Update from ICON regarding COVID-19

A recent study revealed that buyers can be up to 90% through the buyer’s journey before ever engaging with your sales team. In fact, they won’t even email or call you until they are ready to talk cost. What a challenge this poses for B2B Marketers!

So how are potential customers finding out about your business and making their consideration decisions through the buying cycle – ONLINE. The entire B2B buying cycle up to the point of purchase is being carried out online without you even knowing about it. That is, the customer’s entire awareness, consideration and evaluation of your product are taking place online. So how can you ensure you are present at each stage of the B2B buying cycle and giving the customer what they need to move forward with purchasing from your business?

Let’s start with looking at the first three stages of the B2B buying cycle and what online activities you can undertake to ensure your product is included in their research.B2B Buyers Journey

So, does the customer even know your brand? Traditionally, awareness campaigns involved the use of mass media – TV, magazines and trade press. However in the online world, Awareness can mean Google. How high does your product or business rank for keywords that are critical to your business. Can you easily be found online? If you don’t appear in the first page of Google search for your product or service, then odd’s are you won’t even be part of the customer’s awareness. You should look at investing in an SEO or Online advertising program to ensure you are being found online.

So you’ve passed the first step, the customer has found you. Now they need to know what you do and how you can help solve their problem. Your company website will play a major role in this research stage. Does your website easily communicate all the features and benefits of your product/ service and does it clearly differentiate your business from competitors? Your website should be a wealth of information for the customer including research, content, whitepapers, datasheets, feature lists, product videos and a clear call to action of what they should do next.

Once, you would have been called by the B2B Purchasing officer and requested a demo of your product/ service as part of their evaluation stage – and at this meeting you would have the chance to tell the buyer all the features and benefits and sell the uniqueness of your business. However in today’s world, the B2B buyer is more likely to want to see what others have thought of your product before ever speaking to you.
They will scour review sites, social media and find everything that has been written about your business – good and bad – thanks to the internet. Here’s where your active social media and interaction on trade forums and review sites should be used. As not only will the customer find any negative comments about your business, they will also see how you reacted and responded. So make sure you aren’t just ignoring negative reviews or comments online – respond to customers, tackle the problem.

It’s imperative you use your digital assets to sell your company and your products. Know what customers are viewing on your website and reading about you online so you are with the buyer along each stage of their B2B buying journey.