Between a customer first submitting a form and being closed is a journey filled with opportunities to differentiate a company from the competition. Marketing departments are uniquely positioned to own this customer experience and, besides improving ROMI metrics, can grow the role of Marketing through the close and beyond.

Too often marketing leaders focus their digital initiatives on one thing: lead generation.  So, if you’re like most CMOs, you’re investing a lot of time and energy into your website, marketing automation platform and maybe some tools to provide enhanced analytics on the people engaging with your content.  That’s a great start, but admit it: you also want to raise the profile of the marketing team and get credit for driving all that revenue that seems to slip away due to attribution issues the longer a lead hangs around waiting for sales acceptance.  So how can you continuing positioning marketing as the technology leaders in your organization and grab a bigger piece of the pie for team marketing?

 

Download the SBI Touchpoint Analysis Tool. This tool provides a list of the key touchpoints to consider, describes how to actually do the analysis, and has a buyer’s journey template you can customize with your own touchpoints.

 

Digital Marketing Isn’t about Replacing Sales, It’s about Improving the Customer Experience

 

The good news is that there are productive areas to drive innovation, but a laser-like focus on top-of-funnel lead generation and reporting is only a small piece of the puzzle.  It’s also important to be pragmatic: just because b2c companies can cut sales out of the picture altogether, that doesn’t mean you should assume your high-touch, complex enterprise SaaS offering is ready for a self-service purchase model.  Remember any budget you request to implement a digital solution with the intent of reducing sales headcount means you’re taking a significant risk you may not be able to deliver on and one that won’t win any allies on the sales side, either!  The better approach is to position marketing as driving an enhanced customer experience across the customer lifecycle from prospect to customer.

 

Why Data Custody Is the Smart Play

 

The most successful b2c services today are omni-channel and, while the Apple-style one-size-fits-all consumption model may never permeate b2b, promoting a seamless experience across multiple devices for the b2b prospect and customer already has.  So it’s not surprising when a tanked NPS score is traced back to frustration about disconnected processes or customers that have to repeat themselves to multiple people just to reset a password.  And within this miasma is the shrewd marketing leader’s opportunity: Between a customer first submitting a form and being closed is a journey filled with opportunities to differentiate a company from the competition.  Marketing departments are uniquely positioned to own this customer experience and, besides improving ROMI metrics, can grow the role of Marketing through the close and beyond.

 

What the Outcome Looks Like

 

So, what’s the end goal?  The end goal is a clearly documented buyer’s and customer’s journey that maps the key touchpoints each and every person is bound to have: form submits, password resets, chats within the website, BDR contacts, sales reps, sales engineers, implementation specialists, support, accounting, the renewals team, etc.  And from this touchpoint analysis, an identification of where the experience can be enhanced by thoughtful, comprehensive custody of data.  For example, are your BDRs seeing the chat transcripts from the website when your prospect requested she be contacted?  Does your support portal customize content based on the customer’s previous searches and current product mix?  Support, by the way is easier for people to self-service because the parameters of the relationship are defined in the sales process.  It’s no longer a question of “what do I need” but “how do I make this feature work”.

 

Of course, everyone knows it’s cheaper to keep an existing customer than to land a new one, so a better support process is great, but these deep-funnel and customer experience digital transformations impact every marketing department owning or supporting renewals activities.  Imagine the cross-sell and up-sell potential to be gleaned from 12 months of support interactions!

 

I’ll bet you didn’t think your next transformational initiative was going to be “data custody,” did you?  Nevertheless, there’s a clear business case that this type of project can accelerate pipeline, provide a competitive advantage, drive greater CLTV and who else is better equipped to own this than the people tasked with first capturing, organizing and acting on digital prospect data? Could you see yourself leading a digital-focused marketing team that has become the central hub around which the rest of the organization orbits?

 

Your Next Steps

 

Thus far I’ve been trying to get you excited about the opportunity to grow your prominence and deliver some serious competitive advantage.  But now let’s talk about a plan.  There’s a lot of areas to consider and you’ll want to create a customized approach, but a few places to start are:

 

 

Finally, Download the SBI Touchpoint Analysis Tool. This tool provides a list of the key touchpoints to consider, describes how to actually do the analysis, and has a buyer’s journey template you can customize with your own touchpoints.

 

 

Additional Content

 

Schedule a working session at SBI’s Studio.

 

Located in Dallas, TX, our facility offers state-of-the-art meeting rooms, lounge, full-service bar, and a studio used to tape our TV shows. SBI provides the location and facilitators, all at a compelling price point.

 

As a guest of The Studio, you’ll get unlimited access to SBI’s CEO, Partners, and a handpicked team of experts.

 

New call-to-action

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ben Redfield

Helping marketing leaders to accelerate revenue growth.

Ben has more than 10 years of experience defining, developing and executing successful marketing engagements in industries including technology hardware, SAAS, manufacturing & professional services.

 

As a strategist, he is particularly skilled at revenue operations, lead generation tactics and pipeline optimization.  As an experienced practitioner, he has extensive experience with inbound marketing campaign methodology and marketing automation best practices.

Read full bio >