The more engaged your customers, the better the predictability of your sales pipeline and growth prospects. Crucially, engaged customers are linked to the evolution of customer experience strategy in a customer-centred business model.
I have always found the user experience to be best when you start with the people; first, technology second, whether the experience is for the internal or external customers, it is a people first mindset. A golden rule that has stood the test of time learnt from my time working with a customer experience consultancy, your customers whether internal or external are your best innovator and creators. It is puzzling why corporate decisions that affect the customer and the company bottom line is made without real customer representation. Customers whether internal or external, want to be involved and part of the development and growth of the brand they value.
McKinsey insights found that, on average, brands that improve customer experience increase revenue by 10-15% and lower costs by 15-20%. Although we have seen an improvement in the application of customer experience through product innovation and digital technology. However, many organisations still focus on sales first rather than the customer first. Also, it is easy to understand why:
Hence, larger organisations continue to lose market share and relevance as smaller agile, customer-focused businesses whose purpose is to understand their specific customer needs and meeting their expectations.
Since the global economic crash in 2008, there has been an erosion of trust in larger companies, and the companies have not done a great job on restoring trust ten years on.
3 Reasons for Corporate Inertia to Customer-Centric Sales Transformation:
Laurence Fink, co-founder and Chief Executive of BlackRock with 4.6 trillion in assets, said, “Today’s culture of quarterly earnings hysteria is totally contrary to the long-term approach we need.”
Every company wants to attract its most valued customers and maximise the lifetime value, developments in the digital age make it increasingly difficult. The digital age has allowed customers’ and buyer limitless options and transparency beyond product and price.
The company that differentiates themselves from the competition must provide a well-researched, personalised and compelling experience that attracts buyers and customers and wins their loyalty.
However, many companies that have invested in customer-centric strategies, have not seen the expected or promised transformation.
The Promise of Customer Experience Sales Transformation Fails for 6 Reasons:
Once you have understood the depth of the customer-centric model, you can start translating your vision and values into a customer-centric growth model.
The 4 Strategies of Customer-Centric Business Grow Model.
It would be best if you incorporated new mechanisms into your sales processes that help enhance the experience from the inside out! Too often I see great salespeople let down by the internal silos and bureaucracy. With the help of digital tools, integrated quotation management software, instant quotes based on their profile and automated systems can improve your responsiveness to customers.
What your company values have no relevance and each customer preferences and values will differ, some may be speed and others for ease. It is essential to engage, educate and elevate the relationship to build a partnership giving your most valued customer what they most value. Creating the value proposition around what is import to the buyer and customer, equipping your sales team with transparent, detailed arguments and reliable evidence to communicate the value and impact and how much the partnership is worth.
Use algorithms to predict what buyer and their customers are most likely to buy next based on their past behaviour, preferences, and values. Best-in-class sales tools can have a significant impact on sales performance. Create strategies to develop a trusted relationship further. Build the breath of relationship within the buying organisation. Incentivise all employees with sales professional to nurture the relationship and deliver best in class customer experience.
The best customer experiences offer much more than a product, they offer an emotional feeling. Help customers uncover unrealised needs through probing questions. If you can draw out what the customer actually needs instead of just a stated want, you can better serve and tailor your offer to solve the real problem and not just the symptom. ideally providing a comprehensive and proven solution that includes ongoing support and service. Elevate the relationship may mean the seller becomes the process management on the customer’s side or develops license arrangements for accompanying software or offer additional services such as regular analysis reports as part of a unique subscription. A partnership allows you to innovate specific product and services and develop new revenue streams moving from a product to relationship to partnership business.
To attractive your most valued customers and maximise the lifetime value, understand a sale is no longer just a sale. It a relationship that starts with an unmet need. Your buyers and customers are searching for a solution to their problem. What keeps them as long-term lifetime buyers are the customer experience and not the product you sell. What enabled you to serve your buyers and customers long-term wants and needs is the customer-centric mindset, model, people and a customer experience process.
Scale Your Sales will help you to think bigger, build deeper relationships and create lasting impact. What are you willing to do to keep your customer coming back for more?
Janice is a Visiting Fellow at Cranfield School of Management. She is passionate about helping companies adapt their sales approach to the economic, social and technological challenges. This has led her to create the popular the sales enablement system, Scale Your Sales. Janice is the international Strategic Account Sales Speaker, author and consultant, achieving many noted accolades including Sage Top100 Global Business Influencer 2017. Contact Janice today about Scaling your Sales
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