Invest in Educating your B2B leads in 2018 if you are going to successfully nurture them in the buying journey.

kennedy andersson learning how to nurture sales prospects using inbound marketing

Being able to provide the means to educate and inform your website visitors will make you stand out from the crowd. Being generic in how you describe your proposition means that you are compared to everybody, a risk in an overcrowded market.

A role that your business must aim to adopt is one of an educator, acting as a trusted advisorIt is a more effective tactic to teach what are the right questions to ask, keeping buyers attentive and able to articulate what their problems are - rather than let your sales prospects do their own research exclusively online and lose trust in you and your motives.

For your sales and marketing to be successful it relies heavily on content creation to get your message across. Potential customers need validation that you are trustworthy, knowledgeable and have authority in what you say.

The best way to support a validation is through the quality and accessibility of the information and content that you as a company distribute and share. And more importantly how third parties share and endorse your insights and advice.

The Buying Journey Goes Digital - Welcome To Change Management

In a world where “content marketing rules”, buyers are more likely to trust third party endorsements rather than from your own corporate sources.

Many B2B companies today continue to be lulled into thinking they’re already doing many of the right things because traffic to their website is high. But the problem tends not to be volume of traffic but more a lack of conversion due to unqualified visitors.

A visitor to your website will probably give you at most three seconds the "blink-test", after that first contact with your site they will have either worked out whether to stay and explore or feel like they are in the wrong place and leave.

Today many technology companies especially are lagging behind the curve when it comes to fully exploiting digital channels and platforms to shape their marketing. And that’s a problem, because the nature of the digital challenge is evolving rapidly and challenging the traditional approach to doing business that many companies are hanging on to.

Doing B2B Business Has Changed – Have You?

Before a sales person has even started to get ready to make contact, prospects are already 57% of the way through the sales process

To run a successful business today you need to understand where your customer's pain aligns with the solutions your business provides. 

At the early stages of the buying process the message needs to show that you understand the problems, rather than prematurely offering a solution - when the buyer may not yet acknowledge that they have a specific challenge.

Creating a buyer persona is critical if you as a business what to start to have a successful digital transformation. Researching a persona helps dig deep into how your ideal buyer behaves and their digital interaction preferences and habits.

When a B2B buyer decides to buy, what might seem like a simple transaction can actually be a intricate set of many interactions, especially when the buyer has a range of alternatives to assess or symptoms they are not sure about.

The B2B buying journey typically has three phases: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision (see below):

mapping content marketing to the buyers journey kennedy andersson

The buyer's journey can be used to pinpoint the behaviour and needs of your buyer personas at each stage of their journey. For example, may be they are just starting out and need to be aware only that they have an issue that needs to be addressed rather than your company trying to sell a solution prematurely.

The Value Of A Sales Funnel

The buying journey is not a onetime process as visitors move between various stages of the buying cycle at any given point in time. For your company, it is vital to keep customers coming back until they are at a point when they are ready to buy.

A sales funnel aids visualisation of the different stages in the buying journey. The structure of the sales funnel will be different for each business, but we can think in common terms of top of the funnel (TOFU), middle (MOFU) and bottom (BOFU). 

The funnel tracks sales prospects as they go from becoming aware of your brand and entering at the top to making a purchase, hopefully becoming an advocate of the brand and dropping out at the bottom. For each stage, there should be changes in the content message and format as the prospects need to consider more specific information to address what is now a clearer challenge for them to solve.

In terms of assessing your 2018 marketing plans and strategy, we have in this blog created resources below to help you understand more about how potential buyers reach your website, how to create your own buyer personas and the kind of questions you need to ask to make sure you understand the motivations of those you consider customers.

A buyer will pass through different stages along their journey, searching for information to meet different needs - download the explanation of those stages and what prospective buyers are looking for.

A buyers journey list of questions on their status and needs

We have created an e-guide with templates to help you develop your own Buyer Personas - download to get started on building a deeper insight of your customers.

BUYER PERSONAS TEMPLATE FOR INBOUND MARKETING

In case you needed to start to research in more detail how buyers reach you, what their pain is and how you can position what you have to offer in the most effective way possible - download our list of 61x questions to deep dive into Buyer Personas.

GET MY OWN PDF 61x QUESTIONS TO UNDERSTAND A B2B CUSTOMER JOURNEY

Take Away

So What Can We Do Together?

Across the entire customer journey, every touch point is a brand experience and an opportunity to influence leads as they become prospects and then buyers as they pass through the sales funnel.

If your company is starting out on a journey of digital transformation review the Kennedy Andersson approach below to see where your company is placed today, and let us know if you need to know more about how to complete that journey.  

digital transformation and complex sales coversion through inbound marketing

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