So you’ve created a buyer persona for your ideal customer. Awesome! That’s your target, and you know exactly what their motivations, pains, and questions are.
The only problem is, your persona is a moving target.
Your customers are on a journey, and if you’re going to engage them with the right content at the right time, you have to know where they are and what they’re looking for at each moment of their journey.
Otherwise, you’re just shooting in the dark.
The Buyer’s Journey
The buyer’s journey is your road map that lays out each of the steps your persona takes as they move from the Awareness stage to the Consideration and Decision stages. Without this map, you have no way of knowing how a prospect moves through the sales funnel, and your marketing strategy is hit-and-miss at best.
No matter what your business is, your sales funnel includes the Awareness, Consideration, and Decision stages. But within each of those stages are multiple steps that your persona will go through as they are nurtured towards the sale. The steps are unique to your product or service, and they may even vary from one persona to another.
The buyer’s journey helps you get the biggest ROI out of buyer personas, because it lets you see exactly what a persona is doing, asking, and feeling at each step, and it helps you see which step you need to lead them to next.
The ROI of the Buyer’s Journey
A buyer’s journey helps you build out your inbound marketing strategy in several key ways.
If you know your persona, you understand their pains and questions. But the questions they have at the Awareness stage won’t be the same questions they ask at the Consideration or Decision stage. The buyer’s journey tells you what content you need at each step so you can engage a lead’s specific questions or pains at exactly the right time. Every piece of content should be created for a specific point along the journey and it should lead the prospect to the next point.
When you map out how a buyer engages with your company during the sales process, you’ll get a bird’s-eye view of your workflows. You’ll clearly see each workflow’s goal, and you’ll be able to map out how various workflows work together to nurture your prospects more strategically through the sales funnel.
Smarter Calls to Action (CTAs)
Use the buyer’s journey to identify your most important CTAs. Which points on the journey are make-or-break? What CTAs do you need to be sure your leads get to those points successfully? When should you use those CTAs?
More Impressive Attention
When you know every step a buyer will take towards a sale, you can anticipate their next need, even before the prospect knows what it is. This lets you provide content that answers the questions they’re about to ask and it sets you apart from the competition as a valuable resource that “gets” your customers.
What Should You Include in a Buyer’s Journey?
To get the most value out of your buyer’s journey, make sure it includes the following information:
- Activities. What are all the steps the buyer will go through along the way? How will they engage with you? What will they do between interactions with you? Keep it customer-centric: outline all of the buyer’s steps, not the sales team’s.
- Questions & objections. List all the questions they’ll ask at each step and capture all the friction points and objections they’ll have.
- Deliverables. What passes between you and the prospect? This could include RFPs, spec sheets, SOWs, sales collateral, etc.
- Dependencies. Make sure you know what must be fulfilled before the prospect moves to each next step.
Now you can put your buyer’s journey into action and start engaging your leads with the right content at the right time. You’ll get more data to help you refine your workflows, then you’ll increase your ROI for your personas.