How to influence B2B Buying Journey - Case Study, Insights and Best Practices

Most of the advice you see round about B2B buying journey, is repackaged and recycled. The concept of a buying funnel is 125 years old. The first reference of "create demand" was in 1907. Let's look at B2B buying journey in detail.

Updated on
September 19, 2023

If you’re trying to get in front of buyers for the first time when they are ready to buy, you’re too late.

Unless a company truly understands what buyers value, how they gather information, and how purchase decisions really get made, sales efforts will fall short.

buyer journey diagram

According to a survey by Bain, 80%–90% of the b2b buyers, depending on what they are buying, have a set of vendors in mind before they do any research. Just as important, 90% of them will ultimately choose a vendor from the day one list.

Now this is very important metric in the b2b buying journey to keep in mind for any b2b company.

In 2023 buyers are as knowledgeable about the technology or product as the salesperson. Sales then become more of a facilitator role, focusing on commercial terms, delivery/implementation schedules, and support/services. If I, as a buyer, know what I want, why do I need a salesperson to hold my hand all the way along my buyer journey?

The days of marketing and sales controlling the buyer’s journey are long gone — but that’s something of an open secret in the B2B industry. In the era of self-service and anonymous buying journeys that rely on peer recommendations and social media insights, marketers must stay on their toes to increase their brand’s agility and relevance of responses. A critical component of this modern buyer’s journey is the continued rise of buying groups and committees, which include several members across all departments in a business.

Respondents to Demand Gen Report’s “2022 B2B Buyer Behavior Survey” indicated that the average buying group consists of:

  • One to three members (41%);
  • Four to six members (36%);
  • Ten or more (14%);
  • Seven to nine (10%)

It’s clear that buyers want a vendor who can speak in a highly targeted, relevant way to their specific market. The research shows that the traditional idea of nurturing a brand and providing buyers with a guided journey is a thing of the past — instead of tracking buyers’ actions and delivering relevant content, the modern buyer has flipped the script with self-service demands. After a buying group has decided they want a specific solution and has a list of their potential vendors, they’re demanding specific information — putting the onus on B2B marketers to increase their agility to stay relevant.

As B2B buying increasingly moves online, both the substance and the scope of seller behavior will have to adapt in order to stay relevant, focusing increasingly on Sense Making and Change Enablement. Meanwhile, sales leaders will have to substantially rethink their role. Too many sales leaders today perceive themselves to be the leader of sellers rather than the leaders of selling. Undoubtedly, customers are migrating decisively from in-person channels to digital alternatives. Sales leaders must not cede their deep expertise in sales effectiveness to functions more classically owning these digital channels.

B2b websites and new digital channels must be purpose-built to drive sales performance, justified by a simple truth: customers learn and buy digitally.

Ultimately, sales is about selling. Irrespective of whether the role of human involvement in sales decreases overtime, selling must still happen one way or another; the channel (human versus digital) is merely the means, not the end. No question, the future of sales is different. Change is coming to the function — change in which heads of sales are takers, not makers. But that doesn’t mean leaders can’t adapt in response, and the best ones have already begun.

Buyers want to progress through some obstacle. And they have more options to make this progress. Marketing and sales succeed when they understand the specific progress buyers want to make, and why these challenges exist in the first place.

Get insights on your customers, ideal customer profile. Find out what they want, their journey and their expectations.Then comes messaging, including website messaging and tactics.

B2B Marketing in 2023

B2B marketing is now about showcasing expertise and building trust before the first call with sales reps. Your promise to your customers is a critical part of your brand identity. In turn, this sets in a customer's mind the value of your brand.

While brand marketers are trying to make people feel something at the top, and the performance marketers are trying to get people to act at the bottom, their customers are in the middle, trying desperately to understand; unmoved by the brand unless they understand the value and unmotivated by performance unless they understand the brand.

