How do customers go from realizing they have a problem to buying a solution? Many marketing people and courses talk about the buyer’s value journey. Heck, I even teach a version of it in a class. It usually goes through the sources of where a buyer gets information, how they shop, and how they interact with the selling company before and after the purchase. All of these are interesting and important. However …
The Buyer’s Value Journey Map takes a deep dive into how buyers form the perception of value they use to make a purchase decision. It explores the types of decisions buyers make, the type of information they need to make those decisions, and most importantly to me, how price-sensitive different buyers are depending on their journey.
The basic map is a 2 by 2 matrix. One axis is with and without sales involvement. Buyers typically do much of their research without salespeople involved. Think about the last major purchase you made. You probably spend time on the Internet researching by yourself. Eventually, you talk to some salespeople. Think about this from the seller’s perspective. When you are not talking with sales, they need to use marketing. Once you talk to salespeople, they need to know how the buyer is thinking.
The other axis is Will I and Which One. Buyers typically make both decisions. They go from realizing they have a problem they want to solve to comparing alternate solutions. They need very different information about value. For the Will I decision, they need to know the value of solving the problem. For the Which One decision, they need to know the value of one product relative to the other.
Understanding the Value Journey Map and the different Journeys buyers can take through this map can make salespeople more effective in their sales conversations, helping them win more deals at higher prices. For more detail, please check out chapters 5 and 6 of my latest book, Selling Value: How to Win More Deals at Higher Prices.