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Navigating the B2B Buyer Journey – Trends and Benchmarks in 2023

Table of Content:

Welcome to our exploration of the B2B buyer journey, an in-depth analysis designed to illuminate the evolving landscape of B2B marketing and sales. In this e-book, we delve into the trends and benchmarks that are shaping the way B2B buyers interact with businesses, focusing on data and insights from the past three years up to 2023. Our objective is to equip marketers, sales professionals, and business leaders with the knowledge and tools they need to adapt and thrive in an ever-changing environment.

Chapter 1 sets the stage for our discussion, introducing the key concepts and frameworks that will guide our exploration of the B2B buyer journey. We then journey through the macro trends observed over the past three years in Chapter 2, highlighting the shifts in buyer behavior, technology adoption, and market dynamics that have influenced B2B transactions.

In Chapter 3, we zero in on the specific trends and benchmarks of 2023. This section is dedicated to understanding how B2B buyers engage with websites, the dynamics of buying groups, and the nuances of the purchasing process in today’s digital-first world. Through a combination of data analysis, case studies, and expert insights, we aim to uncover the patterns and strategies that are most effective in engaging and converting B2B buyers.

As we look to the future in Chapter 4, we discuss the critical aspects that businesses must consider for 2024. This includes the importance of collecting, cleansing, and operationalizing first-party data as third-party cookies become increasingly obsolete. We explore how the depreciation of third-party cookies impacts targeting and personalization efforts, and what strategies companies can adopt to maintain and enhance their engagement with potential buyers.

The insights and benchmarks presented in this e-book are drawn from a variety of sources, including proprietary data, industry reports, and expert interviews. Our goal is to provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of the current state of the B2B buyer journey, as well as actionable intelligence that can be applied to future marketing and sales strategies.

By the end of this e-book, we expect readers to have a clear grasp of the major trends affecting B2B buying behavior, the benchmarks for successful engagement and conversion, and the strategies needed to navigate the complexities of the B2B market in the coming years. Whether you are looking to refine your current approach or to overhaul your strategy entirely, this e-book will offer valuable insights into the best practices for connecting with and converting B2B buyers.

Chapter 1: From Lead to Account – A Paradigm Shift in B2B Analysis

In the realm of B2B marketing and sales, a significant shift is underway – from a traditional focus on individual leads to a holistic view of accounts. This chapter explores how this shift not only changes our perspective but also enriches our understanding of the B2B buyer journey. By prioritizing the account and deal over individual members of the buying group, we unlock new dimensions of analysis, enabling a deeper comprehension of the paths to successful conversions. This account-centric approach forms the backbone of our data analysis and insights throughout this e-book.

Despite the gradual adoption of Account-Based Marketing (ABM) by GTM organizations, many still cling to outdated analytical models. These traditional methods emphasize lead generation and touch attribution, failing to capture the complexity of modern B2B buying processes. Our new approach, however, centers the account and the deal as the primary metrics of success. This paradigm shift allows us to evaluate the effectiveness of our strategies more accurately and to tailor our efforts to the dynamics of account engagement.

We introduce the concept of account scoring as opposed to lead scoring, focusing on the engagement of the entire buying group rather than individual leads or contacts. This method reflects a more nuanced understanding of B2B transactions, where decisions are seldom made by single individuals. We inquire into the extent of engagement within buying groups, tracking how many members have interacted with our content and platforms.

A critical metric we examine is the conversion rate of accounts that visit our website to those that develop into sales opportunities, and subsequently, the percentage that achieve a closed-won status. This analysis provides a clear view of our website’s effectiveness in attracting and converting high-value accounts into successful deals.

As we lay this foundation in Chapter 1, we prepare to delve into the macro trends in B2B go-to-market strategies over the past three years in Chapter 2. The shift from lead to account-centric analysis not only reflects the evolution of B2B marketing but also sets the stage for a deeper exploration of the forces shaping these trends and how businesses can navigate them successfully.

Chapter 2: Macro Trends in B2B Selling Over the Past Three Years

The landscape of B2B selling has undergone significant transformations over the past three years, marked by changes in how companies allocate their marketing efforts and how buyers navigate their journey. This chapter delves into the statistics that highlight these shifts, focusing on the year-over-year changes in traffic to B2B websites and the increasing anonymity of buyers.

One of the most striking trends observed is the growth in organic versus paid traffic. Between 2021 and 2022, we witnessed a 102% increase in paid traffic alongside a modest 24% increase in organic traffic. However, the following year painted a different picture: a mere 1% increase in paid traffic contrasted with a remarkable 76% surge in organic traffic. This shift indicates a pivot towards investing in content over paid efforts.

Despite constrained budgets, buyers have continued to consume more content, seeking to educate themselves. This trend underscores the value of focusing on the education of your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and generating demand rather than solely trying to capture existing demand.

In a recent event, we named the “animal spirits” that dominated those years – from the bullish days of 20-21 to the deep freeze and fear of 22-23, we are now entering a new type of mode – Beaver mode. Maticually and efficiently building the infrastructure that would allow us to capture the flow once the rivers resume flowing. In practice, we see more brands investing now in content, brand, data and tech, ensuring their alignment with business objectives and ROI.

Another critical development is the growing anonymity of buyers throughout their journey. In 2021, 87% of the buyer journey occurred without direct interaction with vendors, a figure that rose to 92% in 2022 and reached 95% in 2023. This progression towards anonymity, with most of the journey “in the dark,” emphasizes the importance of creating engaging, informative content that can guide buyers even before direct contact is established.

