3 Steps to Creating a Successful Customer Buying Journey

3 Steps to Creating a Successful Customer Buying Journey

As mentioned in our previous Challenger blog post about the Customer Buying Journey, organizations are recognizing a knowledge gap between how customers make purchases and how their sellers manage their sales efforts.

Most Challenger clients are aware of the importance of buyer journey mapping, however many don’t know where to focus effort because the process feels too burdensome.

Excuses/reasons for not developing and using Customer Buyer Journey maps we commonly hear:

  • It would take too much time to align all our existing sales process documents
  • Front-line managers won’t know how to modify coaching efforts to integrate with a new approach
  • Incorporating buyer journey information in the CRM is a guaranteed headache. We don’t know how to embed content in our systems that will bean effective tool for sellers.

These are difficult obstacles to overcome, but sales leaders are discovering that it’s more costly to do nothing— particularly as managers coach to sales processes that are 10+ years old, or forecasts go up in flames as deals take longer to close.

How to Implement a new Customer Buyer Journey

Sales teams ask for a lot. They want state-of-the-art technologies, newest insight & data, and creative Marketing & Sales content to present to customers. And they want it yesterday!

So, if your decision leads you to make the Customer Buying Journey the predominant framework in your sales organization, take time to align it with your existing sales process stages, activities, and associated enablement materials.

  • First, ensure that Sales Enablement resources reflect the language, phases, and activities noted in the Customer Buying Journey. Consider reviewing your sales process guides, account plans, and playbooks; then determine which documentation needs to be changed immediately, in the near-term, or needs to be sunset.
    • Tip: Direct feedback from sales professionals will help determine which existing tools and process materials are most beneficial at different points in the process. Don’t change all at once!
  • Second, train managers on how to use the new resources to drive greater success in overcoming the increasingly complex buying environment. Show managers how to use the map to improve forecast accuracy, and how to utilize specific elements of it within their deal-level coaching.
    • Tip: Evaluate embedding the process into manager performance measures. Consider measures such as precision of forecast (based on customer verifiers) or demonstrated buying journey expertise
  • Third, prioritize embedding buyer journey mapping into your CRM. Consider ways to update ‘sales process’ stages to your new ‘Buyer Journey’ stages and where possible, incorporate verifiers to give a more precise view into a deal’s specific stage.
    • Tip: There will be a transition period as you move from current forecasting practices. Your pipelines will look different but will showcase better accuracy. Prepare senior leaders for adjustments to their quarterly forecasts.

Start Your Customer Buying Journey

Challenger is positioned to help support sales enablement teams in this transformation. Our organization has the expertise to help create accurate buyer journey maps and best practice knowledge for embedding the corresponding concepts into your sales enablement resources.

Take the survey today:

Challenger invites you to take a few short minutes to find out. Click the link below for the Buyer Journey – Need To Change Self-Assessment. 

We will tabulate your results and email you a benchmark report.  In the mean time we’ll share a kit with some interesting guidance to get you started on Buyer Journey mapping.

Take the survey here