B2B Customer Journeys are longer and more complex than their B2C counterparts. However while each B2B journey is unique, the overarching process and the stages involved often fall into similar camps.
In this article we've pulled together some examples of common B2B journey stages to help you get started. And to make it even easier for you we've also included all of these example stages in the Customer Journey library, so when you create a new Customer Journey in the Cooperate platform you can choose any of these stages to use/customise in order to build a journey that suits your needs.
Common B2B Customer Journey Stages
While a typical consumer journey has stages like Awareness, Research, Consideration, Purchase and Use, when you breakdown a B2B Customer Journey you can be looking at a much longer list of stages:
- Request Information
- Demonstration / Presentation
- Evaluation / RFP
- Purchase Decision
- Contract Negotiations
- Delivery & Integration
Depending on your business, customer expectations and your processes this list can be even longer - including stages such as Trial / Pilot, Regulatory Review, Legal Review and so on.
To add to the complexity, multiple stakeholders move in and out of influence depending on the journey stage. In any one stage there can be multiple decision makers with many differing opinions and needs. For instance, as part of the Evaluation / RFP process a CFO and CMO would likely have very different goals and needs to satisfy their evaluation criteria.
Therefore when building a B2B Customer Journey we recommend including any stage that involves new stakeholders becoming part of the purchase process.
However if the same stakeholders are involved in the consecutive stages you have the option to roll these up into a single stage, depending on the overarching goals for the journey itself.
The great thing about the Cooperate platform is that you can build and use multiple customer journeys and easily align your marketing activity and assets across different journeys at the same time. This empowers you to view and measure your marketing activity in different ways - which in turn helps you to identify the optimal journey path that drives your customer actions.
Example B2B Customer Journeys
To see some of the stages we have looked at in action, and the variations that other B2B organisations use, we have collated a number of different journey examples below.
Some of these variations identify every possible touchpoint on the customer journey (with some having up to 12 stages outlined) while others are more simplified or focus on a specific part of the journey (such as the sales buyer journey).
We suggest you use these examples as a starting point, identify the stages that align best to your customers and are most important to your business, and then tweak and customise them to pull it all together in a way that you can communicate easily across your team.