If there are specific stages in the buying process to look for, then you can apply the same methodology of lead scoring to determine which phase of the buying proces each buyer is in.
Each buying process is unique, so there is no universal process that all prospective buyers go through (see the example from the Terracotta case study to the right). However, there are three general phases that are common; awareness, solution discovery, and solution validation. Within these phases, prospective buyers of your solution may go through individual steps that you can map out.
Exploring free trials, learning about increasingly detailed aspects of solution capabilities, design, or implementation, reviewing case studies, viewing help documentation, and doing topic-specific searches can all be signs that a prospective buyer is at a specific stage of the buying process
Mapping the stage of the buying process allows some unique approaches to marketing:
- Offers or communications can be targeted at specific stages of the buying process in what is essentially buying process specific psychographic segmentation
- The size and shape of the lead funnel can be understood and shared with a broader team providing insights into marketing effectiveness
- Conversion gaps in the lead funnel can be identified allowing refocusing on specific points at which buyers are not moving forward in the buying process
If your prospects' buying process is one that can be effectively understood through observation of their digital body language, and application of lead scoring techniques to the overall buying process, the benefits of doing so are tremendous.