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Fast-track your B2B sales: Navigate complex buying journeys to close more deals

B2B buying journey illustration

B2B sales are more challenging than ever before.

77% of B2B buyers say their last purchase was “complex”.

These are difficult times for businesses everywhere. Global economic uncertainty means that layoffs, budget cuts, and cautious spending are commonplace.

In response to this, the internal procurement processes for many B2B companies have become more complicated.

As a result, B2B sales professionals are encountering more stakeholders, longer sales cycles and increased competition.

While the state of the global economy is outside your control, you can still influence how your prospects buy from you.

In this article, we’ll outline how you can help prospects who are overwhelmed with choice and reluctant to spend their budgets by offering superior sales experience.

But first, let’s remind ourselves what the buyer's journey is.

What is the buyer’s journey?

67% of B2B buyers start their purchase journey online.

But what is the buyer’s journey?

Your prospective customers will conduct several phases of research before making any major purchase decision to ensure they’ve selected the right product or service.

These phases of research include awareness, consideration, and decision-making. And together they are known as the buyer’s journey.

B2B Buyers journey

Let's look at each phase in more detail. This will help you understand the B2B buyer’s journey.

1. Awareness 

There are 5 types of awareness in the buyer’s journey:

  • Unaware – prospects don’t yet know they have a problem to solve.
  • Problem aware – they have a specific business problem to solve.
  • Solution aware – they know the general solution they need, e.g. CRM software.
  • Brand aware – they begin to research brands offering relevant solutions.
  • Most aware – they continue their research and get to know your brand well.

The awareness phase is the starting point for any buyer’s journey and typically sees the buyer in “research mode’, often consuming your marketing content for information.

Most B2B buyers engage with 3-7 pieces of content before talking to a sales rep, while 11% said they consume more than 7 pieces of content.

To control this part of the journey, it’s important to ensure you have appropriate content to help prospects through each awareness step.

2. Consideration

Let’s face it – you’re not the only solution your prospect is considering.

In fact, 90% of B2B buyers research 2-7 websites before they make a purchase.

B2B research preferences

During this consideration phase, your potential customers are looking at things like:

  • Pricing – can they afford to use your solution with their budget?
  • Features – does your solution meet their requirements?
  • Experience – do your prospects feel positive after each interaction?
  • Online reviews – what do other people think about your solution?
  • Comparison – how does your product stack up against your competitors?

During this process, your solution will either be “ruled in” or “ruled out” by your prospects and short-listed for the decision-making phase.

3. Decision-making

On average, B2B buyers prefer to go through at least 57% of the buyer's journey before speaking to a sales rep.

This means that the decision-making phase of the buyer’s journey could be the first time you get to influence the prospect directly.

B2B buyers preferences

During this time, and depending on the size of the deal, you can expect to perform activities like:

The extent and scale of what you’ll be required to do to close the deal will largely depend on the specific customer, their internal procurement processes, and the deal's value.

Typically, the larger the deal, the more complex this part of the buyer's journey will be.

5 ways to navigate the buyer’s journey more effectively

The buyer's journey is more complex than ever, with marketers lacking visibility (and influence) on at least 50% of prospects' pre-purchase processes.

Despite this, there are still several approaches you can use to optimize your input on the B2B buyer’s journey and increase your chances of sales success.

Let’s take a closer look at each one.

1. Qualify your prospects properly 

Your marketing campaigns or sales pitch might be world class, but not everyone will buy what you’re selling.

However, one way to increase your chances of sales success is to focus on a specific target market and build a highly relevant sales and marketing experience for them.

This group of prospects will match a set of criteria known as your ideal customer profile (ICP).

Matching your ICP means these prospects are more likely to be a “good fit” for your business and will be:

  • Easier to close a deal with
  • Likely to become a loyal, long-term customer
  • More open to expanding their account with you over time

You can use your CRM to review your existing customer data and create ideal customer profiles to target.

However, just because you’re focused on providing solutions for ideal customers doesn’t mean that all your leads will fit that profile – you still need to qualify them.

Qualifying these leads can help you quickly cut to the chase and eliminate prospects who aren’t a good fit for your business - without wasting time.

This leaves you and your team focusing on the prospects who are more likely to become your customers.

One of the best ways to qualify your prospects is to use a framework – like MEDDIC.