Here are three things to consider:

  • Be interesting. Creativity matters. If the context is right, the concept is fresh, and its craft is beautiful, people will pay attention.
  • Make value clear. Once you’ve got people’s attention, don’t waste their time with tired tropes and bloated metaphors. Help them understand why they should choose you. You can entertain and demonstrate at the same time.
  • Justify the decision. Post-decision, don’t give people a reason to loop back and agonize over yet another sprawling consideration set. Romance the hell out of the product. Contextualize it so it makes perfect sense. Make them feel great about what they’ve put in their cart.

Additional Reading: The B2B Marketing Puzzle: Rethinking SMART Goals with Jade Tambini

B2B buying increasingly moves online

In the podcast 20 sales, Kevin Egan the Global Head of Enterprise Sales at Atlassian says "85% of Slack's enterprise customers (customers with over 1,000 seats) started in self-service." This is a very important statistics in terms of how B2B buying is changing.

Here is an interesting video by Kale.

Facts about the customer journey in B2B:

  1. It's not linear and simple. It's a complex, multidimensional mess.
  2. There's no such thing as impulse buy - unless you have a $49.99 price tag.
  3. No single channel can be fully responsible for the conversion.
  4. And yet, that is what most attribution software suggests.
  5. No single team can be fully responsible for the conversion.
  6. 95% of B2B buyers are not in the buying mode.
  7. 5% of buyers who ARE ready to buy usually choose one of the few vendors they're most familiar with.
  8. Word of mouth, referrals/recommendations from friends, colleagues and community are the biggest driver of conversions.
  9. To understand your customer journey, use software attribution (HockeyStack (YC S23) reveals the most touch points on it), self-reported attribution, and talk to your customers.

Source: Ognjen, Demand Lead at Honey Stack

How website design is changing with the shift in B2B buying journey?

We are living through a fundamental shift in B2B SaaS marketing. Influencers and creators, a group many executives thought limited to B2C Instagram, are now adding millions in revenue to SaaS companies. Communities and word of mouth is playing a huge role in B2B buying journey.

In a B2B prospect's journey, your website homepage is just the tip of the iceberg.

The only real questions you need to answer on the website, to get a prospect to book a meeting are:

✅ What is this product?

✅ Is it meant for me?

✅ When would I use it?

You're just trying to get them to understand what you do!

Pricing page of a B2B website

Your pricing page is the 2nd most important page on your b2b website. Some SaaS companies are moving aways from transparent pricing on the website and its a bad idea.

Notion — Their transparent pricing strategy enables them to dial in their product messaging to align on the perceived value of their target customers.

While there is no silver bullet...

🤑 Showing your prices turns your value messages into value propositions.

And when this proposed trade is clear...

🧩 It is much easier to solve for your ideal pricing strategy.

pricing strategy of b2b product
What is Value Proposition of Notion?

Many prospects use it as a go-to resource for learning about a product and deciding whether to try it. In my experience, an optimized pricing page can lead to increases in signups even as you raise prices.

Show “product capabilities” rather than “benefits” (since there is so much ambiguity around “benefits” as it relates to talking about ROI, business cases, outcomes, etc.). So rather than a feature list, you’d share the capabilities (i.e. what people can DO with those features) - “tell a story about what the customer can do with the feature”

How to Build Your Business Case In Sales? Tell a before-and-after customer story.
How to Build Your Business Case In Sales? Before and After Customer Story

How we used before and after customer story in B2B website design?

B2B Website for Nimble Edge
How to Build Your Business Case In Website? Tell a before-and-after customer story.
B2B Website for Entropik with Before and After Customer Story
How to Build Your Business Case In Website? Tell a before-and-after customer story.

Webflow uses before after customer stories to improve buyer's journey

Before and after customer story of Shift - Website strategy for better customer conversion
Shift's before and after story captured by Webflow
Before and after customer story - Website strategy for better customer conversion on Webflow Website
Before and after customer story - Website strategy for better customer conversion

Product Positioning is everything

First check, which personas are your buying champions 🤔

Even when you sell to a “buying team” you have just ONE buying champion.

