By Andrew Macey
Understanding the buyer’s journey is a key component for all companies, especially ones that sell VOIP services. In a competitive and technical industry, prospects are inundated with sales calls and marketing collateral on a daily basis, so as a marketer, knowing how your audience purchases is very important. The buyer’s journey is the backbone of many marketing initiatives and dictates not only what content should be produced, but now to effectively nurture new leads and even how and when sales should get involved. As this is so important, we will discuss 4 steps VOIP services companies should take to really understand their buyer’s journey.
1. Identify Pain Points
First and foremost, marketers should work to understand the pain points of their target audience. It’s important to note at what point they are starting to look for a new VOIP solution and what is happening currently that yields this change. The most compelling content on a website is that which is geared towards the immediate needs of their visitors and appeals to their pain points. To understand this, be sure to look into your existing customer base and identify early sales conversations. Knowing these pain points will help to fuel your marketing efforts moving forward.
2. Develop Personas
Once pain points have been identified, the next step is to develop clear personas. These personas are representative of the different target audiences which you will market to. When building these out, it’s important to note which of these personas have decision making power for a VOIP system versus one in more of of an influencer role. Additionally, it can be helpful to rank these personas in terms of level of qualification and which are more likely to purchase. To get a full grasp on your buyer’s journey, you first have to dig into who exactly your buyer is so as to target them correctly.
3. Understanding Information Consumption
Development of the buyer’s journey often leads to content creation, and lots of it. With this next step in place, VOIP companies need to understand how their personas consume information. Determining what platforms their audience uses to gather industry and product news will help your marketing team develop an appropriate content calendar and map these pieces to the different stages of the buyer’s journey. An example here would be to identify certain pieces of collateral that have been effective in the past or has generated a good deal of buzz on the web. This could be a webinar or ebook, or possibly a slideshare presentation that has been viewed many times. Make sure to look at each persona individually and identify where and how prospects gets their information, using that as the basis of your content brainstorming.
4. Map Out The Typical Buying Cycle
As mentioned earlier, the buyer’s journey is the foundation for nurturing leads effectively. Using a marketing automation tool, content can be sent to leads as a way to push them down the sales funnel. In order to properly execute a nurturing campaign however, marketers must have a clear understanding of a customer’s typical buying cycle. B2B sales cycles can often take a few months to close, which is important to note when delaying emails and content to be sent to warm leads. Part of understanding the buyer’s journey is identifying how long leads stay in particular stages of the buying cycle and what content is important to them at each stage individually. When researching the typical buying cycle, work with your sales team and use data within your CRM to get an average timeline from lead to customer.
Here we’ve mapped out 4 important steps that VOIP Services companies should take to fully understand their buyer’s journey. This becomes the basis for all inbound efforts and should be reviewed throughout the year. As service offerings and products expand, be sure to revisit personas as well as the effectiveness of your nurturing campaigns and make any necessary adjustments. What other steps have you found necessary to develop your buyer personas?