MEDDIC stands for Metrics, Economic Buyer, Decision Criteria, Decision Process, Identify Pain, and Champion.

Qualifying your prospects with MEDDIC will help your sales team quickly identify if you can help the prospect and improve your chances of winning the sale.

Using MEDDIC doesn’t have to be complicated. To help you get started, we’ve prepared a template for you to use:


If you want to take MEDDIC to the next level, you can use MEDDPICC, which adds the option to provide more detail on ‘P’ paper processes (e.g., RFP) and ‘C’ competitors.

Whichever one you choose will help you focus on the right kinds of prospects for your business, but it will also help your prospects.

77% of B2B buyers believe that sales reps do not understand their needs. So, documenting their needs helps to reassure your prospects and differentiate you from your competitors.

B2B buyers sentiment

Using qualification criteria like ICP and MEDDIC/MEDDPICC will help you know when to say no and not waste time on “bad fit” customers or drawn-out sales processes.

💡 Tip: Document your MEDDIC framework findings and store them centrally in your CRM for a central source of truth throughout the sales process.

However, prospects and customers are not the same, so you should also consider how to refine and personalize the buyer’s journey experience.

2. Refine the experience for prospects

B2B buyers consume 7 pieces of content before making a purchase decision.

However, these are not the same pieces of content for each prospect. This means you’ll need to create a more personalized experience for each ICP or customer segment.

The good news is that businesses using personalized marketing grow 60% more than those that don’t.


Using automation to deliver timely, relevant content to your prospects is a surefire way to help drive them through the Awareness and Consideration stages of the buyer’s journey.

To give you an example of what these personalized experiences could look like, we’ve outlined approaches you might use for SME, Mid-market, and Enterprise segments.

These are designed to help you drive these segments through the 3 core stages of the buyer's journey, but you will need to adapt these based on your own industry and ICPs.

3 core stages

💡 Tip: Use your CRM platform to automate these buyers' experiences, personalizing it per segment to ensure maximum relevance and impact.

However, as your prospects progress through the buyer’s journey, you’ll shift from automated content-based interactions to direct conversations.

At this point, you’ll need to consider who you’re dealing with and the processes they plan to use to make a buying decision.

3. Map stakeholders and buying processes

While it’s called the buyer’s journey, the truth is that when it comes to B2B sales, there are multiple buyers (or stakeholders) you’ll need to work with to close a deal.

According to Gartner, the average B2B buying process involves 6-10 stakeholders who form a buying group that decides which solution to choose.

6-10 stakeholders

During your qualification process, you should take the time to map out the stakeholders associated with this potential deal and try to understand their level of involvement.

However, keeping track of multiple stakeholders across many deals you’re working on can become complicated.

To help you keep track of everything, you can consider mapping out the stakeholders associated with each deal.

Using a stakeholder mapping chart gives you a quick “at a glance” opportunity to understand who everyone is and how much information they’ll need from you.

Stakeholders mapping

Depending on the size of the deal, you may want to combine this with a more detailed stakeholder analysis that gives you more information on each individual stakeholder.


The typical B2B sales cycle now takes 24% longer than it used to and can often last 6+ months, particularly for larger deals.

One of the key reasons the sales cycle is so long is because of the processes stemming from the buyer’s side, which can include things like:

Buyers side

Because the procurement processes and the amount of work needed to follow them can differ depending on several factors, it’s important to understand your prospect’s preferred approach quickly.

Depending on the size of the opportunity, you may find a mismatch between the scale of the process being used and the financial value of the deal.

The sooner you discover this, the easier it will be to try and persuade the prospect to take a different approach or even to pull out of the deal entirely.

💡 Tip: Use your CRM platform to record stakeholder communication and note the procurement processes your prospects will likely use.

Of course, being able to have these potentially difficult conversations relies on you building a good relationship with your prospect.

4. Build better relationships

B2B buyers spend only 17% of the total purchase journey with sales reps.

A sales rep gets roughly 5% of a customer’s total purchase time because the average deal involves multiple suppliers.

You might think that this lack of “face time” limits the relationship that can be built between your brand and your prospect – but that’s not true.

