The buyer's journey is the research process any buyer goes through leading up to a purchase. Every industry is different, and every company we work with is different, but all buyers go through the same basic process before they make a decision to buy something.
Your company goals and your buyer personas should affect how you help prospective clients go through this journey.
This is when the buyer first starts to realize they have an issue but have not quite defined it yet.
They are not ready to be sold to or be offered your specific products and solutions yet. Content and communication during this stage should focus on helping them understand their problem and the importance of fixing it. What is at stake if they don't fix it? What can they gain if they start looking for a solution?
This is when the buyer clearly defines the issue and is ready to research possible solutions.
Now is an okay time to start talking about specific solutions you provide. But this should still be a soft sell. Meet each of their pains and gains with your product or services solutions and be helpful in comparing your solutions to all other potential solutions on the market and position your unique selling points or value proposition.
This is when they buyer decides on a solution and is ready to buy.
This is often the first time a buyer will talk to an actual sales representative. Make sure the sales messages are in line with the marketing messages they've been receiving through the other phases of the journey (no bait and switch!). Be ready to be helpful, answer questions and really begin to forge a relationship with the prospect. Remember, people don't buy from companies, they buy from people.
In short: leading a customer through their buyer's journey is how we help a website visitor become a prospect, a prospect become a lead, and a lead become a customer. Then it's time to delight your customer and help them buy more from you more often and even refer additional business to you.