The B2B buyer’s journey is complex and in flux – for buyers, marketers, and salespeople. Technology, ranging from the ubiquity of the Internet to the rise of marketing automation and customer relationship management platforms, is driving much of this change. With the Internet, social media, and mobile, buyers have new ways to research their purchases, educate themselves on options in the market, and buy products and services.
Forrester Research says that 90 percent of the buyer’s journey may be complete before a prospect reaches out to a salesperson. Marketers have marketing automation, data management platforms, and other technologies to gain insight into and help shape buyer behavior. Ashu Garg, partner at Foundation Capital, estimates that CMOs will be spending $120 billion per year on marketing technology by 2025.
Marketers are often investing in this technology to boost their multi-channel nurturing efforts (via email, display and social advertising), which have become more important as so much of the buyer’s journey has moved online. And salespeople have customer relationship management software and other technologies to optimize the selling process and identify buyers (and influencers) most likely to purchase. According to Forbes Insights research, 55 percent of executives are investing in sales enablement technology to boost sales productivity, and 53 percent are investing specifically in customer relationship management software.
INTRODUCTION Rethink the B2B Buyer’s Journey All of these advances in technology have changed the way buyers, marketers, and salespeople act – and interact with each other. With this research, we have examined how the buyer’s journey has changed, how it has impacted the relationships between buyers, marketers, and salespeople, and – ultimately – how sales and marketing teams must rethink their relationships with buyers and with each other. We conducted a global study that involved surveying more than 6,000 buyers, marketers, and salespeople in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States. (All data in this report is global). This extensive research examined how the buyer’s journey has changed