Gone are the days when sales teams were accumulating leads with the hope that at least some of them would turn into clients. Marketing and sales executives are feigning less interest in the traditional sales funnel concept and are embracing the one-to-one marketing strategy. Nowadays, companies are changing their strategies when it comes to customer acquisition. They now look towards building trustworthy, long-term relationships with their clients.
The term “customer journey” was not that popular a decade ago. But with realization dawning upon companies that your customer’s relationship with your product is not love at first sight but involves several steps before the customer accepts the product. The road to adopting the product starts with the customer recognizing an issue, researching about it, discovering that your product can solve the issue, looking at the attributes of your product, comparing your products with the ones in the market, and finally purchasing the same.
Understanding this journey of product acceptance that your customer undertakes can help you, as a company, to assist the customer at various steps thereby enhancing customer experience. This helps you to build valuable customer relationships that generate recurring revenue that includes cross-sells, maintenance fees, up-sells, and repeat purchases, beyond the original sale.
When it comes to sales people, they play a crucial role in capturing the client’s/customer’s product journey for analysis as they are ones closest to the customers in any company. The sale team has the ability to segregate your buyers/customers into different groups or “personas” depending on the products they purchase or utilize. They can be further classified based on demographic and psychographic characteristics.
When you analyze your customer’s journey and try to map out their process, you will definitely stumble across predictable components. For example, you might recognize that along the path to purchase, most of the customers seek some specific information. What if you provide the information even before they ask you for it? Will you not be offering better customer experience? Each such predictable moments would present you with an opportunity to deepen your relationship with your customers.
You might even discover touch points along the customer journey that have the potential to turn off the purchase. In such cases, actors on your side (your sales team) can swoop in to influence the customer’s purchase decisions. Also, having the customer journey map enables your product management and sales team to analyze the touch points that might turn away a customer from making the purchase. You will be able to locate the pain points where the customers might stray from the path to purchase and require expert help.
- What role can Sales play in Customer Journey Mapping?
When it comes to guiding and enriching a company’s understanding of the customers’ personality or personas, salespeople are the ones that do that. But you, as a member of the sales team, what exactly should be your role in this process?
- The first is to extract intelligence. Discover shifts in your customers like change in attitude towards the product, ability to influence other customers, change in market trends, or change in the customer segment (personas). If you are in sales, you will be the first to notice such shifts.
- The next is guiding the development of marketing content. You, as a salesman, has direct contact with your customer. You know the way they think, the things they like. Utilize this knowledge and help the content development team to generate buyer-centric content that your buyers would find attractive. The marketing content should be such that the buyers are able to associate themselves with the same. It should match the needs of specific customer personas.
- Keep yourself updated with the customer journey map. Based on the features introduced in an existing product or a new product launch, the customer journey maps might keep changing. Alway keep yourself updated in order to make a better pitch. If your Product Management team is yet to come up with a customer journey map, then take the initiative and start organizing the customer journey mapping process for yourself. Your efforts wouldn’t go unnoticed as it would definitely lead to increased revenue.
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