Every customer touchpoint reflects your brand. And today, there are more touchpoints than ever, given the omnichannel nature of the market. Prospects and customers connect with your business in multiple ways along their buying journey, including:
The goal of your customer experience strategy should be for the sales organization to exceed customer expectations at every touchpoint. But how do you ensure a consistent, holistic customer experience when each touchpoint follows a different process, receives different support and reports to a different function? You make sure that everyone, regardless of team, is aligned and focused on sales success.
Organizational misalignment is one of the top three challenges plaguing sales organizations, according to the 2019 World-Class Sales Practices Study. It’s such a difficult goal to achieve that only slightly more than one-third of organizations that took part in our survey reported alignment between their sales, marketing and customer success teams. Those that have aligned these components in their enterprise sales strategy enjoy a 19.3% improvement in quota attainment and a 16.7% improvement in win rates, not to mention gains in revenue plan attainment and a drop in seller attrition.
Building this alignment requires a strong sales transformation plan—and these three steps help your organization get there.
1. Focus on Customer Wants and Needs
Purchasing is just part of the equation: sales must help their customers realize the full value of the solution they purchase. That means salespeople need to focus as much on what happens after the sale as well as what happens before; closing the deal matters, but so does the entire customer relationship. This requires that sales, plus pre- and post-sales functions, must all be on the same page.
The key to breaking the silos between where sales, sales enablement, service and other functions live is to keep the customer at the center of every effort. By keeping customers—what they want and their path to getting there—at the center of what each team does, it’s easier to align the components of the sales system.
A formal team enables consistent communication rather than sporadic communication that happens from project to project. Working together, you’ll notice more opportunities for collaboration, and with greater collaboration comes greater unity. Teams with representatives from sales, marketing, service and other teams, working in concert, create the most efficient, cohesive approach to ensuring a positive customer experience.
2. Review Your Data Collection, Analysis and Sharing Strategy
Although most sales organizations collect data, they don’t always share it—or what they learn from it—with other departments, including Product, Customer Success or Marketing. The key to improving sales results and building stronger buying relationships is to take a comprehensive view of customer data from across the enterprise. Ensure that each team has access to data stored in various repositories, whether it’s the CRM or other systems. Additionally, this due diligence results in preventing overlap or any extra manual work that isn’t necessary—such as data entry or compiling analyses.
To get true insight that adds to their their customer experience strategy, sales organizations need to go beyond the raw data of customer satisfaction scores. This is especially true given that the average deal involves 6.4 decision makers. Invite buying influences to share their journey in their own words, which informs your approach from their point of view.
3. Assess Your Internal Structures and Processes
More customer touchpoints should mean better customer service—not more disconnects. How do you ensure that your enterprise sales strategy yields a seamless experience for your customers? You make sure that your internal processes and workflows are aligned and that you’re all speaking a common language.
If different salespeople call on the same customer about different products, the customer should have the same positive experience, regardless of who makes the call. If sales hands off a customer to customer success, the seller should share all pertinent data with the service rep so the customer does not have to start from scratch in explaining their situation. No customer should feel let down by a marketing promise that neither the sales nor service team can deliver.
No Team Is an Island
Sales, marketing and customer success shouldn’t operate in a vacuum: all three groups must align to present a united front to customers. And they should make sure that every conversation they have provides valuable frontline experiences to prospects and customers, no matter where they are on their buyer’s journey.
Take the Sales Conversation Metric to assess the alignment between sales, marketing and service in your organization and get personalized recommendations designed to improve your customer conversations and, with it, your organization’s sales results.