Well, right after discovering that the customer has no influence on the growth of our business, we decided to go customer centric!
It is better to do something because we want to than because we have to, anyway…
Follow my adventure to uncover the epic of the client.
Where did we get so far?
I had noticed long ago that there is no readily available roadmap that combines the customer journey in the commercial funnel with the customer journey as a stakeholder in the project. So far so good, it is not a simple thing, and if this synthesis exists (probably it does) it must be considered a precious asset of a management consultancy and is not disclosed.
As I am in favor of the widespread of knowledge, I will uncover it and disseminate it widely.
But what is really surprising is that not even the commercial funnel is synthesized. In general, at least in the content available on the web, the marketing and sales funnels are always separate, sometimes redundant.
With the exception of some good courses in Linkedin Learning, which clearly do not have this objective and leave the work incomplete. They are invariably focused on marketing or prospecting and selling. Customer service doesn’t even come into play.
I will expose what I developed in the form of text, however the content was generated in a table, which is much more intelligible.
Taking into account that I have to write my 1000 words post for the CXL Growth Marketing course, it´s better this way.
Note that there is nothing new about it. I just systematized what is out there. Obviously, in this process the content is transformed to fit the objective.
I will call this the Commercial Funnel, to cover the entire commercial stack: marketing, prospecting, sales and customer service. Everything is (still) in the customer’s perspective. In the future, by adding the project phase, we will introduce the company’s perspective, and then we will have to find a way of twisting it to customer´s perspective too.
I use the term prospecting instead of business development because we are really talking about prospecting. Business development, for me, is a strategic matter.
STEP 1 — AWARENESS
The client realizes that he has a pain that would be great if it were solved, but he doesn’t know if there is a solution or, if he does, he doesn’t know it very well. He needs to become aware of our company.
Company objective: to position itself as a solution to this problem.
Company action: digital presence.
Customer in the funnel: unknown.
Tools: landing page, website, social networks.
Strategy: be present on the web and social networks to be found.
STEP 2 — INTEREST
Search begins. He finds us and he is interested in what we offer. The relationship with the brand begins. He visits our website and social profiles and explore our content.
Company Objective: to emerge as an excellent solution and partnership option.
Company action: branding.
Customer in the funnel: prospect.
Tools: SEO, videos, content blog, offers, cases.
Strategy: produce relevant and indexable content, preferably that meets prospecting and outbound sales content, reducing the cost of producing the specific content.
STEP 3 — CONSIDERATION
He is interested in your brand, but do not have decided yet. Better researches possible solutions and the companies that offer them. It is time to become the best option, showing that you know his pains and are the authority in the solution.
Company Objective: to generate engagement with the company.
Company action: capture.
Customer in the funnel: lead.
Responsible: marketing and prospecting.
Tools: ebook, webinars, newsletter.
Strategy: it´s time to collect data and insert the customer into the CRM, offering trails of engagement. Lead him to follow our profiles. Offer content and value through registration.
STEP 4 — INTENTION
He understands the consequences of the problem not being solved. He is educated on the subject and almost decided. Demonstrates intention to buy. We need to know if he is qualified according to our criteria.
Company objective: qualify the lead.
Company action: qualification.
Customer in the funnel: Qualified.
Responsible: prospecting and marketing.
Tools: nutrition, corporate blog, qualification tools.
Strategy: from here on, value must be offered at each contact, nurturing the lead. A checklist should be made to determine if he becomes qualified for the purchase, remains in the education process or is just discarded.
Trigger: checklist of qualification criteria.
STEP 5 — EVALUATION
He is ready to see a demo and get to know the next steps, what will happen after purchase. In reality, he has already made the decision at the primal level, if you did your job well. It is now necessary to lead him to the rational decision.
Company objective: to present the demo, product or service.
Company action: demonstration.
Customer in the funnel: opportunity.
Tools: slides, prospects, meetings, show room.
Strategy: the salesperson presents the demo of the solution. Assess the real needs. Raises customer objectives and data for a proposal. Defines what he considers a successful purchase. Discover authority and decision flow. Raise the initial objections and reframe them.
Trigger: checklist of criteria for placing a proposal.
STEP 6 — NEGOTIATION
He receives your proposal. Compares it with the others. He raises other objections and stresses the offer to extract maximum value. We need to reframe the objections and close the deal.
Company objective: to place a proposal.
Company action: contract.
Customer in the funnel: proposal presented.
Tools: proposal and attachments.
Strategy: present a proposal that solves the pain in the best way. Reframing the final objections and closing the doors (interest, credibility, urgency, value). Prove the gains. Consolidate credibility.
STEP 7 — PURCHASE
He buys your solution because it is the one that best solves your pain and because and trusts you. It is time to bring the customer in.
Company objective: to close the deal.
Company action: contract.
Customer in the funnel: customer.
Tools: contract and attachments.
Strategy: make the last adjustments to the agreement. Sign the contract. Drive the customer to the Customer Service to do the onboarding.
Trigger: checklist of ticket criteria for Customer Service.
Beautiful! We have a client.
Now this is where the connection between commercial and projects stacks simply disappears. In the commercial flow, the customer goes to Customer Service, going through onboarding, ongoing and support, while sales keep praying that he becomes a recurring customer. I will add latter the Customer Service steps to this funnel, as soon as I understand it (?!).
On the project side, he becomes a stakeholder. “The” stakeholder.