As a B2B marketer, sales rep, or business owner, you’ve heard of the buyer journey. It’s made up of three different stages a buyer goes through in order to make a final buying decision, and most sales funnels work on moving customers through as quickly as possible.
But how exactly do you engage with customers when they’re in the consideration stage of the buying journey? How do you move customers through your sales funnel without experiencing massive drop off in this second stage?
The mistake most B2B businesses make is focusing too much on offers and promotions and not on what clients actually want in this second stage of the process.
In this post, we’ll break down the consideration stage, find out what buyers are actually desperately looking for when they’re in it, and how you can move them along to the buying stage much more successfully.
Ever wondered what the top factors are that influence B2B buying behavior? Head to our guide to find out the four main factors you should be aware of.
What is the Consideration Stage?
The consideration stage is a part of the overall buyer journey. In simple terms, this journey is split into three distinct stages:
- The Awareness Stage: The buyer has just discovered your business and is a completely cold lead.
- The Consideration Stage: The buyer has taken an interest in a specific product or service you offer and is considering a purchase.
- Decision-making Stage: The customer makes the firm decision to buy from you and becomes a paying customer.
The buying journey is much more complex than this but this simple representation helps to define your sales funnel and target your marketing efforts.
The consideration stage, as you can see, is the second stage of the buying process.
It’s when the buyer knows your brand, has built up some trust and knowledge, and is now considering your products or services.
This is a key stage because it will determine whether your not the buyer moves onto the final stage of making a purchase decision or whether they walk away.
Although the potential customer isn’t ready to buy at this stage, they’re looking for all the information they can to make an informed buying decision.
The Goals of the Consideration Stage
As a business owner or marketer, your main goal during the consideration stage is to provide potential customers with all the information they need to overcome their obstacles to making a purchase.
Buyers in this stage aren’t interested in offers or promotions, so the goal is to create informative, valuable content that answers their questions and allows them to get to know your product or service.
Your buyer will be weighing their options at this point and comparing your offer with your competitors. Therefore, it’s your primary goal to get them to choose you over all others.
To this you need to establish trust, answer any questions, offer solutions, and overcome obstacles. We’ll cover how exactly to do that in the next sections.
Marketing Strategies and Tips for the Consideration Stage
The main marketing strategy to focus on for the consideration stage is creating content. When planning your content, think about how you can communicate your value proposition to your buyers in a way that doesn’t feel salesy.
Here are some tips for planning out your marketing strategy focusing on the second stage of the buying process.
Understand Your Buyers
Not all of your buyers will be in the consideration stage, so you should have specific buyer personas for the different stages.
Who are your buyers in the consideration stage? What characteristics do they have? This should go beyond demographics and include their fears, objections, language style, and anything else that will help you better communicate with them.
If you’re struggling to pinpoint exactly who your customer is in this stage, reach out to previous customers and ask them some questions such as:
- What problem were you trying to solve when you found our product?
- What made us stand out from competitors?
- What helped you make the ultimate buying decision?
- What information would you have liked to see from us that you didn’t already?
- What content could we create to help you better understand our products?
No one knows your ideal customers like your loyal fans, so reach out and get some real-time feedback to help shape your marketing efforts.
Buyers spend longer in the consideration stage than any other since they take their time researching and looking for the best product or service.
The key to developing trust in your business over others is to offer solutions through your content marketing.
Many businesses make the mistake of offering discounts, offers, and sales to push buyers through the consideration phase. But no matter how good an offer is, unless you can overcome your buyer’s fears and objections, they’re likely to turn down any offer put in front of them.
To do this well, show your buyer you understand the problem they are facing and walk them through solutions.
Potential customers want a brand that understands their needs and delivers real solutions, so by showing them you understand the problem and your offer is the perfect solution, you’ll position yourself as the easiest choice.
Acknowledge the Next Stage
Although it’s important to give your potential buyers enough information to build trust and confidence in your brand, you don’t want them stuck in an endless cycle of research.
So, each piece of content you aim at the consideration stage still needs to branch out into the final decision-making stage where buyers make a purchase.
You can do this by linking different pieces of content together until the buyer finally ends on a contact form, or by incorporating your product or services into the content itself.
But make sure you are always acknowledging the final stage of the journey and nudging your client towards it.
Top tips for the consideration stage:
- Look at reviews of your competitors’ products and services to pinpoint what your ideal customers love and what was lacking in their offers. This is usually a great place to start when creating content.
