Learn what being a member does for you
The Seller Styles
See a summary of all our programs and certifications
Certified Professional Sales Person(CPSP®)
Develop your potential as a certified sales professional
Certified Professional Sales Leader(CPSL®)
Grow your impact as a certified sales leader
Certified Master Sales Professional (CMSP®)
Join the elite group of sales professionals and leaders
Advanced Sales Influence (ASI)
Take your influence and leadership to the next level.
Sales Success Principles
Learn foundational sales behaviors, strategies, and skills
Power of Contact Marketing
Learn from marketing expert and author Stu Heinecke
Join the top 1% of sales professionals in the world.
Next Level Virtual Coaching
Join our ongoing dynamic virtual coaching community
Explore job postings from some of the best companies in the country looking for sales professionals
Daily Dose of Influence!
Enjoy our video series of influence tips and strategies
Leads To Growth
Dig into our podcast featuring industry leaders and experts
Learn from our high-level sales coaching video series
Women of Sales & Influence – Facebook Live Series
Be inspired by our Facebook Live series spotlighting top women influencers
Women of Sales & Influence – Video Blog
Enjoy valuable, high-level sales strategies to empower your sales goals
The Growth Quotient
You’ve heard about IQ, but what is your GQ?
Our Commitment to You
We are here to help your approach to sales, how you interact with others, and how you perform and execute
NASP Sales Blog
Learn from our member-submitted articles for sales professionals
Write For Us
Share your sales expertise and insights with our community
About Our CEO
Standards of Conduct
Common Questions and Answers
The sales industry has changed in a way that has never been seen before: today, buyers have access to a vast wealth of information that was previously unavailable to them. This is what makes the buyer’s journey so important. This means you’re not just interacting with them as if they’re ready to buy right now.
That’s why convincing a potential buyer to purchase takes a little more finesse.
Even before they become interested in what you offer, you need to be there. Understanding a buyer’s path from the beginning can greatly impact your sales numbers. Let’s learn more about the buyer’s journey in this post.
The buyer’s journey is just that – the journey or the process your potential buyer goes through that ends with the actual purchase. That’s why it’s also called the purchasing journey.
Essentially, it starts when they recognize a problem that they want to be addressed. What is the solution to this problem? It’s your product or service.
Think of it as the sales funnel but from the perspective of the buyer. Being aware of their journey allows you to intimately know how they think, act, and decide in every part of the process up until they reach the point of sale.
Therefore, the sales funnel and the buyer’s journey are complementary marketing tools designed to maximize your turnover.
Although both need to be tracked, their purpose isn’t the same. Functionally, what they have in common is that they’re both used in creating a marketing strategy.
Also known as the consumer purchase journey, the customer journey doesn’t end when the sale is closed. It also involves after-sales support, something that’s meant to boost brand loyalty and customer lifetime value.
So in a way, it never actually ends because sustaining support and loyalty from existing customers requires constant effort.
Meanwhile, the purchasing journey is the opposite – it ends when a transaction is made, as its purpose is to help marketers generate sales.
We’ve seen a lot of people use the two terms interchangeably. If it’s still a little confusing, just think of the customer journey as the extended counterpart.
The journey consists of three various stages, each of which takes the buyer closer to the sale. These are awareness, consideration, and decision.
What each stage is called easily summarizes the general decision-making state of the buyer. But to give you a deeper understanding of these stages, we’ll talk about them in detail in the following subsections.
Note that not everyone will have the same parameters for when a lead is considered to have moved to other stages of the buyer’s journey.
So if you make one for your organization, the decision-makers there will ultimately decide where these lines are.
To help illustrate the three stages, we’ll use a simple buyer’s journey example as well.
During the awareness stage, the lead becomes aware that something is wrong. Or at least something can be improved. They know there’s a problem, but they don’t fully understand it yet.
So they use their access to information to find a name for it.
For example, the lead finds a stain on their favorite shirt. Because they don’t know what to do, they google “what is a brown stain on clothes?”.
At this stage, the goal is to remove the problem ASAP. But they know that the first step here is to identify what the problem is.
For many marketers, the consideration stage begins once the lead can clearly define what the problem is. Continuing with the example earlier, they’re already aware that it’s just mud.
However, they aren’t sure yet how to go about addressing it.
So what they do is consider potential solutions – that’s the highlight of the second stage of defining what the buyer’s journey is. They’ve seen a YouTuber use baking soda to remove a stain.
But thanks to your content marketing efforts for the awareness stage, they also know that the detergent you’re selling can remove in five minutes.
After the evaluation, the buyer is almost at the end of the journey: it’s time to make a decision. The decision stage is when they weigh up all the options.
In our example, there are two options. Because the buyer wants a solution that is sure to work, they go with your detergent.
But it’s also possible for them to slip back to the consideration stage. If they believe that none of the options are worth it, they’ll redo the second stage to see if they missed anything.
Think of it this way: if your budget is $5 and both prospective solutions cost $10, you won’t be able to buy anything.
A lot of sources say that it’s 67%. Because of how immersed and connected everyone is now through the internet, it’s being heavily used to help a lead move through the buyer’s journey.
But even if you feel like you’re not using digital assets enough, you don’t necessarily have something to worry about.
The perfect “mix” of online and offline strategy will depend on your business. For example, a kid selling lemonade from a lemonade stand may just need to post on local groups to bring foot traffic.
Meanwhile, a digital startup may mostly rely on its digital assets when strategizing. Only you can tell how much of it would be digital.
Many of those who go through the buyer’s journey may not make a decision favoring your company. So why make the effort to map it out? Here are a few reasons:
The point of having a buyer’s journey is to align your marketing efforts to respond to where your buyer is in their decision-making process. If you have no idea what content to create for each stage, here are a few ideas to help you out.
To reiterate, the strategies don’t have to revolve around digital assets, but for most industries, these would be appropriate solutions.
Understanding the buyer’s journey isn’t just about having a theoretical marketing concept.
It’s essential if you want to understand how to move your leads to the bottom of the funnel. And the more leads you retain as you move through this funnel, the more sales you close.
The buyer’s journey presents a way for marketers to easily understand their prospective buyers, thus allowing them to implement appropriate strategies.
With your newfound deeper appreciation of this topic, we’re confident that you’ll be able to take your campaigns to the next level.
About the author