For most B2B buyers, the ideal purchasing experience is not full of surprises. They’d really like to go on the internet and see the solutions they need manifesting effortlessly before them. B2B sellers can come pretty close to providing an experience like this, but not by blasting leads with every piece of marketing content that might be relevant. The way to create a purchasing experience that drives sales is to anticipate and meet your customer’s expectations at every point in their buyer journey, orchestrating your interactions with them so that you’re always showing up with the right information at the right moment.
What makes this challenging is that buyer expectations change over time, and their journeys keep getting more self-directed and less transparent to the seller. By 2023, 59% of B2B procurement will be taking place over online channels, which means that no matter how great your sales team is, you can’t be too reliant on them to lock down your deals. Success is increasingly likely to come from your behind-the-scenes efforts to carve out a personalized path for the buyer’s journey that always leads to the right solution: yours.
Effective journey orchestration requires you to deliver personalized experiences to your buyers, at scale, through the channels they care most about, whether online or offline. It’s no small undertaking, but it’s more necessary than ever in today’s competitive B2B markets.
This post will take a closer look at journey orchestration and the five reasons you need it more than ever in 2022.
When discussing the buyer journey, we’re referring to all the actions a buyer takes to research a purchase and decide what to buy. Many of those actions will involve the seller directly (talking to a salesperson) or indirectly (reading articles on their website). One approach to the buyer journey is to anticipate the course it will take and offer content and experiences relevant to buyers at various stages of the journey.
Journey orchestration is a less passive approach that leverages real-time data to create personalized interactions that are relevant to where the buyer is currently at in their journey and designed to lead them toward further interactions that will help them progress to the next stage. In other words, you’re not just following along their journey; you’re becoming the tour guide—and the ultimate destination is a well-researched and satisfactory purchase of your product or services.
Because the typical B2B purchase involves six to ten decision-makers, journey orchestration performs best under an account-based marketing framework that can deliver personalized content with both the individual and the organization in mind. It’s also important to pull in customer data from every department within your company to create the most accurate picture of what your lead is looking for and how far they’ve progressed in their journey. When sales, marketing, and other departments hoard information into separate silos, it’s unfortunately too easy to present leads with outdated or irrelevant content.
Journey orchestration can share some overlap and similarities with other sales and marketing concepts. But if you take your focus away from the core elements of journey orchestration, it can make your efforts less effective. With that in mind, it’s worth remembering that journey orchestration is not:
These days, buyers have high expectations for the companies hoping to sell to them. At this point in the history of B2B ecommerce, most decision-makers are all-too-familiar with the marketing techniques, lead capturing tricks, and cold-approach sales tactics that served B2B sellers well in the past. More than three-quarters of B2B buyers expect personalized outreach based on their specific needs. At the same time, they find that the purchasing process keeps getting more involved—68% say that their purchasing cycle is longer now than it was a year ago.
Sellers can connect with buyers by delivering relevant, personalized content that reduces the time they need to research other solutions. An orchestrated journey means that your buyers never feel like they’re wasting their time when they engage with you. Instead, they’re getting answers to their questions as they arise and receiving the information they need to narrow down their options and arrive at the right decision.
Times have changed, and your B2B organization needs journey orchestration now more than ever. Here’s five reasons why:
The COVID-19 pandemic created a significant shift away from trade shows and other in-person marketing events to digital channels. The trade shows may be coming back, but the new digital purchasing habits buyers have picked up aren’t going anywhere. Orchestration allows you to meet them with an agile, seamless response across their preferred digital channels.
One good way to alienate a promising buyer is to send them the wrong marketing messages at the wrong time. You don’t want to send a long-time customer a promotional offer they won’t qualify for. Coming in hot with an upgrade pitch to a customer in the middle of resolving a problematic product issue can be a terrible idea. These miscommunications arise when companies keep customer data siloed between departments rather than sharing and leveraging it to create personalized experiences that show the customer that you understand their current needs.
Journey orchestration requires big-picture and detailed customer data, which means that every department has to share information and talk to each other. This communication allows you to personalize content and experiences based on a more well-rounded understanding of the customer. It can open up numerous opportunities for your company to deepen your engagement with them, whether it involves upselling, cross-selling, or providing more efficient customer service and product support.
A completed B2B sale is not always a happy ending for the buyer: as many as 40% ultimately regret the purchase. This outcome is not desirable for sellers either, and orchestration provides two ways to address it. First, by prioritizing the customer’s needs and providing them with the most relevant content possible to assist in their decision-making process, orchestration helps to ensure that your customers are fully informed about the solutions you’re offering before the purchase is finalized. Second, by maintaining your personalized attentiveness to the customer after the sale, you can address any issues or concerns they might be having before it’s too late.
What if you could increase your website performance by 75 percent while using the same amount of resources? According to a recent analysis we’ve conducted at Trendemon, that’s precisely what journey orchestration offers.
Journey orchestration leverages automation, machine learning, and AI to create and deliver the content and experiences that make it so effective. With the ability to measure performance uplift against resource spend, it’s easy to see that journey orchestration can be an invaluable tool to B2B sellers of any size.
One software solution that can take a lot of the guesswork and difficulty out of journey orchestration is Trendemon, an attribution-based personalization platform.
Trendemon works by integrating with your CRM and marketing stack to analyze the way visitors interact with your website and content. It uses this information to create a buyer journey map and provides insights into which pieces of content are leading to conversions and sales revenue. With this information, Trendemon can plan optimized buyer journeys that automatically serve the right content to the right visitors at the right time. By providing content with proven effectiveness along with personalized calls to action, Trendemon orchestrates and accelerates the buyer’s journey.
Buyers have gotten accustomed to a high degree of personalization in their purchasing experiences, and no B2B seller will gain ground by trying to roll back those expectations. Journey orchestration gives companies the means to meet and surpass those expectations, positioning themselves as the knowledgeable, helpful, customer-centric company buyers are eager to do business with.
Journey orchestration is about getting the timing, messaging, and targeting right. To pull that off consistently, it helps to have the right tools. Sign up for a live demo today to see how Trendemon can orchestrate your buyers through speedier, more successful journeys.