Customer acquisition funnels have become so complex that sophisticated B2B marketers often use an alternate term to describe them: the customer buying journey. Whether you like the phrase or think it’s a bit gimmicky, its existence underscores the kind of scope surrounding purchase decisions in B2B sales. Customers don’t make impulse buys. Instead, the path toward purchasing is a complex process that begins months – or even years – before a sale is made. In other words, it’s a loooooooong journey.
Because of these long-term sales cycles, the day-to-day work of marketing and sales teams can often seem unproductive. But your nurturing touches, whether tweeting @ someone, meeting for coffee, or sending a quick follow-up email, compile over time, so you have to be patient and persistent as you work to get your customer acquisition machine churning.
To help motivate you (hopefully!), here are 5 stats to provide some perspective about the length and complexity of customer buying journeys.
Epic Stat #1 - 57% of the purchase decision is complete before a customer even calls a supplier (CEB)
However long your sales cycles is once you actually start talking to a potential customer, multiply by two. That’s how much time (at the very least) it’s going to take to close a customer.
Epic Stat #2 - Only 1 in 50 deals are struck at a first meeting (The Marketing Donut)
Excited about a meeting you just scored with a potential new customer? Better dig in for the long haul. You won’t be seeing dividends from it anytime soon. Sorry.
Epic Stat #3 - Approximately 46% of online users rely on social media when making a purchase decision (Nielsen)
You mean we have to keep up with our LinkedIn account? And our Twitter account? And our Facebook account? And our Instagram account? And our [insert newest social media platform that’s going to take hours to manage every week]?
You didn’t need to sleep anymore, did you?
Epic Stat #4 - 63% of people requesting information on your company today will not purchase for at least 3 months – and 20% will take more than 12 months to buy (The Marketing Donut)
Twelve months? Have you even been working at your company for 12 months? Uh-oh…
Epic Stat #5 - 50% of buyers choose the vendor that responds first (Inside Sales)
Imagine spending months creating content, managing social media accounts, and attending networking events, only to lose a sale because another company responded to an inbound opportunity faster than you. Well, it’s going to happen if you aren’t monitoring your inbound sales opportunities in real-time, all day, every day. How are you going to do that?
Here’s a hint: try RocketBolt’s real-time lead tracking and alerts.