3 Critical Oversights that Are Killing Your B2B Customer Journey
The B2B customer journey is a fascinating concept.
While the basic principles are relatively similar to B2C, the sheer depth and number of variables is much more extensive. This is because the B2B customer journey typically involves an organization, rather than an individual consumer. That said, the customer journey will likely need to account for several key parties and decision makers. When marketing a B2B product or service, you are tasked with juggling all these factors and coordinating them in a way that paints a winning picture across the board.
With more variables in a customer journey, there are more opportunities for error. From the awareness stage all the way to advocacy, a single snag can quickly throw everything out of whack. Let’s discuss three common oversights that can (and will) wreak havoc on your B2B customer journey.
Your Website is Ranking for the Wrong Keywords
Over 90% of online experiences start on a search engine. When it comes to raising awareness for any product or service, the bare bones of your strategy should start with keywords. If you are optimizing your website’s content for the wrong terms and phrases, you are raising awareness to the wrong group.
Perhaps the biggest telltales of this are your bounce rate and time-on-page numbers. If the bounce rate is high and the session duration is short, it likely means people are finding your site online, then quickly realizing it’s not what they are looking for. If this is the case, it’s probably time to revisit your keyword strategy.
For example, let’s say you provide accounting software for small businesses. Upon conducting some keyword research, you are going to want to incorporate related terms and phrases within your website content.
Now, in what is perhaps more important than ranking for the right keywords, is making sure you don’t rank for irrelevant ones. Using the accounting software example again, you wouldn’t want to rank for queries related to accounting classes or educational programs (unless, of course, you offer those.) In this case, you would need to let Google know which negative keywords you do not want to rank for on searches.
Ultimately, no customer journey can exist if the right sets of eyes aren’t being drawn. Incorporating the right keywords into the mix is one of the best and most foundational ways to do this.
CRM is not Properly Integrated with Your Website
In a B2B customer journey, interactions are rarely one-and-done. Success in B2B sales is extremely dependent on your ability to build and nurture relationships for the long term. With this in mind, there needs to be a high level of recognition when one of the key decision makers interacts with your website. The purpose is to have a faster, more efficient, and uninterrupted management of leads.
First off, a website with a well-integrated CRM will register a visitor from the initial touch via an online form. From here on out, every single interaction is recorded to ensure there are no gaps in communication throughout the long customer journey.
This will do a lot to minimize the need to establish context and avoid the risk of losing critical customer information. Every time a visitor has to re-establish who they are and why they are there is another opportunity to second guess what you offer.
Secondly, an integrated CRM gives you the ability to personalize your content to each visitor/decision maker. If you look at all the stats and trends surrounding web personalization, you’ll surely understand how powerful it can be in moving people around the customer journey.
As your CRM gathers data from each interaction, you are able to use this to trigger content that plays to each person’s needs and preferences.
In this day and age, CRM needs to play a primary role in how you nurture B2B leads.
When a returning visitor arrives on your website for more information, they should be welcomed and treated like an old friend.
You’re Focusing on One-Dimensional Pain Points
The golden rule of business is to know thy customer.
Knowing your customers to a point where you can sell to them all comes down to your understanding of the common pain points and ability to promote a substantial solution. Now, in a B2C scenario, this is more or less apples-to-apples. People buy coats because they don’t like being cold. People buy the latest smartphone model because their old one is outdated and slow.
On the contrary, B2B pain points will vary across an entire organization. Let’s say you are selling a video animation software to an advertising agency. There will likely be a handful of key decision makers within the company, each of which have different sets of pain points in regards to what you are offering.
For example, perhaps the vice president or CEO of the company needs to sign off on the purchase of this software. Their pain point might be something along the lines of the current software not providing a good ROI. So, your approach would need to account for the software enabling animators to accomplish more in a day, and therefore, drive more revenue.
Address The Pain Points More Effectively
Another key party you would likely need to appeal to in this scenario is the accountant. The pain point here is relatively similar to that of the CEO, in regards to feasibility. In your approach, you need to promote components like easy payment plans, quick returns, etc.
Most importantly, you need to prove that your solution remedies the common pain points of the people actually using it. In this case, it would be the animators, creative directors, and everyone else on the front lines.
You need to show how your program will make their day-to-day easier and more productive. While this would be the most obvious group of pain points to play to, focusing solely on this area will lead to a disconnect in your customer journey. And will likely not be enough to sell to the other stakeholders.
Keep in mind, B2B pain points will not be restricted to your product or service. The B2B customer journey DOES NOT end after a sale is complete.
Many organizations would certainly tell you that customer service and support is one of the biggest factors in whether or not they buy B2B products and services. Unfortunately, a report by Accenture found that only about a quarter of B2B companies truly excel in this area.
As you can see, the customer journey here is full of diverse, individualized pain points. If you want your customer journey to equate to sales, you need to account for each of them.
Over to You
A stellar B2B customer journey is a code that is not easy to crack.
There are all kinds of unseen variables and nuances that simply do not exist in your run-of-the-mill B2C customer journey. If you are a newer company, chances are, there are many lessons in your future that you will have to learn the hard way.
However, regardless of your situation, if you are easy to find on the web, can accommodate customers on a personal level, and have an in-depth understanding of the pain points throughout an organization, you will be on the right path to providing a highly profitable customer journey.
Do you have any tips you’d like to add to the above? Please let us know in the comments section, below. Thanks!
You may also want to read: Use Customer Journey Mapping To Master Customer Experience
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