Follow the customer decision journey if you want B2B sales to grow by Oskar Lingqvist, Candace Lun Plotkin, Jennifer Stanley, April 2013
B2B organizations must focus on the people and moments that matter so that marketing spend turns into real sales.
While B2B organizations have embraced the idea of customer-centricity, many have yet to adapt to the reality of customer behavior. That’s resulted in millions of marketing dollars being misspent and potential sales lost at a time when companies can ill afford it. In fact, our work with more than 30 marquee B2B organizations around the world shows that half or more of all marketing spend is misaligned, going to areas that do little to influence the purchasing decisions of top customers and providing little help to the sales people calling on them.
To right that train, B2B organizations need to develop a much deeper understanding of the modern Customer Decision Journey (CDJ). Where the old sales funnel assumed a linear purchasing path — customers take in information; narrow down their choices; kick the tires, and submit the purchase order — the CDJ moves away from the “funnel” way of doing things. It recognizes that the decision process, in fact, is anything but linear, and the post-purchase period is often as, or more, important than other steps along the way.