Today I want to talk to you about a topic that's crucially important to your customer acquisition, demand generation and sales and marketing strategies. That topic is the buyer's journey, the real buyer's journey.
Over the last 15 months, we’ve reviewed thousands of full cycle buy-sell interactions, advised, debriefed, discussed, and interviewed hundreds of sellers and buyers. We asked them what they expected would happen and we analyzed what actually happened. We reviewed reams of data, metrics, and analytics to identify what was happening, why it was happening (and to find out if what was happening even mattered). We also studied the latest research on the human brain, behavioral economics, and psychology.
We discovered, first and foremost, that just about everything that’s been/being taught about the buyer's journey, not to mention just about every description or visual of the buyer's journey, is wrong. This causes sellers and marketers to become increasingly out of alignment with buyers despite their efforts to do the right things.
In the past, this misalignment wasn’t as much of a problem because the seller could force the buyer into that journey, but as buyers have gained greater access to information and more power, that misalignment is big—and it's getting bigger every day.
Buying is the combination of two different human activities—learning and deciding. When we made that discovery, we realized that when you look at it through this lens, we already know a lot about how humans learn, including how they take that learning and apply it to make decisions and take actions. It's called the knowledge funnel.