This person has a ‘personal interest’ in buying your solution.

Everyone else is just a stakeholder, with veto powers.

(Ingeniously pointed out by April Dunford in her positioning podcast.)

👉 Veto power holders have “no personal interest” in buying your solution.

👉 They never speak to your sales like their life depends on it.

👉 They never visit your website.

👉 They simply pose objections to your buying champion.

👉 They block the purchase if they feel your product can make their life difficult.


🙎‍♂️ Users can veto it….if they feel adopting it will be a pain.

👨‍💼 Budget holders can veto it…if they feel the cost is difficult to justify.

🙎‍♀️ IT can veto it…if security and integration seem to be a challenge.

👩‍💼 Procurement can veto it…if they get competitive quotes from others.

👨‍⚖️ Legal can veto it….if they feel there is a compliance risk.

Hence, your website messaging must focus on convincing the CHAMPION. And arming them to get a YES from various stakeholders ✅

B2B Marketing Consultant Jade's observation about the shift in B2B Buying Journey is very interesting

B2B buying journey - people asking in LinkedIn for reviews
1. Pricing seems to be a key element along with the features.
2. Social Media is playing a huge role in B2B buying journey.

~ 27% of B2B buyers would spend up to $500k through a hybrid sales model or digital self-service.

~ 73% of B2B buyers would spend up to $50k.

Also according to McKinsey: hybrid selling is expected to be the dominant sales strategy by 2024. (But how we interpret that is far more than just switching in person sales meetings for Zoom). B2B buyers are increasingly comfortable with digital and online channels.

They use up to ten channels for purchases, double the number from five years ago. Buyers now prefer these channels because they offer fast and easy access to information and subject-matter experts.

They no longer want to wait for in-person meetings and can engage with experts more frequently. Even in 2021, over two-thirds of B2B buyers opted for remote human interactions or digital self-service throughout the sales process. The “digital self service” is a very important point that highlights the idea “I don’t want to speak to a person unless or until I ABSOLUTELY HAVE to! ”

These shifts in buyer behavior require organisations to rethink their sales models.Moving from in-person to Zoom meetings was a significant change, but there is much more to be done. In the hybrid, increasingly competitive world of sales, those B2B organizations that act proactively to get the right talent in the right roles will lead the way in revenue growth.

CEO of Revenue Hero jumping into a LinkedIn Conversation
CEO of Revenue Hero jumping into a LinkedIn Conversation
customers recommending products on social media
Customers sharing product reviews on social media - New B2B buying journey

B2B Buyers now want self-service options

And they only want to speak to reps when necessary, not for everything. Meaning competitors who provide information digitally are more likely to make a sale than those who don’t. “But relationships are the foundation of B2B”.

Trust, not relationships, drives sales. In the past you could only get trust built on a 1:1 basis because there was no other option. But today, the options exist and buyers want to be served online.

Building trust through mass consulting, like watching explainer videos from subject matter experts and making sure that for all pain points that exist there are answers online easily found, can be as effective as conversations. To meet buyer expectations now and into the future, sellers must offer in-person, remote, and digital self-serve interactions. Understanding buyer needs and developing digital experience models are crucial. Most only offer the first two - which pretty much means “if you want expert information you’re going to have to speak to us”.

But with 64% of B2B buying groups comprising Millennials and Gen Z, who prefer digital channels, this trend will only accelerate.Gen X leaders will have to make the necessary shift, or we may need to wait for Millennials at the top for change to come about.

Source: Jade's LinkedIn post

What are the changes in Marketing Approach to adapt to the new B2B buyer journey?

Conventional wisdom tells marketers to lead with benefits over features.

