All growth-minded organizations have two key players: sales and marketing. In good organizations, sales and marketing work together to achieve goals. In great organizations, sales and marketing are combined to form one revenue team. In the best organizations, a third player is brought in: customer experience.
Chances are, you’ve heard about the importance of sales and marketing alignment. Here at SyncShow, we are so passionate about this topic that we coined the term “synchronized inbound marketing.” Synchronized inbound marketing is the alignment of your organization’s growth strategy with marketing and sales, enabling marketing and sales to work as one revenue team that guides prospects through their journey to becoming customers.
Every SyncShow client, regardless of if they work in sales or marketing, leaves our preliminary SaleSync meeting feeling energized and aligned. However, in our years of experience, we have discovered a shift occurring. Strong sales and marketing alignment is not enough for the buyers of 2020 and beyond. Today’s buyers are looking for more. They need customer experience.
What Is Customer Experience?
Customer experience, besides being the secret sauce of the best companies in the world, is best defined by HubSpot as the impression you leave with your customer, resulting in how they think of your brand, across every stage of the customer journey.
Why Does Customer Experience Matter?
Too often, C-suite executives think of customer experience as an added bonus.
“Sure, it would be great to have our customers singing our praises, but at the end of the day, I am looking to generate revenue and that is what my sales and marketing team should be focused on—new business.”
If this sounds familiar, don’t worry! It’s not too late for you. A customer experience strategy is absolutely a revenue-generating activity. In fact, many companies are reporting that, after investing in a customer experience strategy, their customers are generating more business via referrals than their sales and marketing team combined.
These powerful customer experience statistics speak for themselves:
- The Temkin Group found that companies that earn $1 billion annually can expect to earn, on average, an additional $700 million within three years of investing in customer experience.
- In fact, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience.
- A Walker study found that by the end of 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
Marketing can be expensive. Acquiring new customers is definitely expensive. Retaining and upselling existing customers is relatively inexpensive. This is why so many growth-minded companies are shifting to a culture of customer experience.
How Sales Teams Can Improve Customer Experience
Sales teams are boots on the ground, talking to prospects every day. They know the ins and outs of a company’s personas. They know what makes them tick. By sharing this information with the rest of the company, a sales team can contribute to alignment across all departments to ensure customers are being delighted every step of the way.
How Marketing Teams Can Improve Customer Experience
So much of marketing today is information sharing—hello, content marketing. Marketing teams of 2020 are pushing out blog posts, infographics, whitepapers and more on a regular basis to entice prospects and generate leads for the sales team. All of this amazing informational content can be used cross-functionally to delight current customers.
Instead of forgetting about customers after they convert, add them to your company’s email newsletter, send them the latest offers and add them to your drip campaigns just as you would a prospect. Just like a lead, a customer requires nurturing in order to be happy.
A Shift in Thinking
Many companies struggle with incorporating a customer experience strategy into their business model and it’s not because they don’t want to or don’t care about their customers. It’s because their companies are not set up to be customer-first organizations.
Think about the traditional funnel model. A marketing team generates leads, passes them off to the sales team, and the sales team closes those leads into customers. There is, frankly, no room here for customer experience.
What about ROI? When was the last time you reported on closed customers or qualified leads? Most companies spend sales and marketing meetings discussing these metrics much more than customer retention metrics.
As strategic leaders, it’s our job to shift the company mindset from customer acquisition to customer retention. It’s every single person in an organization’s job to retain customers.
How Customer Experience and Digital Marketing Can Work Together
Once your sales, marketing and customer service teams are all aligned, it’s time to start thinking cross-departmentally. Here are a few campaigns and tactics that allow all three departments to work together:
- Ask customers to leave 5-star online reviews
- Use customer testimonials as trust-symbols across your website
- Run a social media campaign where customers can post about their experience working with your company
At SyncShow, we eat, sleep and breathe company alignment, and we practice this by implementing synchronized inbound for our clients. For more information or to find out if synchronized inbound is right for your company, contact us. We would be happy to chat with you!