Thanks to the internet, the landscape of sales has changed forever. Consumers have more power than ever over their purchasing decisions and actively seek out businesses. You can’t expect a customer to choose you simply because you offer a service they need – they have an endless variety of options to choose from. You now have to offer them more in order for them to choose your business.
That’s where inbound marketing comes in and a concept of sales called the buyer’s journey.
What is the Buyer’s Journey?
The buyer’s journey is exactly what it sounds like: it’s the path a buyer takes from prospect to customer. It’s a three-step process:
- Awareness Stage: The buyer realizes they have a problem or need.
- Consideration Stage: The buyer researches options to solve their problem.
- Decision Stage: The buyer chooses a solution.
To put it in context, this graphic from Hubspot breaks down how the buyer’s journey would work for a doctor’s office:
Identifying which stage of the buyer’s journey your prospect is in will let you market to them most effectively. The questions someone asks at the awareness stage is very different than at the decision stage, and you could be turning away potential customers by coming off as too pushy right out of the gate.
What Is My Company’s Buyer’s Journey?
Hubspot has pinpointed some of the questions you need to ask your current customers, prospects and salespeople to best identify your company’s personal buyer’s journey:
- How do buyers describe their goals or challenges?
- How do buyers educate themselves on these goals or challenges?
- What are the consequences of inaction by the buyer?
- Are there common misconceptions buyers have about addressing the goal or challenge?
- How do buyers decide whether the goal or challenge should be prioritized?
- What categories of solutions do buyers investigate?
- How do buyers educate themselves on the various categories?
- How do buyers perceive the pros and cons of each category?
- How do buyers decide which category is right for them?
- What criteria do buyers use to evaluate the available offerings?
- When buyers investigate your company’s offering, what do they like about it compared to alternatives? What concerns do they have with your offering?
- Who needs to be involved in the decision? For each person involved, how does their perspective on the decision differ?
- Do buyers have expectations around trying the offering before they purchase it?
- Outside of purchasing, do buyers need to make additional preparations, such as implementation plans or training strategies?
Once you can answer those questions, you can roll them into a full inbound marketing strategy. For even more inbound marketing tips, don’t miss our 6-Episode Series on Lead Generation Tactics kicking off April 19.
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