just discovering their problems, trying to identify them and recognizing that they must be solved.
Solution exploration - They are exploring various options to see how they can resolve and what they can do.
Requirement building - This job requires them to list down all that they want the solution to accomplish.
Supplier selection - They are reviewing various technology providers to ascertain if the solution is the right fit for their requirement.
Validation - By now they have a pretty good idea but they want the security to ensure they have the right choice
Consensus creation - They need to get everyone on board to make purchase decisions.
It’s important to know though that the buyer's journey is not a straight line. In other words, prospects do not follow each job one after the other. There are several individual buyers in a buying group and they all take their own path. They may move inconsistently between jobs in no particular order as they progress towards a decision.
Here are some interesting stats that I found as I was researching online (I will update these regularly) -
1. 77% describe their buying journey to be complex and difficult - Source: Gartner
2. 90% of buyers revisit or loop back to one job or more before completing their purchase - Source: Gartner
3. Consists of a buying group of about 6-10 stakeholders from various departments - Source: Gartner
4. Each stakeholder is armed with 4-5 pieces of information that they have gathered based on respective pain points, needs and goals - Source:Gartner
5. 60% of all B2B tech buyers are millennials (age 25 – 39), and 2% are from Generation Z (24 and younger) - Source:Trust Radius
Buying activities -
6. 27% research independently online - Source: Gartner
7. 18% research independently offline - Source: Gartner
8. Buyers use these top 5 information sources to make purchase decisions: Product demos, Vendor/product websites, User reviews, Vendor reps, and Free trials/accounts - Source: Trust Radius
9. 17% meeting with various sales reps of potential suppliers - Source: Gartner
10. 5%-6% meeting with an individual sales rep of a business - Source: Gartner
11. 87% of buyers want to self-serve part or all of their buying journey. 57% of buyers already make purchase decisions without ever talking with a vendor representative - Source: Trust Radius
12. The number one thing buyers care about on B2B review sites is review content. However, vendors believe the number one thing buyers care about is a product’s score - Source: Trust Radius
13. Buying interactions has increased from 17-27 in 2020 - Source: Forrester
14. Quality content provided by suppliers lead to 2.8x increase of purchase ease - Source: Gartner
15. 3.0x more buyers do high price deals with less remorse when high value content is given by suppliers - Source: Gartner
In a buyer-first world, sales and marketing teams need to expand their focus and take buying experience into consideration. Those who make it easy for buyers to purchase by providing what they want will undoubtedly outperform those that don't.