Buyers typically do not choose to buy right away. An individual has to go through a number of steps before deciding to purchase a new product or service, including awareness, consideration, and evaluation.
People in a revenue organization, (sales, marketing, customer success), can better empathize with the buyer by understanding the buyer's journey, the pains and problems people encounter along the way, and the influencing factors that shape their thinking.
The buyer's journey can be broken down into three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision. Each stage describes what the buyer goes through in their path to purchase.
- Awareness Stage: The buyer is made aware that they have a pain to solve for
- Consideration Stage: The buyer has identified their issue and looks at ways to address it
- Decision Stage: The buyer weighs and chooses the best option to deliver the solution
The buyer’s journey is not the same thing as a sales funnel. It is much more complex than a linear, funnel-shaped process. The buyer's journey belongs to the buyer. Buyers ultimately are in control of how, when, and what they purchase.
First, understand that buyers do not like being prospected, demoed, or forced to choose before they are ready. If offered at a time when they are not needed, these steps are of no value to them.
Things to have ready at each stage of the buyer's journey:
- Create sales collateral that educates and informs them along their buying journey, rather than just selling them a product
- Provide resources to guide them when defining their unique problem
- Convey how your solution compares to direct and indirect competitors
- Give the buyer resources to help them determine the answer that works best for them
- Understand any objections they may have before the sales process to appropriately answer them
- Establish a unique selling proposition that addresses the buyer's needs and sets your product apart from the competition