As we increasingly understand the “Chaotic Buying Journey,” as illustrated by the great work done by my friends at Gartner; marketing and sales people are struggling with, “How do we respond?”
Too often, the thinking is, “We have to meet the customer where they are at!” Some marketing and sales enablement people are reveling in the new content challenge, thinking, they have to provide content and related support for every one of these points in the buyer journey. The thinking is, “We must mirror the buyer journey.”
The underlying principle of aligning with the buyer’s journey and intercepting them where they are at, as they wander through the chaotic buying process, seems to make sense–at least on the surface.
On reflection, though, one might think, “Just because the buying journey is chaotic, doesn’t mean it should be or that the customers want it to be that way!”
In fact, one quickly comes to the conclusion, that anything we can do to help the customer simplify and reduce the chaos they experience, creates great value for the customer. As a result, one then realizes, that mirroring and aligning with the chaotic buying journey is the wrong thing to do.
Sales (and marketing) create the greatest value when we can help the customer reduce the complexity, confusion, and duplicative work. When we help add clarity to what the customer is trying to achieve and the simplest way to align priorities and interests in helping them through their buying process, we help them achieve their goals more quickly and with greater certainty.
While we will never make it a straight path (as much as we may long for the days of the linear buying/selling processes, we can provide leadership in improving the process, making it much less chaotic and more predictable