For instance, if you're Loom you would say, "reduce time spent in meetings by 50%" rather than, "record yourself and your screen to share videos with teammates asynchronously." - Austin

But lately, marketers like Anthony Pierri 🎸have been challenging this.

A recent survey on digital transformation in manufacturing (a field flooded with SaaS products, and therefore, marketing), seems to back up the need to lead with FEATURES.

Executives in this survey didn't want to know how digital transformation will affect business growth. Why? They probably already know that. Or at least, they're sufficiently sold on the concept. Therefore, leading with ROI might not be the right move. Plus, it's undifferentiated. Instead, these executives want to know WHAT technologies they need and HOW to use them. To communicate this, you'll need to talk about FEATURES.

This isn't to say there's no place for benefits. It's not either/or, but it is a question of what's most important.

Leading with benefits and ROI does three negative things:

  1. makes you look like everyone else
  2. hides the differentiating parts of your product
  3. makes you seem less believable
Features or Benefits?

1. Calendaring tools replace demo request forms

Any demo request/talk to sales will move to calendaring tools that eliminate friction and allow the prospect to schedule time without engaging with a BDR first

2. Ungate the content, please

I am convinced there is no piece of content you can generate that isn't more valuable in this environment ungated. Get as many eyeballs on your content as possible, eliminate friction, and provide a better experience with your brand.

3. Intent & web de-anonymizers eliminate need for Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) content forms

Leverage intent tools and website deanonymizers to identify accounts in market and stop your over reliance on BOFU form submissions. Ungate those Gartner MQs everyone!

4. Social sign-in capabilities eliminate need for dedicated landing pages & forms

Capabilities like "sign up with google" negate the need for traditional forms in front of even personalized demo environments. Social tools like LinkedIn's "complete with LinkedIn" eliminate the need to link out to your dedicated landing page with your high friction form on it. Try to find the efficiencies for your users and leverage them.

5. Customer experience & trust

Customers are becoming more and more sensitive to data privacy. They know what you're going to do with their email address & phone number and forcing them to give it to you starts the relationship off on a bad foot. Build trust and familiarity with your brand as one that is genuinely trying to help solve their problem by making your valuable content available freely.

6. Marketing attribution has changed

If you're a B2B marketer and you haven't begun educating and influencing your leadership & board that attribution and the role of marketing is changing, you need to. Follow thought leaders like Chris Walker and Dave Gerhardt who give away tons of great insights on how the role of B2B marketing has changed and how old-school attribution is incentivizing the wrong behaviors, focusing marketers on tracking every engagement instead of creating demand for your service and preference for your brand.

What are the benchmarks companies should consider while studying B2B buyer journey?

- Customer journey length

- Company size vs. speed of the deal

- Company location impact on the customer journey

- Amount of stakeholders involved in B2B deals

- How much does a first touch impact customer journeys?

- How much of the customer journey goes without the seller?

- How does tracking data influence revenue reporting? 

- How many touches does the B2B buyer make before purchasing?

Source: Dreamdata

How product messaging and website messaging can help in this new B2B buying journey?

Improving your messaging can increase your cashflow by at least 66% and bring in an additional $2,000,000 on a $10k ACV product.

What impact can improved messaging have on your cashflow and pipeline?

Plenty, says Andrew Hatfield from Deepstar Strategic

Your revenue and speed of growth is heavily influenced by

- Win Rate %

- Number of Qualified Opportunities

- Sales Cycle Length

- Average Contract Value

Obviously the number of qualified opportunities is a huge factor your results. That is most impacted by your Demand Creation efforts. But what if we just looked at your Win Rate % and Sales Cycle Length. For a SaaS product that has a $10,000 Annual Contract Value, if you could improve your messaging the impact is going to be substantial.

Take this fairly standard example of an average performing SaaS vendor; A SaaS company wins 15% of their qualified opportunities. Their time to sale is 90 days - again fairly standard for a $10K ACV product.