- Focus on SEO when writing content to boost organic rankings. Remember, people will be using Google when in the consideration stage so you want your business to be top of the search results.
- Ensure your content speaks to the decision-maker you’re aiming to capture. For example, content aimed at the founder of a tech start-up is going to be vastly different than a sales rep of a marketing agency. Know your audience and tailor your content to them.
- Track your content constantly to figure out what’s working and what’s not. This will show you trends in the topics your audience wants to see more of.
Sales Strategies for the Consideration Stage
Buyers in the consideration stage aren’t ready for a sale and this is where many marketers go wrong.
Being too salesy or pushy and ignoring a buyer’s need to build trust and knowledge of your offer is an easy way to lose customers. That’s why it’s important to have high-quality, in-depth information about your brand, offer, or services to answer those important questions in the buyer’s mind.
Of course, you don’t want to forget about sales altogether. That is the ultimate goal after all.
But by nurturing leads, you actually generate 50% more sales-ready leads at a third of the cost.
This means the lead nurturing process is your sales strategy – you’re slowly moving your potential lead closer to the sale with every piece of information you provide.
Therefore, your sales strategy for this stage of the buying process should include:
- Producing informative content answers your customer’s questions.
- Underselling your brand – your customers will naturally come to you as a solution if you provide value instead of overpromotion.
- Covertly showing you are the best solution by weaving your service or product into solutions.
- Creating incredibly niche content that answers specific questions your buyers have (which is SEO optimized).
How to Nudge a Buyer Along to the Next Stage
So now you know the importance of the consideration stage and what you need to do to help buyers currently in that position, let’s look at some real-life examples of how you can provide quality content to push them along to the buying decision.
Webinars & Product Demonstrations
Video is one of the most popular ways for users to consume content. If they have a complex problem they’re trying to solve, webinars are usually an easy way to digest information and get a lot of answers fast.
Since they’re online, they’re also accessible to everyone and they are an easy way to showcase your product or service in an informative way that positions you as an expert.
However, make sure to give away enough free advice and information to make the webinar valuable to potential customers. Nothing will make customers run for the hills faster than an hour-long webinar that is really just one big sales pitch.
People love free downloads. So if you can offer an eBook, how-to guide, template, research, or other online resource that solves a problem quickly, you’ll see a sharp increase in sign-ups.
Whatever your resource is, make sure it links back easily to your paid product or service while still offering enough of your professional knowledge for free to be valuable.
Testimonials & Customer Reviews
Social proof is like gold in the consideration stage. In fact, 90% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase.
Get as many testimonials and reviews as you possibly can from previous clients and share these regularly across social media. These are also great to have throughout your website.
Video testimonials are best, but written ones are also incredibly valuable as marketing content.
Another great form of social proof, case studies show your product or service in action without being salesy.
Potential customers want results, so if you can show them a previous customer who got the results they are looking to achieve, you’ll instantly build trust in your brand.
Again, video case studies including your client are the gold standard but written examples are also great for sharing as part of your content marketing strategy.
One of the struggles many B2B businesses face is keeping customers engaged while they’re in the consideration stage.
Depending on the size and price of your product or service, buyers might be in this stage for weeks or even months, so it’s important to stay top of mind without becoming spammy.
The best way to do this is through email marketing. Drip feeding your potential customers content over the span of several weeks helps to prime them for a purchase and gives them all the information they need straight to their inbox.
With Bant, you can easily automate your email outreach and incorporate this with social outreach, retargeting ads, and more to keep your potential customers primed throughout the consideration stage – all on autopilot.
Finally, free trials are a stealthy way for you to get your potential clients to make a buying decision early. Being able to try out your product or service for free without risk showcases your offer and shows you’re confident in your services.
Free trials have also been shown to lead to a 66% conversion rate so if you can offer a free trial, you should give it some serious thought.
Engaging with Buyers in the Consideration Stage
When it comes to B2B businesses, buyers spend a significant amount of time in the consideration stage and it takes much longer to build that trust needed to make a sale.
Your ultimate job as a marketer or sales rep is to keep buyers engaged for as long as possible while they’re still contemplating a purchase.
The easiest way to do that is with Bant’s lead generation software. With all the tools you need to keep your buyers engaged and primed for a purchase, Bant will help you cut the time buyers spend in the second stage of the buying process and make more sales – all on autopilot.
Engage easily with your buyers when they’re in the consideration stage – schedule a demo today and automate your outreach!