These statistics not only shed light on how B2B selling has evolved but also highlight the strategic shifts companies must consider. The move towards more organic engagement and the challenge of navigating buyer anonymity are pivotal in shaping the future of B2B marketing and sales strategies. As we progress into the nuances of 2023 trends and benchmarks in the next chapter, these macro trends provide a backdrop for understanding the current state of B2B buyer engagement and the critical role of content and strategic outreach in today’s market.

Chapter 3: 2023 Trends and Statistics in the B2B Buying Journey

Our exploration into the B2B buying journey in 2023 is grounded in an analysis of over 3.4 million B2B web journeys and 23.4K deals, with an average deal size of $191K. This comprehensive study has unveiled key insights into how B2B websites convert visiting accounts into opportunities and the dynamics of buying group interactions with websites.

On average, B2B websites convert 1.3% of all visiting accounts into sales opportunities, with 0.6% of these opportunities reaching a “closed-won” stage, translating directly into revenue. This conversion rate highlights the critical role of website engagement in the sales funnel and the importance of optimizing every touchpoint to enhance conversion potential.

A deeper dive into buying group behaviors reveals that, on average, 13 people from companies with associated sales opportunities visit the website across 51 sessions, reading 81 pages in total. However, a striking discovery is that only 37% of these individuals are known contacts, equating to roughly 5 out of the 13 people. This indicates that the majority of the buying group at the opportunity stage remains anonymous, underscoring the challenge of engaging effectively with unseen buyers.

The significance of this finding cannot be overstated. It suggests a crucial strategy shift: optimizing the journey for both known and unknown personas and ensuring that content is not only sufficient and effective but also readily accessible to empower decision-making. This approach is essential for guiding the majority of the buying group who navigate the purchase process anonymously.

Supporting this insight, research from 6sense indicates that 84% of buyers have already made their purchasing decision before their first contact with a seller. This further emphasizes the shift towards independent buyer journeys, where buyers seek out and consume information on their own terms. If B2B marketers and sales teams fail to facilitate these anonymous journeys with a seamless, buyer-led experience, they risk losing potential customers to competitors who offer a more frictionless path to purchase.

Another shift we have seen in 2023 is the growing role of the CFO/financial leaders as decision makers when it comes to purchasing new technologies. The takeaway here is that marketers now need to support the journey of the financial officers in terms of content and the ability to demonstrate ROI in clear economic terms.

The trends and benchmarks outlined in this chapter underscore the evolving nature of the B2B buying journey. As we look to 2024 and beyond, understanding and adapting to these behaviors will be paramount for companies aiming to capture and convert their Ideal Customer Profile efficiently. The insights derived from our analysis in 2023 lay a foundation for the strategies and considerations that will drive success in the ever-competitive B2B landscape.

Chapter 4: Looking Ahead: GTM Strategies for 2024-2025

As we peer into the future of 2024-2025, GTM leaders are faced with several pivotal shifts and considerations that will shape the effectiveness of their strategies. This chapter explores key focal points that will demand attention, preparation, and action to navigate the evolving B2B landscape.

Shift to Account-Level Focus

The transition from lead/contact level to account level marks a fundamental change in how GTM organizations measure success and ROI. Embracing Account-Based Marketing (ABM) necessitates a reevaluation of success metrics, moving towards a data architecture that captures and analyzes events, touchpoints, and personas at the account level. This shift requires consolidating and cleansing data to understand how different content, channels, and experiences impact specific account groups, moving away from traditional touch-attribution models more suited to B2C contexts.

Building 1st Party Data Infrastructure

With the deprecation of third-party cookies, the reliance on ad networks and external platforms is diminishing. This situation underscores the importance of building a robust 1st party data infrastructure, extending beyond basic company information to detailed buying group data. Such an approach must navigate privacy regulations sensitively, managing persona-based information at the 1st party level, including consent-based contact details.

Gateless and Personalized Content Experiences

The movement towards gateless content experiences aims to reduce barriers between target audiences and the information they require for informed decision-making. This approach signals a paradigm shift in B2B marketing, from generating leads to enabling seamless buyer journeys, focusing on building awareness and reducing buyer friction. Successful B2B brands are increasingly allocating significant portions of their budget to brand-building activities, such as thought leadership, to simultaneously amplify their brand and facilitate buyer enablement. Another need to reduce barriers to content is the ease and effortlessness with which content can be created today. More on this in our next section. 

Leveraging AI in GTM Motions

The integration of Generative AI (Gen-AI) into GTM strategies extends beyond individual roles to encompass organizational processes. The challenge lies in harnessing AI to augment business processes, leveraging AI-powered data science to shorten the time from data capture to actionable insights and activation. Similar to the transformative impact of cloud computing, AI promises to revolutionize both the infrastructure and application layers of business. Adapting to this technological advancement will be crucial for companies aiming to harness the full potential of their AI investments.

A cautionary note: With content creation becoming cheaper and easier, there’s a risk of adding noise and clutter, potentially increasing buyer friction. Make sure your content is purposeful, tailored to specific personas, and truly valuable to your audience. Despite GenAI’s rise, these core principles remain unchanged.


The landscape of B2B marketing and sales is rapidly evolving, with technological advancements and strategic shifts dictating the need for continuous adaptation. For GTM leaders, success in 2024-2025 will hinge on their ability to navigate these changes skillfully, aligning their strategies with the overarching goal of enhancing business outcomes. Embracing account-level analysis, building first-party data capabilities, reducing content access barriers, and effectively integrating AI into organizational processes will be key to achieving competitive advantage and driving progress in the dynamic world of B2B marketing.