The Buyer’s Journey Explained

The number one challenge that salespeople we work with share is finding and converting qualified leads – people who need and will pay for their service.

Let me ask, how often can you call or walk into a prospect’s office and actually talk to them?  Rare isn’t it?  And let’s face it – Do you ever take a cold call?  Do you respond to direct mail from your mailbox?

Here’s what we know:

  • 1% of cold calls result in an appointment
  • And only .3% of cold call appointments result in a sale

In the old days –salespeople made sales based on what they knew. With the continued development of information access 10 years ago, it was who you knew because what you knew was easily accessible.  Your deep domain product knowledge was no longer an unfair advantage. Today it is who knows you. As a salesperson, you have to be “findable”– you must be there when they, the buyer, comes looking.

This all changed of course because of technology. The buyer is now in charge of starting the buying process and is armed with more information about the things they want to buy, right on their phones with instant access.  They are further along in their buying process than the salesperson is in their selling process and in fact, sometimes they don’t need a salesperson at all.

Once upon a time you used to just interrupt people, call them, talk with individuals, and hope they would agree to meeting or having a conversation with you. It’s no longer the case today. Which leads us to thinking about the Buyers Journey. We know the buying process for prospects has changed. The question is, have you changed with it? Have you adjusted your systems and process accordingly?

The Buyer’s Journey Explained

Let’s talk about the 3 stages of the buyers journey, what it means and how you can be “findable” at each step.

  • Buyers start in a phase called Awareness. Where they are experiencing or become aware of an issue that is plaguing them, their business, or impacting their growth. They do research to more clearly understand and give a name to said problem.
  • They then move to the consideration phase. They have clearly identified a problem or opportunity, they are committed to making a change, and know the potential methods, options, or solutions to fix it.
  • The last step is Decision stage where the buyer has decided on their solution or approach and are building a list of potential solution partners to work with.

In today’s modern world of selling, you must meet the buyer where they are in their process. Again, you must be findable. Building content that speaks to the buyer at each specific stage will help you to become findable. In the awareness stage, that includes things like producing ebooks, whitepapers, or educational content. In the consideration stage it’s webcats, podcasts, or videos. And finally, at the decision stage, that involves case studies, free trials, and live demos.

To stay productive and producing as a salesperson, it is critical that you adjust to the new world of buying. At the end of the day, it is not your buying process or your decision. But there are things we can do along the way to help buyers find us and help them make the right decision to fix their problem. Hopefully, with the right content and support, that decision will be to choose you!

From Alex Cole-Murphy, Sales Development Expert
Anthony Cole Training Group


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