How to Define, Establish and
Monetize B-2-B Customer Journeys

How to Define, Establish and
Monetize B-2-B Customer Journeys

By Ashwini Periyaswamy

How to Define, Establish and Monetize B-2-B Customer Journeys

B2B sales and marketing have become complex. This can be largely attributed to customers’ ability to research and find relevant information long before interacting with a sales team. Research statistics support this new reality. For instance:

Group-15

of purchase decisions are made before the customer even calls a supplier.” (CEB).

Group-15

of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally.” (Sirius Decisions).

The result is a fundamental shift in the structure of B2B customer journeys, transitioning from sequential (Awareness -> Interest -> Decision -> Action -> Loyalty) to non-sequential. However, this new landscape also opens up multiple opportunities to improve and optimize the end-to-end purchase process. There are two main goals:

  1. Learn more about every customer interaction in order to influence it positively
  2. Use customer touchpoints to understand the customer mindset and pinpoint their exact stage in the sales process

Customer journeys also allow us to examine the workings of ‘conventional sales and marketing’ from a different perspective. For example:

Business Problem

Conventional Sales & Marketing


Customer Journey Based Sales & Marketing

Budget Allocation

Estimate the ROI of our Marketing vehicles


Identify highly influential marketing vehicles that move customers to the next stage

Increase Top-Line Growth

How can I increase revenue by 20%?


How can I decrease the length of my B2B customer journey?

Although the majority of B2B organisations recognise customer journey analytics as having sufficient potential to create significant impact, the challenge lies in translating this concept into meaningful outcomes. Here are four steps to move the needle in the right direction.

Group-15
Build the Base (Master Dataset)

Invest in building a time-series customer dataset that encapsulates all outbound touchpoints (Marketing and Sales initiated– E.g. Emails) and inbound touchpoints (customer initiated – E.g. Customer white paper downloads).

Group-15
Build insights from touchpoints; assess each customer ‘stage’

Previous customer journeys, coupled with outcomes (win/loss), should be analyzed to better understand the role of each touchpoint. This knowledge should be customized for each business. The goal of this exercise is to place each of your prospects into a specific sales stage. (Awareness -> Interest -> Decision -> Action -> Loyalty)

Group-15
Learn from positive and negative journeys

Mine knowledge from the touchpoints that resonate with your customers and those that don’t. The results can be vastly different across companies and specific product lines. You may discover, for instance, that a high-investment touchpoint such as a product demo showcased to a customer in the ‘awareness’ stage might not be very effective.

Group-15
Devise the ‘right’ metrics

Conventional metrics will not work for this customer journey based concept. This requires defining new metrics such as “the percentage of customers that are stagnant in certain stages” and “Length in days of the customer journey.”

Each key project should result in a playbook from which Sales and Marketing can act on together, to determine for instance, the right customers to be targeted at the right time with the right tools.
Working with customer journeys over time can provide incremental benefits in both efficiency and profitability. This is also a critical step in redefining how both marketing and sales can be coordinated to help close deals in a targeted manner.

About the Author:

Ashwini Periyaswamy is an analytics consultant based out of London. She has 11 years of experience in analytics consulting for both B2B & B2C companies across multiple industries such as Retail, Technology, and Media.

To find out how we can help drive your business goals forward, contact us today.