Knowing the B2B Customer Journey is one of the central building blocks for generating new customers. With professional support and the selection of the right tools and applications, you can use the customer journey to successfully fill your sales pipeline.
What Is the Customer Journey
The term customer journey means customer journey and originates from the field of marketing. For example, the B2B customer journey describes the path that a prospective customer takes from the first encounter with one's own company to becoming a loyal customer.
It is the goal of the employees in marketing and sales to successfully accompany as many prospective customers as possible on the customer journey until the deal is closed
For this reason, it is important to know the individual phases of the B2B customer journey and to actively involve the target customer at all times. It is crucial that the employees of one's own company always adjust to the wishes and needs of potential customers in order to prevent promising leads from leaving the customer journey prematurely or being forgotten.
The Phases of the Customer Journey
The phases that each traveler goes through on the way from prospect to returning customer in the course of the Customer Journey is an individual process. It is impossible for marketing and sales to plan and follow a separate journey for each individual potential customer. For this reason, a structured approach that outlines the four most important phases of the customer journey is a good guideline for turning prospects and leads into sustainable customers at the end of the journey.
Phases of the Customer Journey
In the digital age, marketing takes place on different channels. So prospects and leads can reach your company via differentiated routes.
The important thing is to pick up the potential customer where they are and actively lead them on.
Because the B2B customer journey has become more complex, employees in marketing and sales should be specifically geared to recognizing the right signals. Each touchpoint with the potential customer serves a different purpose and should be used accordingly in the appropriate phase.
Touchpoints during the Customer Journey
Every situation in which a prospective customer comes into contact with one's own company is a touchpoint. For an optimal customer experience, the customer should be accompanied before, during and after the purchase and picked up via various touchpoints.
Touchpoints along the customer journey
Before the purchase
During the purchase
After the purchase
Each of these individual touchpoints will result in a reaction from your leads or customers, which can be positive or negative.
Be aware of the possible touchpoints and actively shape them. This way you increase the chance of giving your leads a positive experience.
The Decision-Making Process in B2B
When selling B2C products to end consumers, the decision to buy is often made spontaneously and quickly. In contrast, the buying process in B2B is a longer-term and more thought-out process. This is especially due to the fact that the B2B customer journey is often a purchase decision that involves a larger investment.
These Factors Accompany the Course of the Customer Journey in the B2B Segment
Complex products that require explanation
Long decision cycles for potential customers
Several decision makers are involved in the purchase decision
Great need for information on the part of the final decision-maker
For marketing and sales staff, this lengthy process requires a great deal of tact and negotiating skills. It is therefore all the more important to meet the potential customer at every touchpoint through personal contact and to keep them well informed.
Peculiarities of Target Group Analysis in B2B
Finding the right target customers for your own company in the B2B segment is much more difficult than marketing B2C products, for example. Here, it is not a matter of spreading product information widely in the hope that the right prospective customers will contact you by chance.
The B2B sector is much more complex and therefore requires a precise target group analysis.
If the B2B target group is not precisely defined, wastage occurs and valuable resources are wasted.
The exact analysis of the desired customers in the business sector usually results in a small and select group of interested parties. For the B2B customer journey, it means that only a few target customers are at the beginning of the journey and marketing that is designed for the masses is not targeted.
Tips & success factors for target group analysis in the B2B market
Scan not only the company and its demographics, but the entire buying center of the company.
Use personalized targeting to avoid wastage.
Keep track of the long decision path in order to send or follow up with the relevant information at the right time
Create a Buyer Persona
The more precise and detailed the data of your target customers are, the better you know your persona, the greater your chances of success. Your marketing team can then launch targeted and relevant marketing campaigns and lead your ideal customers through the customer journey to the purchase decision.
Buyer personas are a critical tool for B2B lead generation. They help you understand your ideal customers and address their pain points before you present a possible solution.
This gives you an overview of the different target customers for your entire product range.
It is proven that only a few customers buy a product after the first contact. Many customers often contact a company up to eight times before they make a purchase decision
That's why it's important to know your personas and pick them up early on in their customer journey with exciting and relevant content.
Customer Relationship Management in B2B
In digital Customer Relationship Management (CRM), data about the potential customer is collected from the very first contact and reflected in meaningful profiles.
This way, the sales department already has a good level of knowledge about the interests and preferences of the contact during the first conversation with a qualified lead.
Customer Data Platform
To avoid the emergence of data silos, the Customer Data Platform (CDP) is a good solution for the efficient management of your B2B customer journey. Here, customer data and important information are brought together centrally in order to obtain uniform customer profiles for the customer journey as a result.
The information stored in the Customer Data Platform is easily accessible to marketing and sales staff and is at a consistent level.
The advantage of the Customer Data Platform lies in its flexible handling. Data can be collected, evaluated and utilized via different channels.
The ability to use different sources and information channels makes the Customer Data Platform a central source of information on an up-to-date basis. At the same time, it is also possible to access the stored customer data via different channels. This ensures up-to-date information that can be easily accessed at any time.
KPI Examples for B2B Companies
As in every area of the business, the marketing and sales segments must also undergo permanent monitoring. In sales, success can be measured relatively well by closed orders or sales figures.
With B2B marketing activities, determining key performance indicators (KPIs) is much more difficult. But here, too, sales revenues are well suited as a basis for measuring effectiveness.
With the help of these evaluations, statements can be made about the effectiveness of marketing campaigns that have been carried out.
Winning new customers in the B2B sector is a permanent challenge for companies. With the B2B Customer Journey, you have a target-oriented tool at hand to actively accompany your potential customers along the customer journey and convert them into paying customers.