The Buyers Journey for IT Services

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The buyers journey for IT services

If you want to get really good at sales and marketing, so you can grow your business, you need to understand the Buyer’s Journey. Luckily, I’m going to share what it is and how you should think about it.

It was this understanding of the B2B Buyer’s Journey that helped us put together the client magnet system. Now, most people represent the buyers journey like this, but it’s really just a part of the bigger overall buyers journey, which is actually something like this. And in all of this, there’s different stages. In the first stage, there you have a universe of suspects. And then the second stage you have leads, and that’s what everyone refers to as the buyers journey. But then after they’re a lead their client, it’s also important to know where sales and marketing fit into this buyers journey.

And you can see that marketing cast nets, it nurtures over the long term, but sales is more like spearfishing so that you know exactly who you’re going after, and you create a process to fish or farm those people in this graph also can show you the post sale phase where they’re on boarded. And they’re brought into the family and ascended through upsells, and cross sells, and then asked to be advocates for your brand and your business. But let’s go back and zoom into this lead stage.

This lead stage is where you’ve identified just the people who are interested in or potentially are interested in your product or service. And it’s made up of sub stages. And these stages are usually known as the top of the funnel, middle of funnel, bottom of funnel, and then they become a client. And this is the typical marketing funnel, but realize that sales can help assist through the middle and the bottom of the funnel into moving people towards the sale. Let’s go ahead and move that to the top real fast. And look at another way to represent these stages with the AIDA principle.

Now what’s funny is when you apply the AIDA principle, attention, interest, desire and action over top of each stage of this Buyer’s Journey and you contrast it with the stage that it’s in, you start to realize that it’s pointing towards a message like what message would be at the top of the funnel that could get attention, right? What message could be in the middle of the funnel that would you know, generate interest and which message at the bottom of the funnel would generate desire, enough desire to get them to take action.

But when you think about the message, and you start to look at it, you can realize that there’s not just one frame like message, but there’s several frames. And it made us think that some of these other frames would be the buyers needs the message, like we just talked about.

But then there’s the content, right?

What type of content would match each stage?

And then what channel or channels would I use to promote myself in each stage.

So now I’m going to move AIDA to the top. And let’s start to make a matrix. So let’s make the foundation for this chart this matrix buyers needs while we realize what are their needs in the top of the funnel, where you would get attention.

They’re looking for you to answer a question for them, they have a question that they need answered in the middle of the funnel, they now realize that they have a problem, and they’re looking for solutions to the problem. In the bottom of the funnel, they’ve identified one or more solutions to their problem. And it’s down to them to choose one solution.

And once they’re a client, they want to benefit from the solution. They don’t want to waste their time or money on something that’s not going to solve their problem. Now, let’s add message into the mix. At the top of the funnel.

The messages are general info that answers a question like how to protect against something, how to protect from something, how to save things, and how to fix something.

Now in the middle of the funnel, they’re looking to find solutions that are more specific because they think they have a problem or they want to get ahead of a problem. The message that you would use in the middle of the funnel would be like five ways to do something, five ways to do something amazing that they want to achieve or five ways to ensure you’re not missing out.

Or you could use the missing secret, the missing key the missing piece of the puzzle or protecting your z you know protecting your assets, your investment, your resources, your time in the bottom of the funnel the message would be more product focused, like the actual product that you’re selling or the service that you’re selling, because they found the solution in the bottom of the middle of the funnel. But now in the bottom of the funnel, they want to choose the solution.

So they’re going to want to know about the product. And this is really the first time where you explain the product fully. And once they become clients, you want to use stick messages that make them want to stick around, you want to reinforce that they made the right decision, tell them everything they get, and assure them that they’re going to achieve the results that they’re looking for. Because remember, they didn’t waste their time or money if they get the result.

So the whole purpose of purchasing is to avail themselves of the solution. Now let’s keep adding to the matrix and take it into the content realm. What content would you have at the top of the funnel, it would be blog posts, videos, podcasts, and social media, where in the middle of the funnel, you’d have ebooks and guides, videos and white papers.

And at the bottom of the funnel, you’d have webinars, product sheets, case studies, and testimonials. And once they’re a client, you can use anything. But as they become a client, you’ll need a presentation.

And this is you know, kind of sales enablement content, a presentation, maybe they have a workbook, or you want to give them a workbook or an action plan. Now we’ll turn our attention to channel, what channel would you use to advertise to pull leads in at the top of the funnel? Well, you do search to your blog, right.

So Google being you’d be on top of the search engines to try to drive traffic to your blog. You’d also use YouTube, for videos, iTunes, for podcasts, and your social channels, you would use both paid and organic strategies. In the middle of the funnel, remember, you’re getting their contact information. That’s why you give away ebooks and guides and videos and white papers. So you’ve got their contact information.

But in order to get them there, you could use paid ads, your personal email list, direct mail, and you can call in the bottom of the funnel, you continue to use paid ads, email list, direct mail, but you can also use JV partners, which are valuable here because you can pay them a commission for referring someone to you who purchases, they’re only going to purchase at the bottom of the funnel. And then finally, once they become clients, you would use your email list to connect with them direct mail, FedEx even, and you can call them.

And I hope this gives you a good idea of the kind of information and strategy that you can derive just from going through each stage of the buyers journey. And thinking about your buyer from several different frames, different contexts, you know, what would they want to hear at the top of the funnel? What kind of content could you deliver to them in the middle of the funnel? Right? As you start to think about your options and start to play with the possibilities.

 You’ll realize that you can make amazing marketing strategies that speak to them not only on the right channel, but also with the right message at the right time.

Michael Miller

Michael Miller

Mike Miller is the co-owner of Mindwhirl.com, a Digital Marketing Agency in Atlanta, Georgia that focuses on aligning sales and marketing for exponentially greater results. Michael’s mission is helping small business owners understand, and organize their marketing so they can make money and grow. Mindwhirl helps business owners plan and implement effective, profitable marketing campaigns and sales programs. If you need more sales, we know how to get leads and grow businesses. Call us today at (770) 295-8660, or email Mike at mmiller@mindwhirl.com.

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We help B2B MSPs and IT companies align Sales and Marketing so you can grow faster, with less effort using a proven system that coordinates all your inbound and outbound activities.

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