The B2B customer journey has evolved, and today’s buyers are seeking out the same high-quality, tailored experience they have in their daily lives. In view of this, many companies are aiming to make their B2B customer journey a point of differentiation.

But how can you tell if your B2B experience is just acceptable or if it stands out? And how can you optimise your B2B customer journey to generate more deals? The answer starts with creating a map. 

It’s essential to understand the modern B2B buyer; they tend to be younger, more digital-savvy, and do thorough research online before approaching any supplier. Because of this, businesses must revise their traditional sales funnel and comprehend where buyers may enter it. Furthermore, due to complex buying processes involving multiple stakeholders, buyers often face a chaotic buying experience. By providing an intuitive, straightforward B2B customer journey, companies can ensure the buyer follows a logical path toward purchase. In addition to paving the way for lower costs and shorter sales cycles on the buyer side, businesses can also benefit from improved employee experience and increased productivity on their end through a smooth B2B customer journey.

Have you heard about customer journey maps?

It’s an illustration of what a customer goes through when buying a product. Generally, B2B buyers progress through these 5 stages – Awareness, Consideration, Purchase, Service, and Advocacy. You can identify useful actions and opportunities to add value for customers in each step. By creating a customer journey map, you get a visual representation of their buying process, so you can make improvements to your sales plan.

10 Steps for Mapping Your B2B Customer Journey

  1. Construct your buyer personas – a virtual representation based on data and research in your customer base, including age, location, job title, and so forth – to effectively view through the lens of different demographics. 
  2. Identify the objectives of various buyers. Different goals and pain points require unique types of content, so your B2B customer journey should be suitable for all customers. Consider how it provides a straightforward path to reaching those aspirations with ease and efficiency. 
  3. Generate a flowchart – this illustrates the actions taken from awareness to purchase, enabling you to recognise any issues such as too many steps at one particular stage. Use quantitative data (Step 9) to detect where buyers opt-out and compare it with what activities they were undergoing then. 
  4. Review your touchpoints – audit them for optimisation and ensure there are clearly defined paths that guide buyers toward their goals. Leverage data for superior experiences as well as an omnichannel journey, make full use of channels like social media, adhering to the personas.”
  5. Note any areas of difficulty or struggles. Now that you’ve examined your B2B customer journey from different buyers’ perspectives, you should have a good feel for how it is performing. You should also be able to identify where the experience could be better. Note down these problem areas so that you can address them in step 10.
  6. Look for ways to add value to the buyer experience. When mapping your customer journey, don’t just focus on bottlenecks and issues – look for chances to make it better too. For example, could automated chatbots enhance the experience? Are there any points where upselling or cross-selling would work? Could you make your brand stand out?
  7. Reach out to your team for feedback. Your reps regularly interact with buyers, so they’re likely familiar with the common challenges they face. Maybe they have ideas on how to boost efficiency and troubleshoot any recurring problems customers have had with the customer journey.
  8. Pay attention to survey feedback too. Once you have gained a good understanding of the B2B customer journey from different personas and your workforce, consult customer feedback on how it could be improved further. Consider not only those who buy directly from you but also end-users of products/services, IT/service teams, procurement teams, and partners such as integrators or consultants – their thoughts may be beneficial in improving the B2B customer experience even more!
  9. Take a look at quantitative data analytics. Your buyers can give you great insight into their journey, but so can your data. Review your analytics to see how effective your funnel is and where customers are most engaged or dropping out of the journey. Your data can tell you things about the customer that they may not have even noticed themselves.
  10. Once you’ve got a handle on your qualitative and quantitative data, you can start looking for ways to add emotional moments that increase loyalty. Look for opportunities to ‘humanise’ the experience and introduce incentives or rewards programs – especially in the advocacy stage. 

Is your digital toolkit ready?

You need to be able to provide personalised experiences through every point of contact, whether it’s online or offline. Use Einstein to automate mundane processes and Sales Cloud to store customer data, log interactions, gain revenue intelligence and give deeper insights into customer preferences.

Smplicity specialises in Digital Transformation and Change Management. Implementations and customisations include Salesforce Sales CloudSalesforce Marketing Cloud Account EngagementSalesforce Experience CloudSalesforce CPQ, and Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud.

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