Four Buyer Steps

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Chart: Four Buyer Steps

This may look like a great deal to take it all at once, but we are going to drill down into each step later in the book. All of this will come together for the reader when we are discussing what the buyer is trying to accomplish and what is needed from the provider at each step. By laying out the steps and understanding our strategies to move the buyer forward, we can improve our actions and compress time. A basic premise is that by observing and measuring these steps, we will in fact remove buyer friction and improve the experience.

The Ready-to-Buy Lead (RTB) or Universal Lead

A universal lead definition is needed so the sales team spends most of their time helping buyers buy, not prospecting. This is a “Ready-to-Buy” lead meaning it is primed to be moved to the Buy Step in the BuyerSteps process. This is a terrific and easy to understand definition that marketing and sales can make to start working together to help the buyer. An RTB lead is also a clear metric that the provider can use to evaluate marketing’s performance. It has been estimated that as many as 90% of companies have not defined a universal lead which should get the attention of anyone responsible for revenue. If we take the time to define what someone’s role is in the company, one would think we would take the time to define what a buyer’s status is and our response to that status.

Too many times marketing sends sales leads that are never responded to by sales. The sales team ignores the leads because the sales team has little confidence in marketing’s ability to deliver RTB leads. The end results are consistent waste. Marketing believes their interest efforts are being wasted and the sales team believes marketing i...

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...which is exactly what every salesperson craves.

It’s up to each provider to define these activities and the score they wish to attach to those activites based on their offering. Over time, the provider will become tuned in as to what combination leads to the highest quality RTB leads.

Not having a clear understanding of who owns the relationship at each step and what the buyer needs at every step has caused the following performance issues for many providers:

• Poor marketing Return on Investment

• Low quality leads

• Lead seapage and lead decay

• Long, expensive selling processes

• Lack of client retention not only in keeping a client, but growing share of wallet

• Lower revenues and profitability

• Lost intelligence about the buyer

• Almost no ability or focus to extend relationships that would create more revenue and less expensive revenue
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