The market has changed – Have you? The market is still there, bigger and better but how it moves has changed and how you access it needs to change as well. The good news is that the fundamentals have not changed.
For you business leaders and leaders in Sales / Marketing / Customer Service / Public Relations … anyone touching the customer; this one’s for you.
I have mentioned this before … the role that your buyer plays in the buying & selling cycle has moved further up the value chain. This changes everything. Let me explain …
OLD Customer Engagement Model: In the past, your customers identified a need, then talked to peers to see if anyone had a connection or had a trusted realtionship with a vendor like yourself. They then reached out to you and a couple other competitors and reviewed your offerings. They were comfortable with the material you gave them and when they made decision amongst themselves; they came back to complete a transaction. This is the OLD model.
NEW Customer Engagement Model: In the NEW model, like the image above depicts; you see a huge shift in Customer Participation. This is a key factor to notice. You see them initially engaged in the marketplace, consuming all kinds of relevant information online and in social media; staying abreast of current trends in their marketplace. This is the first shift. Today’s buyer is an informed buyer. Once they identify a need, they start doing their research online and collaborate with their peers. They do this extensively. When they have collaborated with others and got a better sense of what the trends are and who whey should be talking to; they reach out to you and a few of your competitors. They then review your offering as well as those of your competition and then make a decision, usually very quickly. Completing the transaction.
The NEW Sales Eco-System: This new model adapts to this fundamental shift in how customer behavior has shifted. You now have a greater need to seed the market place with valuable information and content through your Public Relations, Investor Relations and Marketing efforts. This helps you build trust in the marketplace and strengthens your Brand. If you do this right, you build a large fan base of people who appreciate your leadership and your offering. Key Point — they may or may not have transacted with you yet.
Once your prospects have identified a need they have; they will interact with you via your marketing and pre-sales programs and qualify their needs against your capabilities / product offering. When they feel comfortable about a potential match they either come in and or schedule a Sales Call.
Key Point — your buyers today are usually very informed buyers by the time they start talking with your sales people.
When the sale is complete and your prospects are now clients; you have a wonderful opportunity to strengthen your relationship with them and engage deeper; becoming a functional part of their business; a partner they could not think of doing without. This is key and the primary responsibility of your Customer Success Team. In the old days we called them Customer Service or Customer Support. This team’s job is to take care of your customers in such a meaningful way that they keep inviting you to help them be more successful in the marketplace. Their job is to create the space for your Sales Execs to cross-sell and upsell products and services, increasing the Annual Net Value of the account. Key Point — One successful event begets another and you never leave.
Final Point –– all these teams need to work together as one unit. They need to speak the same narrative and live their Brand. You are all in it together. Its not just sales and marketing anymore. Stay committed to serve your clients.
Here is the diagram again – so you can see visually what I am talking about.
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