The B2B customer has more choices than others nowadays, which means that their journey to purchasing something is becoming more convoluted. Buyers are swarmed with cold calls and emails to the point where they will simply shut out any external noise.
At the root of it all is to understand what the B2B buyer’s journey looks like. Once you have a clear picture of how these customers make decisions, you can position yourself to be the most relevant opportunity for them.
Referrals at Every Stage of the Buyer’s Journey
Every customer is unique in their own way. Some might take several weeks weighing up their options, while others will pick the first one that stands out to them. So how can you appeal to B2B customers, regardless of their time frame?
This can be achieved with the help of referrals. Referrals are a powerful tool with 92% of buyers trusting referrals from people they know. But when in the customer journey do B2B buyers want to get referrals?
At the beginning
At the start, the B2B customer understands that they have a want or need fulfilled. A referral here can have a huge impact — even instantly converting a customer and solving their issue.
Keep in mind that looking for B2B products means time away from the things they need to do, like actually running their business.
With a well-timed referral, you can save them time and the effort. In many cases, the suggestion from someone they trust will make their decision for them.
During their research
Referrals are also great while someone is doing research. During this stage, it is very easy to give referrals, since the prospect will be actively looking for them.
Social media is currently at the top of the list in terms of reach. However in B2B verbal referrals can be far more effective at creating leads that convert to deals. Encourage your referral partners and customers to meet with prospects face to face. This will leave a longer-lasting impression.
While they’re deliberating
Closer to the end of the buyer’s journey, this is where they’ve filtered through their choices and are trying to make the final decision. Often, you will have already been referred to them as an option.
Nonetheless, a second referral can help tip the balance in favour of your solution. It will bring you to the forefront of their mind.
Getting referrals at any stage of the game can be beneficial, but getting referrals strategically is how you generate steady revenue. You can also automate your referral system, making sure that you’re hitting B2B customers at the right time.