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What is the buyer’s journey?

The buyer’s journey is a series of stages that a buyer follows to purchase a product and/or service. At a high level, the buyer’s journey includes different stages, such as the awareness, consideration, and decision stages. 

A clearly understood and defined buyer’s journey can help sales and marketing teams become more efficient and precise while nurturing and prospecting leads. Sales and marketing teams can also become more effective by tracking leads based on the buyer’s journey stages.

Stages in the buyer’s journey

Stages in the buyer’s journey can vary depending on factors such as a company’s products and/or services or their industry. For example, if a company has a long buyer decision process, sales and marketing teams could lay out more clearly defined stages of the buyer’s journey. These stages include the following:

Awareness stage

In the awareness stage, the buyer realizes that they have a problem or a desire. A wide range of factors can trigger a realization of a problem or desire. 

For example, a marketing director at a small company could realize that they need a more efficient way to organize their company’s disjointed workflow. Because of their problem, they might seek out a project management tool. 

Consideration stage

In the consideration stage, the buyer shows interest in finding a solution and gathers information surrounding their problem or desire. 

After consuming content and learning more about the available products and/or services on the market, the buyer will narrow down the options to solve their problem or fulfill their desire.

Decision stage

In the decision stage, the buyer chooses a solution that will help solve their problem or desire. At this point, the buyer has considered different options and chooses a solution that best fits their situation.

Creating a buyer’s journey-driven sales & marketing teams

A clearly defined buyer’s journey can improve the process, brand messaging, and content marketing efforts of an account-based marketing strategy. 

Since buyers have different motivations in each stage of the buyer’s journey, buyers react to different messaging and consume different content depending on the stage they’re in. 

For example, earlier in the buyer’s journey, buyers will most likely react to more broad, high-level messaging. As the buyer moves throughout the buyer’s journey, they will consume more and more defined, in-depth content. 

Each stage in the buyer’s journey can guide strategy for sales and marketing teams. Marketing and sales teams can deploy specific content at each stage of the buyer’s journey to move the buyer to the next step.

Tracking leads through the buyer’s journey

Once a buyer’s journey is defined and utilized, sales and marketing teams can track leads based on a buyer’s interactions. 

Since the types of content a buyer consumes can indicate their position in the buyer’s journey, marketing website content can be tagged and tracked based on what stage of the buyer’s journey it’s deployed in. For example, high-level blog posts can be tagged in the “awareness stage,” and white papers and research papers can be tagged in the “consideration stage.” 

Once a marketing team sets up this type of tracking, website interactions with their corresponding buyer’s journey position can flow into a CRM tool and/or marketing automation tool for further nurturing and analysis.

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