10 key metrics for understanding the b2b buyer’s journey

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If you work in b2b eCommerce it’s important to understand that the b2b buyer’s journey has evolved. With the growth of digital, buyers are now able to do much more research themselves rather than relying on supplier meetings and sales reps. This means effective digital services are vital during every stage of the journey.

The b2b buyers journey consist of four main stages: awareness (realising there’s a problem), consideration (looking for a solution and making a decision), conversion (completing a purchase) and advocacy. At each stage of the buyer’s journey, b2b sellers need to understand which metrics are important.

Here are 10 key metrics to help you understand how well your business is performing during the b2b buyers journey:

Awareness Stage

At the awareness, stage understanding the traffic which comes to your site organically is useful in understanding how well your business is performing at being discovered.

  1. Unique visitors

It’s useful to measure how many of your visitors are returning and how many are unique (first-time visitors). If you are not getting many unique visitors your site is not doing a good job of being found by potential new customers.

  1. Page Views

It’s useful to understand how many pages and which pages are viewed during each visit. If you understand which pages resonate most with your users it can help you develop paid campaigns and other marketing initiatives.

Consideration Stage

Whilst potential buyers are considering which product or business matches their needs, is your site offering the buyer what they need?

  1. Visit Duration

Understanding how long visitors are spending on your website helps you to understand how engaging your content is. It can also help you to understand whether your content is fulfilling your customer’s needs.

  1. Direct Traffic

During the consideration stage, it’s likely that users will return to your site several times. They know your website and will just return directly to seek further information to help finalise their decision. If your direct traffic rate is low, alarm bells should be ringing since your business is probably not offering enough to bring back users during the consideration phase.

  1. Trial/demo sign ups

It’s likely your business offers trials and/or demos to allow potential buyers to get a more in-depth understanding and experience of your product. These users are in the final stages of their decision-making process, so tracking metrics around the take-up and use of these offerings are vital.

Conversion Stage

Your user likes your product, it solves their problems, they’ve got their team on board and they are ready to buy. It should be plain sailing. Any problems at this stage need to be identified and addressed quickly so you are not missing out on easy sales.

  1. Abandoned basket

Abandoned baskets are inevitable for any eCommerce business but your goal is to reduce them as much as possible. If your abandoned cart rate is higher than expected, investigate to see whether there are any improvements to be made in the checkout process. Read our blog on converting abandoned basket sales here. 

  1. Paid Ads

Monitoring paid ads is useful in understanding how well you are converting users at the decision making stage of their journey. If your ads are focused on conversion and they have a low conversion rate, consider what you could change to improve your rates.

  1. Conversions

Vital to the B2B seller are conversions. To understand whether your website is offering the buyer everything they need and want in order to convert you need to keep track of conversions. Monitor how many people sign up after your demo or trial, follow up with abandoned basket users (if possible) and monitor how many of your site visitors end in conversion.

Advocacy Stage

The buyer’s journey doesn’t end with the purchase, it ends with how they feel about you after they’ve purchased. Will they become advocates and hopefully repeat buyers?

  1. Adoption Rates

To understand whether your product is satisfying the customer’s needs and how your brand is resonating with them, you need to track customers beyond purchase. How good is your follow up communication and care? Do customers repeat buy? Tracking existing customers is essential in understanding how to grow your business.

  1. Customer Reviews

Reviews are vital in the B2C world for gaining trust, but they’re of growing importance in the B2B world too. Tracking reviews, as well as social media mentions on sites like LinkedIn and Twitter can help your business see who is recommending your product to others.

The b2b buyer’s journey is complex. Monitoring and understanding these key metrics will help you to improve your success rates along every stage of the b2b buyers journey.