The customer is king, can buy from whomever they’d like, and their business is the reward for companies that serve them best. That the customer is king is one of the tenets of free enterprise. It’s not a new idea. However, it appears to be lost on most companies given the consistent amount of friction in customer experience at-large. It’s clear that, more often than not, enterprises lose their way over time. As companies grow, they often get further and further away from their original mission. Rather than the customer being the reason for a company’s existence, the complexities of the enterprise become the focal point resulting in a company-centric mindset. As soon as the customer is NOT king the creep of The Customer Prevention Culture takes root in organizations. We help clients identify The Customer Prevention Culture, quantify its impact and introduce the remedy.
Strong messaging is essential for sales teams to secure meetings, stand out from the competition and advance conversations with prospects. A well-crafted message is very much like a good melody. It stays with you. Although your message may not have the same emotional connection as a song, a succinct message is unique and leaves a lasting impression.
The Rock Your Message Framework is intended to launch clients into a team-based content-building process focused on the essential points of your message. The output is rich content that can be structured, ordered and refined based on its intended use. For example, if the content is pitch material for the sales team, company website, general marketing collateral or slide decks, it makes sense to use the content differently, in expanded or abbreviated formats, at different times in the sales process or customer journey.
You’ll know the sales team is Rocking Your Message when prospects and customers begin to repeat it. Why? Because compelling language always leaves a mark.
The Sales Toolbox house assets that salespeople use to advance conversations depending upon the unique buyer personas they interact with. Assets include your message, website, demos, white papers, case studies, industry insights, content or presentations and sales decks.
Smart salespeople understand their prospect’s objections and pull the most relevant assets from The Sales Toolbox for maximum impact.
Failure to have a growing Sales Toolbox indicates a lack of understanding of what’s required to succeed in today’s selling environment. The Sales Toolbox is an important component of The Sales Engine℠ and serves as a tangible reminder of how content is essential to demonstrate how your company’s authority and leadership benefits customers.
One of the principles of The Culture of Commerce is values form culture. The point of values form cultureis to foster a consistently positive customer experience companywide by gaining mass adoption from the team. To make that happen, companies need to determine how they want customers to feel while interacting with their people, process and technology throughout the customer life cycle.
What are your values? Are they merely words that decorate a whiteboard, or is there evidence to support they’re real? More importantly, how will those values translate to how customers feel when they interact throughout the customer life cycle?
In order to lead people and empower teams, values are incredibly important. Companies that practice The Culture of Commerce understand the importance of values in order to push decision making down to the lowest level of the organization.
The perfect customer experience is all flow, no friction. In an “all flow” environment, customers have the ability to conduct business within different functional areas effortlessly throughout the customer life cycle. Those companies practicing the opposite — what I call The Customer Prevention Culture℠ — present unintentional friction throughout the customer life cycle. Adopters of The Culture of Commerce℠ understand selling the customer is not a one-time event. You don’t sell the customer, onboard them and then it’s over. Customer relationships are nurtured over time and grow as trust and credibility are established. This happens as customers interact with different team members throughout the organization. Common interactions and touchpoints include customer service, technical support, fulfillment, sales, quality, accounts receivable and many more. All customer touchpoints build or break confidence and back up the point that ALLteam members have customer-impacting positions (customer-facing and non-customer facing).
One Team – One Goal requires leaders and team members to be singularly focused and aligned to achieve shared organizational outcomes. For that to become reality, leadership teams must be honest enough to acknowledge their people-based constraints and organizational misalignment. A major misconception is that only customer-facing functions and positions need be reviewed, but this is shortsighted. Why? Because 100% of team members and functions must be viewed as customer-impacting. If not, why employ them?! As an example, is a customer service team member more important than a fulfillment center worker? Their duties are interdependent, which is why the singularly focused team is crucial to achieving a positive, sustainable customer experience.
Additionally, all companies need to teach their team that we all have customers, internal or external. If we view the people and teams upstream and downstream of us as customers, we develop a more thoughtful mindset.
Since the customer is king, it follows that customer-driven firms take their most valuable resources — people, process and technology — and deploy them in a customer-centric fashion. I’ve found that people are often misplaced, misaligned and frustrated, with poor attitudes that leak out into customer interactions. Too often it feels as though enterprises are enslaved to processes and technology that don’t serve the customer and therefore create frictional commerce.
People, process and technology need to be deployed around the customer to facilitate commerce. To do otherwise makes life overly difficult for everyone involved, especially the customer. A bonus to the customer-centric infrastructure principle is that enterprise resources are optimized to drive productivity and profits.
Digital Strategy is the idea of transforming your business from its current state to a better future state by using technology to streamline workflows and facilitate commerce by removing friction. We encourage clients to focus on 3 distinct opportunities to pursue: lead generation, sales acceleration and productivity tools. Although non-technical leaders may be intimidated by the prospect of building a digital roadmap, it’s really about priority ranking opportunities to create business outcomes through technology. 100% of businesses have constraints to commerce or friction in the customer experience. A smart digital strategy can be a gamechanger to those willing to think differently about their business.
When implemented properly, companies see a consistent pattern of lead generation, sales pipelines flowing with high-quality conversations, a defined selling process and a sales toolbox full of assets to advance opportunities toward deal or no deal. In the end, the sales team is resourced to manage conversations like never before and company leadership experiences the sales results they’ve always dreamed about. Because leadership now has confidence in the results produced by The Sales Engine℠, they’re in position to intelligently resource their business for growth. The Sales Engine benefits sales leaders because the enormous performance gaps between sales reps shrink and they can now focus on coaching people up or out of the organization.
All engines need fuel, and lead generation is what fuels The Sales Engine℠. Many B2B companies continue to engage in tired, low impact lead generation activities based upon historical decision making rather than considering their opportunity cost. An openness to opportunity cost will result in redirecting resources to more productive lead generation and marketing investments.
We teach clients how to implement high impact lead generation such as content marketing, social selling and search marketing. High impact lead generation generates real ROI and keeps the sales pipelines flowing with high quality opportunities.