What do my users want? The savviest Product leaders are asking themselves this question more frequently than ever. They know great User Experience (UX) is rapidly becoming a competitive differentiator. Customers’ expectations have risen, and failure to provide exceptional customer experience is resulting in slower revenue growth. According to Forrester, organizations that adopt CX driven practices saw a 17% spike in revenue growth.
Product leaders know that they are in a User Experience business. Great Product leaders understand that how their product delivers for users is just as important as what it provides.
Why Is User Experience so Important?
- Customer Satisfaction – Great UX increases customer satisfaction by improving the usability and pleasure of interacting with the product.
- Understand your audiences – By conducting UX research, you gain insight into your users’ behaviors and reactions to your products.
- Good UX is good business – An investment in UX sees a reduction in support and customer acquisition cost. It also drives improved customer retention and increased market share.
How Can I Drive Great User Experience?
Collaboration between Product and Sales is essential when defining the User Experience. This collaboration creates an environment where user personas and a user first strategy is shared.
If you are utilizing a user-centered UX design process it probably looks something like this:
Leverage Sales in All Phases of Your User Experience Design Process
Step 1: Research to Discover What the Problem Is
It’s best for your UX team to collaborate with Sales from the start. Before you start designing, solicit feedback from Sales to craft your vision, and establish project objectives.
Your sales team has the most direct contact with your customers and users. Together, assess your users’ pain points, goals, and needs. Your sales reps are on the front line every day with your products. Their input can help add additional detail to the user scenarios that your team will address.
Step 2: Define Users Through Personas and Journey Maps
A good persona, with a foundation in hands-on research, is an excellent tool for Sales. As you know, your end user and your decision maker are usually two separate people (if you didn’t check out this article on the difference between UX and CX design). The caveat is being able to speak to the specific benefits of your product per persona.
Great UX requires a deep understanding of the customer journey and the touchpoints along the way. Mapping this customer journey is a difficult mission and a critical task. However, the initial investment will pay dividends. The article Touch Point Analysis – Your Key to Unlocking the Secrets of the Customer Journey is a great resource to identify best practices on how to utilize Touch Point Analysis.
Step 3: Ideate to Generate Ideas
With Sales input, you will be able to identify and engage early adopters of your product. These early adopters are prime candidates for focus groups to help define UX requirements. As your UX team ideates on solutions and initial design concepts, you should get feedback from Sales. This feedback will help drive revisions until the design is perfect.
Step 4: Build and Test a Prototype
Once you have ideated, and have an idea of the solution, build and test your prototype. This prototype should be tested multiple times with users before sending to development. That’s the whole point of iteration. It allows you to cast a safety net so when you launch there are few surprises. Leverage your sales teams relationships to identify the best users to participate in the testing process.
Step 5: Send the Final Prototype to Development
As you begin the development stage, you may feel that Sales collaboration is no longer required. This is not true. Best in class Product teams include a sales representative in weekly Product Development meetings. This collaboration creates a consistent feedback loop between Product and Sales throughout the development process.
Step 6: Launch the Product
A cross-functional launch process compels your customers to act. This is done through strategically defined stories told to your customers by well-trained Sales teams. The same Sales team that helped define the problem. Those improved UX stories stimulate latent demand while leading to exceptional revenue growth.
Step 7: Return to Step 1 Based on User Feedback
As we know, products will always evolve based on user feedback. UX is no different. Continued collaboration with Sales will help identify areas where there are additional opportunities to improve UX. Stay in close contact with cross-functional teams as you begin your next iteration.
If you want to understand how your Product team is engaging Sales in the development of UX ideas and product vision, Download the Product – Sales Engagement Scorecard. It will also allow you to leverage various engaging questions to identify trouble areas.
Sales teams that collaborate with Product and UX through the design process have a significant advantage. A large part of creating excellent user experience is aligning expectations with reality. It’s up to Sales to shape those expectations from the beginning. As a result, when customers begin using the product, it’s everything they expected and more. Collaboration and product roadmap and direction knowledge helps focus their pitch with fantastic detail. By collaborating with Sales in the UX design process early, you position your team for success. You also set the stage for Sales success once your product launches. Who doesn’t want that?