With improved messaging, it is easy to increase your win rate from 15% to 25% and reduce your sales cycle from 90 days to 60 days. The impact on your cashflow and pipeline velocity, the amount of money moving through your pipeline, is huge. You can deliver a 66% increase in revenue - an additional $2,000,000

That's before you even take into account the increase in qualified opportunities because your demand creation, capture, and conversion efforts perform better.

What else does this mean? Your sales productivity increases. Sales people are expensive - so you want them efficient and bringing in deals. Messaging is an underrated lever you can control to improve your business in the next 90 days.

Messaging needs to have clarity, distinctiveness, and relatability. The short answer is talk to your customers. The longer answer is translating the pain of their unmet needs to the outcomes you deliver in such a way that you capture their attention and connect at an emotional level.

Michelle Picoto pointed out that it’s also worth pointing out the difference between messaging and copy. Messaging is core to your business and buyers. Copy is the expression of your messaging in the channels that make sense for your business. Copy is not a one-and-done. You need to find the expression that moves the needle now, and keep tweaking it as things change for your buyers. The way you ensure that it keeps resonating with your buyers is, as Andrew mentioned, understanding your buyers constantly.

42-step example of a buyer journey, including 85% of steps NOT SHOWING in your analytics software


1. A marketer sees a friend’s comment on my LinkedIn post, reads it, and likes it

2. I send an invitation to connect, thanking him for the support

3. He accepts

4. I thank him for the connection, and mention our free Trenches –B2B marketing community

5. The marketer joins, but keeps lurking 

6. Occasionally, he shares posts on his company’s Slack channel 

7. Andrei announces a partner webinar with a MarTech vendor used by the marketer’s team


8. Marketer joins the webinar to learn about ABM (account-based marketing) 

9. After the webinar, I send him a video message and share a content hub with the slides, a couple of case studies and our ABM framework 

10. The marketer shares the content hub with his CMO

11. The CMO checks out our case study 

12. Based on content analytics, I connect to the CMO, and ask what she thought about it 

13. The CMO remembers the case study, but decides it’s not the right time and ignores my outreach 

14. She starts seeing our posts on her feed, but never engages


15. The CMO gets critical feedback about ROI, and ambitious KPIs for the next year 

16. She sees a post about our summit, and asks her marketer to join and collect ideas 

17. The marketer attends our session about full-funnel marketing 

18. He shares a screenshot of our framework with his CMO


19. After seeing our framework shared by her marketer (and seeing our content and brand several times in the past), the CMO decides to check out our website, and recognizes one of our clients 

20. She reaches out and gets a positive recommendation 

21. She asks the marketer to book a call with us

22. After the discovery call, I share the content hub with the proposal along with a few key pieces of buyer enablement content 

23. The marketer presents our proposal, but gets a critical question about ROI he doesn’t know how to answer 

24. He stops responding to our follow-up


25. Andrei engages with the CMO’s recent post, and follows up with a LinkedIn message, inviting her to our podcast. She agrees to join 

26. During the pre-production interview, he asks her about their challenges and priorities (to get the business context), and agrees with her on the topics to discuss during the main podcast interview.

27. After the main interview, Andrei reminds the CMO about how our proposal can help solve the challenges and help with priorities she shared in the pre-production interview. She shares her concerns and critical questions 

28. We agree that we’ll help the marketer work out the business case

29. With the marketer, we create the business case, share a relevant case study and references 

30. CMO asks the marketer to check two more references 

31. After positive reference checks, the CMO books a call, and asks a few more critical questions 

32. We agree to start with a simple, low-ticket alignment and planning sprint


33. During the sprint, we help drive internal consensus and alignment, and get the buy-in for a marketing plan to reach their new KPIs 

