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Aligning Building Products Marketing and Sales around the Buyer’s Journey
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June 1, 2020
Aligning Building Products Marketing and Sales around the Buyer’s Journey
Mark Shevitz
Mark Shevitz

Let’s be honest. Marketing and sales departments sometimes seem to be at odds—especially for companies like those in the building products industry selling to builders, contractors, architects, building owners and facilities managers.

Even though their mission should be the same—to build awareness and equity with prospects and customers and generate revenue—disconnects happen. That’s when it’s helpful to have an organizing principle that both marketing and sales teams can align their efforts around.

At CBD Marketing, we encourage our clients to use the buyer’s journey as the thing that both teams can come together and agree on a cooperative approach to. Aligning marketing and sales around the buyer’s journey not only creates a real partnership that fosters better dialog and more effective overall efforts, but can also boost sales results and increase revenue.

Where to Start

Alignment begins with marketing and sales leaders agreeing on outcomes:

  • What the sales goals are
  • How many qualified leads it will take to generate revenue targets
  • How taget audiences make their decisions about what products/services to buy

Remember there can be multiple buyer profiles and key influencers—especially in the building products category. If your product is commercial grade cladding, for example, you would consider the buyer’s journey for the specifying architect, the builder and the facilities owner/manager. Each might have a slightly different path. And while mapping the buyer’s journey is another topic, alignment can happen even without a granular understanding of the process.

Here are some basic steps to help get you started with mapping out the buyer’s journey in order to ensure that marketing and sales efforts are working toward common goals.

How to Align Marketing & Sales Efforts to the Journey

Start with a discussion between marketing and sales about the steps your prospective customers take, from awareness through close, loyalty and evangelism. In B2B buying, this often consists of:

For each of these steps, the following things should be identified:

  • Buyer's Disposition

    Is the buyer:

    • In-market
    • Not yet in market
    • A current customer
    • A former customer
  • Buyer's Intent

    Is the buyer:

    • Passively listening
    • Researching
    • Evaluating
    • Purchasing
    • Using
    • Sharing their experience with you
  • Buyer's Disposition

    Is the buyer:

    • In-market
    • Not yet in market
    • A current customer
    • A former customer
  • Marketing & Sales Objectives

    • What is it that these teams need to do in order to get the buyer to the next step in the process?
    • If the prospect is researching your and your competitors’ offerings, what will it take to get them to the evaluation stage?
    • What does evaluation look like for your industry and prospects (trial, online demo, sales call, plant visit, etc.)?

  • Marketing & Sales Objectives

    • What is it that these teams need to do in order to get the buyer to the next step in the process?
    • If the prospect is researching your and your competitors’ offerings, what will it take to get them to the evaluation stage?
    • What does evaluation look like for your industry and prospects (trial, online demo, sales call, plant visit, etc.)?

  • Channels & Tactics

    • How should the marketing and sales teams deliver what’s necessary to move the prospect to the next step in the buyer’s journey?
    • How do buyers get their information at each step?
    • At any given step, what is the role that marketing can play, and what can the sales team do?

  • Marketing & Sales Objectives

    • What is it that these teams need to do in order to get the buyer to the next step in the process?
    • If the prospect is researching your and your competitors’ offerings, what will it take to get them to the evaluation stage?
    • What does evaluation look like for your industry and prospects (trial, online demo, sales call, plant visit, etc.)?

  • Buyer's Intent

    Is the buyer:

    • Passively listening
    • Researching
    • Evaluating
    • Purchasing
    • Using
    • Sharing their experience with you

At any given step, what is the role that marketing can play, and what can the sales team do?

Use these steps and questions to create a baseline map of the buyer’s journey and what the marketing and sales teams agree it will take to move buyers through it. When complete, it might look like this:

UIC RISE Magazine Fall19_2

With a buyer’s journey map like this, it’s easy for marketing and sales to understand and agree on where each team can contribute to moving buyers through the purchase process. This creates the foundations of alignment between marketing and sales that will ultimately enhance the efforts of both teams, close more business and generate increased revenues.