There are several ways you can engage with your prospects and develop a relationship with them:

  • Conversations
  • Content
  • Email sequences
  • Timely follow-up & doing what you’ll say
  • Building trust
  • Brand reputation

This relationship-building can begin from the moment your prospects first engage with your website - so don’t wait until the first call to start building rapport.

To help you get started with this, let’s look at some of the things you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to building better relationships with your prospects.

does vs don`t

💡 Tip: Use your CRM platform to help you build better relationships. Track every interaction you have and take advantage of features like automation and reminders.

A key part of building a strong relationship with a prospect is positioning yourself as a trusted advisor rather than a vendor.

5. Consultative selling and partnership

89% of buyers describe the salespeople they ultimately do business with as “trusted advisors”.

Meanwhile, 53% of sales reps believe following a consultative sales process can make sales more efficient.

B2B buyers choices

So, it’s clear why consultative selling is the number one B2B sales methodology.

Consultative selling is all about helping the prospect to solve a business problem and guiding them through that process.

You may think that’s common sense, but 77% of B2B buyers believe that their needs are not listened to by sales reps.

However, focusing on consultative selling instead of stereotypical ‘hard’ sales helps position you as a partner and not a vendor - and differentiates you from competitors.

Consultative selling doesn’t have to be difficult or intimidating.

Some typical questions you might ask your prospects include:

  • Can you tell me about your current challenges and how they affect your business
  • What goals or objectives are you aiming to achieve in the short and long term?
  • Have you tried solving these issues in the past? What worked and what didn’t?
  • What are the most important criteria you will use to make this decision?
  • How does your decision-making process work, and who else is involved?
  • What is your timeline for implementing a solution?
  • Is there a budget in place, or do you need help to justify the investment?

Once you’ve gathered this information from your prospects, put it together as a business case document.

Not only can you use it as a frame of reference, but sharing this document with your prospects demonstrates exactly how much you understand their problems and helps cement your position as a trusted advisor.

If you want to build out simple yet effective business cases for your prospects, then the framework below is a great place to start. 

  1. Situation: what’s happening? 
  2. Complication: why do something about it now?
  3. Recommendation: what do we do, and what do we gain?

💡 Tip: Use your CRM platform to store and distribute records and documents centrally, e.g. business cases, as one single source of truth.

We’ve highlighted how to use a CRM to help you navigate complex B2B buying journeys. Now, let’s take a closer look at how using the CRM platform can support this process.

How a CRM platform can support the B2B buyer journey

Despite many B2B buyers choosing to minimize their time speaking to sales reps, you can still build meaningful relationships with your prospects with the right CRM platform.

You can also turn more of those relationships into revenue as a result.

With 77% of B2B buyers feeling that their needs are not understood, you need to focus on making your relationships more personal. Focusing on specific customer groups and creating personalized experiences for them will allow you to nurture your prospects at scale with relevant communication that resonates.

Then, when the time is right, you can maximize the time your sales reps get with the prospect to have authentic conversations that lead to high-value, long-lasting sales deals.

To build these relationships and be more productive, you need to have the right tools in place.

Many companies struggle as they’re using generic tools like spreadsheets instead of specialist tools like a CRM platform.

Using a spreadsheet to help you optimize your buyer’s journey is a mistake. This is because a spreadsheet won’t be able to:

  • Consistently qualify prospects against ideal customer profiles
  • Create personalized marketing experiences to nurture leads at scale
  • Build relationships with multiple stakeholders

Instead, using a CRM platform, like SuperOffice, means you can:

  • Use data to create ideal customer profiles
  • Develop a centralized process for qualifying your customers
  • Optimize and refine the experience for your buyers across their journey
  • Leverage content, conversations, and documents to satisfy your prospects
  • Build ongoing relationships with customers and keep consistent records

Using a CRM like this will help you focus on working with the right types of customers, build ongoing relationships, and navigate even the most complex of B2B procurement processes.

Looking for a CRM platform to help you work smarter and build relationships that turn into revenue?

With SuperOffice, you get access to:

  • Powerful automation to deliver your prospects the information they need
  • Robust CRM and pipeline management to help you track prospects
  • Personalized experience options to help you focus on your ideal prospects
  • A full suite of “best in class” tools to build long-term authentic customer relationships

Try SuperOffice today and start managing all your sales, marketing, and customer support relationships from one CRM platform.

Book a personalized demo

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