34. The CMO decides to hire us to guide the implementation, and gets an approval for the first quarter


35. The company starts landing accounts with 5X larger ACV than previous marketing-sourced deals 

36. We invite the CMO to speak in a “live case study” webinar 

37. We start conversations with a few attendees, and activate a stalled deal with a prospect


38. We turn the webinar into a detailed case study 

39. During the debriefing call, we collect insights about missing elements, and strategic priorities 

40. We prepare a proposal to support the team with their strategic initiatives

41. We share the proposal with the exec team, along with the case study, testimonials of their team members, comparing the performance with previous year’s results, and share the forecast of the larger program and how it will contribute to the company’s overall objectives 42. We work with the CMO until she gets an approval for the larger plan

Source: Step-by-Step Guide to Modern B2B Buyer Journey and How to Influence it With Full-Funnel Marketing

Is Inbound the best way of marketing in 2023?

A common trap = thinking inbound is the "BEST" way to do marketing.

5 reasons inbound is overrated:

1. Lots of terrible, terrible leads

How many times have you entered "123 fake st" or when filling out a lead form? I've done it and I know you have. But even when they're real, you'll get a ton of poor-fit leads. A drag on everyone's time.

2. It takes forever

Multiple quarters - best case. Sure, you can get some quick wins on the board. but it's a long game. If the biz needs marketing to produce impact ASAP, inbound is the wrong answer.

3. Out of your control

A personal example. I use an inbound strategy for my fractional practice. Some months I get 15+ DMs from founders. Some months I get 3. But I know people that outbound only (ie: zero inbound) -- they have 10 discovery calls every month, because they have a repeatable process.

4. Gets you obsessed with the wrong numbers

Because it takes forever, and is out of your control for a while, marketers can get stuck reporting on pageviews, impressions, email db size, etc. This is one of the reasons why marketing has an awful rep in most orgs.

5. Doesn't work for enterprise

Can inbound help here? Sure. But is outbound, or a named account approach faster and more effective approach? Almost always yes. Also, ICP matters. CTOs don't make buying decisions from reading a blog post, no matter how good it is.

6 Key Takeaways on B2B Buying Behaviors from Demand Gen Report

  • The length of the B2B purchase cycles increased compared with a year ago, with 20% saying it was a significant increase.
  • The majority of B2B buyers (59%) report that there are more than three stakeholders involved in their purchase process.
  • The top resources that inform 88% of buyers continue to be online web searches and vendor websites. These findings stress the importance of ranking in SERP, delivering a frictionless experience for website visitors, and continually improving your B2B website messaging.
  • There’s a good chance they may have already selected an ideal vendor without the vendor even realizing it, while outreaching or evaluating.
  • Pricing, reviews and features are the top three variables when evaluating solution providers
  • More than two-thirds (68%) cite “knowledge of our company and its needs” as the top reason for choosing a winning vendor over others. Not far behind is high-quality content that speaks to their pain points, demonstrates knowledge, and shows potential ROI.

Key findings from a Gartner report about B2B buying journey

  • Rapidly shifting buying dynamics, fuelled by digital buying behavior, is reshaping the strategic focus of sales organizations. Few sales organizations are responding with appropriate urgency.
  • Chief sales officers (CSOs) must engage in a fundamental mindset shift from leader of sellers to leaders of selling, embracing digital-first go-to-market.
  • Progressive sales organizations will rapidly innovate digital selling models, leveraging the associated analytics advantages to engage customers in a far more coordinated fashion through all routes to market.

Recommendations from a Gartner report to successfully navigate the evolution of B2B buying over the next five years

Heads of sales should:

  • Rapidly build digital sales experiences to support customer self-learning on the array of complex considerations associated with their products, services, and above all else, the customer’s change journey.
  • Shift organizational focus from sales professionals as the primary commercial channel toward digital sales channels to invest in developing rich and valuable customer decision support.
  • Accelerate beyond foundational analytics capabilities (such as, clean data, integrated data markets) toward AI-powered insights, fueled by customer engagement data to provide next best action and coordinated proactive actions to better retain and grow customer accounts.
  • Build ecosystems of support for customer Change Enablement, including guidance on key buying considerations, but also broader project/initiative guidance to help ensure decision complexity is minimized and customer decision confidence is maximized.
  • Embrace a Sense Making sales approach among sales professionals, positioning their unique value-add to help guide customers to decision confidence, minimizing uncertainty over competing perspectives and alternate actions.

