Some people call it “the customer lifecycle.” Others know it as “the buyer’s journey.” No matter how you refer to it, knowing where your users are in the sales funnel is crucial to converting leads into customers.
What is the Buyer’s Journey?
Simply put, the buyer’s journey is the progression a person takes from discovering your brand, to becoming a customer. When marketers understand a buyer’s actions, they can help them move from one stage of the sales cycle to the next. Successful website design encourages the user’s progression by having tailored call-to-actions aimed at each stage.
We’ll break down the three stages of the buyer’s journey and discuss call-to-actions that speak to each.
The first stage of the buyer’s journey is awareness. At this point, the buyer may not even know they have a problem, or that your company can solve it.
Imagine this, while casually reading a blog post, you find the post’s subject matter is all too familiar. You’ve discovered that something your company has struggled with in the past—is actually a common problem. The blog has spoken to your company’s pain points rather than trying to sell you a product or service. The result, they’ve allowed you to discover your company’s problem on your own.
During the awareness stage, buyers are looking for information. They have questions. Make sure your website provides the answers. According to Fashion United, 88% of US consumers research products online before making a purchase. Customer reviews, specifications and testimonials provide valuable information for those seeking as much data as possible.
Awareness call-to-actions: Create an informative, downloadable whitepaper. This can be taken from a blog post, industry report or customer review. Brand the document with your company name and logo and provide key contact information. Try to avoid the heavy sales pitch in favor of an invitation to have a conversation. Becoming a source of credible information that aids in their research allows you to build a foundation of trust.
During the consideration phase, the buyer is now aware of your brand and your services. Now begins their second round of research; in which they look to determine which company to do business with. Only now they’re approaching it with the advantage of being better informed. They know they’re in need of services, and they’re comparing your company with other service providers.
As the buyer starts to zero-in on a decision, it’s important to differentiate yourself from other vendors. Why should they come to you instead of Company X? What makes your company unique? What advantages will the buyer enjoy if they choose your company? Remember, the person performing the research and gathering the data may not be the person making the ultimate decision. You’ll want to ensure that your site speaks to the decision-maker. Include information about your pricing and what they can expect to see as a return on their investment. Speaking directly to cost while sometimes uncomfortable, can be a determining factor in the consideration stage. It’s not always the least expensive option that the buyer chooses. Often, it’s the company that best explains why they are worth the added expense that wins the job.
Consideration call-to-actions: At this stage, your call-to-action should place the focus on relevancy. Talk to your strengths. Whitepapers aimed towards buyers in the awareness stage address their pain points using broad strokes. Targeting buyers in the consideration stage lets you paint a picture of why you’re the best choice available. Invite them to download a case study that illustrates your company’s innovative problem solving. Now is the time to position yourself as an industry leader. Be the light that sparks their imaginations. Allow them to envision what you could do for them.
The buyer has assessed their options, have gotten approval from upper management and are ready to commit. By this stage the buyer is well versed in both the problems they have and the solutions for them. The research they’ve performed has provided the data necessary to get this far. Hopefully you’ve provided the information the buyer has needed throughout their journey and now your expertise will pay off.
At the decision stage, it’s helpful to define what happens next. Outline what it means to become a client. When will the work start? How long will it take to complete? Are there additional costs associated with the project? Define your company’s processes for onboarding, implementation and development. Finally, tell them what they can expect after the project has completed. Tell them how life be easier after they’ve chosen you. Detail your commitment to customer service and support once the product has been purchased.
Decision call-to-actions: Just because you’ve helped the buyer reach the decision stage doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to close the deal. It’s still important to provide call-to-actions that leverage thoughtful content to convince the buyer to purchase. Here, engagement translates into action. Embed a form with language like “start your free trial”, “get an estimate” or “join now”. Additionally, you can offer demos, webinars or additional testimonials. Think about the concerns that a buyer may have before purchasing. Is there anything you can offer to make the decision to choose you easier?
Each stage of the buyer’s journey presents opportunities to speak directly to the buyer. Carefully consider what you want to say as well as its usefulness. Becoming a trusted resource is the first step in developing long-term relationships.
Just as providing useful information is paramount, so too is the way that it’s delivered. You should consider your website to be your most effective salesperson. Developing a website that speaks to all three stages of the buyer’s journey leads to increased conversions.
Also, it’s crucial to remember that when a buyer completes their journey, it doesn’t mean they’re done with you. Follow up with your clients after they’ve purchased. Find out how satisfied they are. They may be able to share information with you to help improve call-to-actions. Who knows, you may even be able to transform them from a customer to a super fan. 92% of people say they trust recommendations made by friends and family over traditional advertising. So, when people speak positively about your company or your services, it carries a lot of weight!
Thanks for reading! If you have more questions about the buyer’s journey or how Trueline can help your business excel, get in touch.