Understanding buyer behavior — the processes and methods consumers use to purchase products and services — is one of the fundamentals of marketing. Sales reps who know how customers behave — and think — are more likely to generate revenue and sell products. Coming to grips with Buyer behavior is a lot easier than it seems. Reps who master this concept facilitate sales growth and move prospects through the sales funnel.

What is Buyer Behavior?

Buyer behavior is a management theory that examines consumers’ shopping habits, from their first contact with a company through to the final purchase. It’s one of the most studied concepts in marketing and tells businesses how customers interact with their brand. Promotions, advertising, product launches, web design — all of these are influenced by buyer behavior to some extent. Once sales reps discover how their customers behave, they can start making important marketing decisions.

Four main business management models outline buyer behavior. These are the economic model, learning theory model, information processing model and psychoanalytic model. All of these explain, in one way or another, how customers make decisions and progress through the sales cycle.

Take the learning model, which is often taught in business management classes. It states that customers show drive when shopping for products. Consumers experience an internal stimulus which forces them to take action. This is followed by a sequence of cues that influence their motives. Then, a customer responds to the stimuli. This theory explains a consumer’s thought processes when they shop with a retailer.

Why is Buyer Behavior So Important?

Buyer behavior is the driving force behind the purchase process. If marketers work out how — and why — consumers buy certain products and services, they can use this information to improve their business model. This could prove highly lucrative; businesses will be able to generate more leads, improve their marketing processes and retain more customers.

Researching buyer behavior lets companies increase revenue and cut costs. They can find out which services are the most effective and which ones no longer provide a decent return. Buyer behavior is also important for competitor analysis. Finding out what influences a consumer’s buying process also tells businesses about their rivals. Companies can discover the attributes that consumers value most when comparing two different brands.

A number of factors influence buyer behavior. These include a consumer’s personality and perception. Different customers hold different values, too. Sales reps need to consider these factors when creating marketing campaigns.

“If a marketer can identify consumer buyer behavior, he or she will be in a better position to target products and services at them,” says Marketing Teacher, an online portal for marketing professionals. “Buyer behavior is focused on the needs of individuals, groups, and organizations.”

How to Measure Buyer Behavior

Luckily, clever software gathers and analyzes consumer behavior information, so companies don’t have to do it themselves. These programs collect information from sources such as customer relationship management applications, social networks, and other records and look for patterns in the data — trends that tell sales reps why consumers behave the way they do.

This software provides sales reps with valuable insights. It tells them which customers purchased the most products, for example, or whether a particular group of consumers — customers from a certain city or state, perhaps — purchased more items than other groups.

Computer software is crucial for sales reps who want to adopt a buyer behavior approach to marketing. It expedites the decision-making process and results in more effective ad campaigns. Data is displayed on a single dashboard, which makes it easy to find the most valuable information quickly.

Another way to measure buying behavior is to analyze social networks and online reviews. Customers often provide feedback — both positive and negative — after they complete the purchase process, so this can be a great way to discover what consumers really think about a brand. Online reviews now influence 67 percent of consumer purchasing decisions, and 28 percent of online activity is spent on social networks. These statistics prove the value of measuring consumer behavior on platforms like Facebook and Yelp.

Buyer behavior is one of the most important marketing strategies and the key to any successful sales campaign. Sales reps should process, track and analyze consumer behavior to discover which products and services are providing the biggest return on investment. Buyer behavior identifies the needs and wants of consumers and how they interact with a company.

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