What Are the Most Important Touchpoints of a Buyer Journey in B2B?

Lena M.
4 min read
30.09.2023 16:08:00

If you work in the B2B sector and want to close more sales, you should know the points of contact with your customers.

In the age of digital marketing and multi-channel sales, B2B companies can easily establish contact with their customers and close sales more easily.

However, the ability to engage with customers across so many channels is both a curse and a blessing.

While the large number of touchpoints along the buyer journey should be used to persuade customers to buy products, it can also lead to customers being lost to the company before they make a purchase.

The large number of touchpoints poses a challenge for B2B companies in particular. The customer journey often takes longer here, which means that important touchpoints could be overlooked.

Do you have a strategy for attracting sufficient traffic and successfully converting the leads generated? We'll show you how to find the most significant touchpoints in your buyer journey.

What Are Touchpoints?

Customer touchpoints (usually referred to as touchpoints for short) are all situations in which a lead or customer comes into contact with a company or brand.

These points of contact between companies and contacts occur before, during, and after the purchase of a product or service.

On the buyer journey, i.e., the customer's journey from initial contact to purchase to the use of a product or service, there can be a different number of customer touchpoints in all phases.

These touchpoints are influenced by the size of the company and the complexity of the product or service offered with which potential customers interact.

Touchpoints occur both online and offline.

They can take different forms, such as interactive (e.g. a website), static (e.g. an advertising brochure) or human (e.g. a salesperson).

Companies should constantly keep in mind that an impression is made on the customer at every touchpoint of the buyer journey. 

These impressions include cognitive and emotional aspects.

Cognitive aspects relate to information about the company, brand, and products. Emotional aspects relate to the feelings that arise. This experience is referred to as the brand experience.

Touchpoints are important for companies because they always leave an impression on the customer, regardless of how important the company considers a touchpoint to be.

Especially with the touchpoints of a B2B buyer journey, the challenge is to offer the customer a positive and coherent experience over a long time.

Do You Know the Touchpoints of Your Buyer Journey?

As mentioned at the beginning, it is critical for every company to know the various touchpoints through which contact with a potential customer can take place.

To find out which channels your future customers use, it can be helpful to first create a buyer persona.

A buyer persona describes your target group and gives you a better understanding of the needs and challenges of your target group as well as behavioral patterns, e.g. where your customers spend their time and on which channels they make purchasing decisions.

Companies that know the touchpoints of their customer journey can use their knowledge to direct their customers to the right channels and ultimately turn them into paying and returning customers.

Companies that do not have an overview of their customer touchpoints, on the other hand, will find it much more difficult to guide their customers and successfully convert them into paying customers.

As a rule, such companies will lose their customers somewhere between the touchpoints on the customer journey. And of course, we want to prevent that!

How to Find and Design Your B2B Touchpoints

To create a coherent customer journey, all possible touchpoints must be defined and evaluated. As already mentioned, the creation of a buyer persona is helpful here. 

Once you have evaluated the touchpoints, you can decide which ones have the highest chance of success and which channels you should focus on.

This is the only way to actively shape the customer experience and lose as few customers as possible between the individual touchpoints.

When identifying customer touchpoints, companies must ensure that both online and offline points are fully taken into account.

The touchpoints of your buyer journey can be divided into three phases:

  • before the purchase,

  • during the purchase,

  • and after the purchase.

The following shows which touchpoints can be considered.

Touchpoints Before the Sale

Before making a purchase, a customer interacts with numerous touchpoints. First, they recognize a need, either independently or through advertising or relevant content. 

To satisfy their need, they turn to familiar sources of information such as Google, social media channels, or advice from people they know in the industry. Their search usually focuses on the need itself, not on a specific product or brand.

Typical touchpoints for this phase include:

  • search engines

  • how-to videos

  • blogs

  • forums

  • case studies

  • testimonials from other industry representatives

In the pre-purchase phase, it is therefore particularly important to be present on the channels relevant to the target group.

Touchpoints During the Sale

The sales strategy of most companies today includes the option of buying products and services via various channels.

Possible contact points during the sale are:

  • website

  • physical showroom

  • catalog

  • (virtual) trade fair

  • telephone sales

  • field sales force

Touchpoints After the Sale

Many companies make the mistake of neglecting their customers after a successful sale. Yet it is precisely these touchpoints that are crucial to keeping customers satisfied in the long term and encouraging them to return for a subsequent purchase.

An intelligent after-sales strategy not only turns (one-time) customers into returning customers but also into loyal brand ambassadors who promote the company and its products free of charge. Investments in customer retention are therefore also investments in new customer acquisition (see pre-purchase touchpoints).

These touchpoints of the buyer journey can take many forms. These include the following channels:

  • customer service and support

  • regular newsletters with additional articles

  • surveys

  • feedback

Conclusion: Know Your Touchpoints!

Identifying and analyzing all customer touchpoints is essential to align marketing and sales in a B2B context in a customer-oriented manner.

Only by fully understanding the customer journey and all associated touchpoints can a company ensure that it successfully accompanies its customers throughout their entire journey.

The analysis of touchpoints reveals the weak points in customer relationship management in many companies.

However, companies can use the touchpoints from this article for their sales strategy to steer contacts in the right direction and turn them into paying and returning customers, as well as loyal brand ambassadors.