Map who is on the buying team and the different sources of value for each

Bain has organized the 40 distinct kinds of value that B2B offerings provide customers into a pyramid with five levels. The most objective kinds of value are found at the base, and the higher a level is, the more subjective and personal the types of value it contains. It was important to know how to measure—and deliver—what business customers want.

Map who is on the buying team and the different sources of value for each.

How much does retention matter in the new B2B Buying Journey?

Did you know SaaS companies lose 55% of their users in the first week and 78% in 2 months? According to 2021 State of SaaSOps report, 42% of respondents said finding unused or underutilized SaaS app licenses was one of their most crucial challenges to solve. And indeed, 80% of respondents concede that some percentage of their SaaS spend is being wasted. So it is important to look into the onboarding, and it starts at the marketing stage.

Retention Marketing
Retention Marketing

Retention marketing is about getting your customers to come back. Retention marketing focuses on bringing back your existing user base in order to create habitual users and repeat customers. The goal is to improve app engagement (session length and frequency) as well as business revenue (purchase frequency and average order value).

How much does building trust matter in the new B2B Buying Journey?

When your buyers don't know you, they don't trust you.
And that means you have to work that much harder to build trust (too) late in the buying journey.
Capturing those late stage or out-of-market buyers as leads is why so few convert.

There is trust, and identification, and that puts you right at the top of that shortlist. If you’re trying to get in front of buyers for the first time when they are ready to buy, you’re too late.

Bonus: it accelerates the buying journey astronomically.

Is strategy in B2B Dramatically different than in B2C?

B2B purchases are, on average, higher value than B2C purchases. B2B products can also be more customized or complex than B2C products.

Even though the payor is a business in B2B, you are almost always selling to a specific person or identifiable group of people in that business. And they need to be understood in ways that are similar to those in B2C. And, as Google discovered in 2015, the ‘approver’ isn’t always in the C-suite.

Simplified version of B2B buying stages

  1. Stage 1: The Prospect Identifies a Challenge
  2. Stage 2: The Prospect Begins Researching Options
  3. Stage 3: Request for Proposal (RFPs) are Sent
  4. Stage 4: The Prospect Selects a Vendor

However these four stages of b2b buying journey is not exactly how sales are happening in 2023. Many times brands are coming in front of the prospect even before they identify the challenge. So if you are getting in front of the customer at stage 2, you are already too late.

Different types of B2B purchase

Four factors impact the nature of the B2B buying journey:

  • The amount that will be spent on the product or service. The more a product or service costs, the more stakeholders will typically be involved in the buying journey. These stakeholders won’t necessarily be senior – that is driven by strategic importance (see below). Organizations also have higher expectations around levels of service and customization when buying high-priced products or services. For low-price products, there are fewer opportunities to differentiate. Vendors tend to differentiate through relationships, or by making the purchase as easy as possible for the buyer
  • The amount of differentiation between products, and the levels of product complexity. The greater the differentiation or complexity of a product, the more time an organization needs to dedicate to researching or comparing the different options on the market. More complexity also means that more specialists will be involved in the decision-making process. These specialists can be external to the buying organization, as the individuals within the organization cannot be expected to become experts in the more complex products
  • The strategic importance of the product or service to the buyer. For more strategically important purchases, organizations will involve more senior decision-makers and specialists in the buying journey. Consistency, reliability, and quality also factor into decisions far more
  • Whether the product is a first purchase or a re-purchase. If an organization is repeating a purchase and is likely to stay with the existing vendor, fewer people will be involved, and less time will be required

Additional Reading about B2B Buying Journey