Building a Successful B2B Consumer Journey

Building a Successful B2B Consumer Journey

by Uri Dorot Posted on Jun 11, 2020

You know you need to make a better online experience for your clients, but where do you start? Do you use the traditional B2C journey map even if you aren’t selling to a retail consumer? How do you create a sales funnel to draw your business clients onto your website, while ultimately landing the conversion? If these questions sound familiar, then you are on the right path! By understanding your B2B consumer journey, you can begin to solidify where exactly changes need to be made, what adaptations will benefit your website, and which ones will help your potential clients take the final step.

How You Approach the Client Journey Matters

When a business is looking to purchase products or services, chances are that once they reach your site, they have already spent an extensive amount of time doing research into what they are looking for, the cost versus value, and who has the best reputation for reliability, predictability, and more. If their search has led them to your website, then you are on your way to getting the sale. 

Problems can arise, however, when you take a siloed approach to your customer’s journey. In a traditional approach, your client’s first point of contact would most likely come from your marketing team via campaigns or content. They would then be assisted by your sales team, who may or may not have a complete picture of what the customer’s research has told them about your brand and product, and what ultimately led them to your website. After that, the final point of contact would be with your service team, once the sale has been made. 

The problem with this approach is that it does not show a complete picture of your customer’s journey, nor does it inspire an experience-based brand loyalty. It makes for a very linear B2B customer journey map. This siloed approach to business customer journeys has become outdated and often leads to frustration. 

By taking a multi-faceted approach to the B2B customer journey map, you can address not only their needs, but also build a relationship with your potential client. One important approach is direct consumer engagement through social media platforms and e-commerce platforms, and even through direct customer contact on your site, such as online chats. While these strategies are often seen as the domain of B2C engagement, B2B buyers also enjoy a personal approach—especially as the workforce becomes dominated by millennials who are accustomed to interacting with brands online. By engaging with your potential clients, you are able to better gauge what their needs are and build working relationships with them. 

Another fact to consider is when and where to employ different touchpoints for your customer to follow along their B2B journey. This thoughtful approach gives them not only a personalized journey but also trusted and predictable experiences throughout the purchasing process. One of those touch points should include information about your privacy policy in advance, what data is being collected, and why. This will ease their minds about the safety of your site and the value you place on their privacy, while also meeting government privacy guidelines.

Personalize Each Buyer’s Experience

Businesses are beginning to realize that in order to better understand and relate to their B2B customers, they need a more nuanced approach to the B2B digital customer journey. With a typical B2C journey, the focus is on one customer, who they are as a person, what their needs are, and ultimately how to build a funnel that will get the conversion. All parts are inter-connected and necessary to ensure customer satisfaction. 

When it comes to a B2B journey, the needs are different. You are no longer catering to just one point of contact, but rather several members of a buying team. On average, there will be six different individuals that will be involved in assessing your product and deciding on a purchase. All of these individuals will have different viewpoints and business needs when it comes to what you are offering. 

When it comes to a B2B digital customer journey, all of these points of contact require a slightly different approach, making personalization the key to ultimately land the sale. The linear flow of a traditional sales funnel is no longer common, so you must embrace a many-angled approach. The entire process could also potentially take several months to complete. 

Building the Right Journey Map for Each Buyer

A B2B customer journey map template will help you understand how your buyers think and the steps they take in the sales funnel to reach a sale. This template will provide a solid place to start building and tailoring your customer journey maps to your individual client profiles or personas. 

Traditionally, businesses would determine who they purchase from based on reputation and cost, but things are changing. Many companies are now focused on their experience with yours during the sales process and beyond. A good place to start is to break down your buyers by personas. Each prospective point of contact within a company will have different needs and roles to fulfill with your product. In order to stand out from your competitors, you need to recognize and cater to each of these different personalities. 

Knowing the different roles and their related personas also helps build a complete client profile, allowing you to tailor solutions, pitches, and products accordingly. Building a complete customer profile that addresses the needs and concerns of all individuals involved with the purchasing process shows that you and your company not only care about your client, but also about their needs, thus building a relationship with them. 

With the right software, you can not only track your client’s entire B2B journey, but you can also create a company profile for them that will give all of your teams, from marketing and sales to service, a complete picture of the company that they are working with. 

This can be useful to have on hand when building a B2B customer journey map template. It will also allow your team to create a personalized approach to all of their interactions with the customer. When you create a coherent and unified customer profile, your team will be better equipped to anticipate their needs, and shift focus to what truly matters to your client. 

Getting All of the Working Parts to Come Together as a Team

It is important that all departments have access to your customer’s B2B consumer journey. When information about a client is shared across the board, the sales team will have access to the complete marketing data that may have driven the potential client to your site, this will in turn enable them to focus on your customer’s business needs. Once the sale has been made, the service team will then have access to the same information which will enable them to effectively and efficiently serve your consumer based on their needs and what is important to them. All of this information can then be utilized by the marketing team to create a personalized approach to content and customer events. Each one of these steps makes every interaction with your individual buyers, and the company that they represent, personal and consistent in a way that helps establish a working relationship. 

When dealing with a B2B journey, consistency and reliability are key. With a B2C journey, each customer only represents a small part of your company’s overall income. With a B2B deal, each account represents a large company impact, and the loss of one could have severe negative consequences across the board. That’s why it is important to apply the correct technology and B2B customer journey map template for each interaction with each persona that comes in contact with your business during the purchasing process. Building that template allows you to gain meaningful insight into what your customers are experiencing, where issues may lie, and just what they are looking for. The finalized map, while a valuable guide, is just that, a map. It is often the process of making that map that will give you the valuable insight necessary to align all of your teams to create a cohesive and intuitive purchasing process. 

Customer journeys are never as straightforward as they seem. When it comes to the B2B digital customer journey, there are a lot of working and moving parts to consider and having the right software can make all of the difference between a successful B2B journey and one that is less than desirable. The right journey will build trust and rapport, ensuring that your client keeps coming back for years to come. 
If you are interested in learning more about how Glassbox can help you not only better understand the B2B journey, but also improve it, then check out our guides.

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