Crazy Makers, Trust Busters, and How Customers Get Even

Much of today’s discussion on B2B customer experience focuses on interactions.  What is the buyer doing? What content are they interacting with and where? How can sales engage with the buyer earlier?  While understanding the specific actions and motivations of buyers is important to delivering a valued lifetime customer experience, it is not everything.... Read the full article on Forbes.

Lithium Takes a Stand on Customer Experience Hype

The echo chamber on customer experience is so loud it almost drowns out any creative thought you might have floating in your head. It’s coming from all corners with everyone jumping on the bandwagon.  As companies grapple with what it means, if it’s relevant for them and how the heck to get started, B2B technology vendors are circling like beasts eyeing a herd on the savannah..... Read the full article on Forbes.

Sales and Marketing Alignment Begins With Your Customer

50 percent of B2B sales staff keep missing their quotas. It’s a problem as old as business itself.  The culprit, according to sales, is the quality and volume of leads from marketing. The marketing department may be quick to snap back that sales is ignoring their leads or not trying hard enough to close them.  When the squabbling causes the revenue pipeline to become even more unpredictable, that gets the CEO’s attention..... Read the full article on Forbes.

Should Sales Own Customer Experience?

Closing deals and driving revenue has been at the top of the agenda since the dawn of commerce. However, the sense of urgency and bewilderment about how to grow a company is at an all time high. As I recently blogged,experiments with Chief Revenue Officers have largely failed  with the burden for revenue falling, historically, most heavily on sales, even if sometimes unfairly...... Read the full article on Forbes.

Become Customer-Centric in 4 Steps

There's a lot of discussion in marketing communities about how important the customer is and the role of customer experience programs, but few offer a prescriptive pathway to improving customer centricity; Probably because the exact steps that need to be taken are not as obvious as it is in other aspects of business. The CEO may know that their corporate culture needs to be adjusted to focus more on the customer, instead of internal politics, but not what steps to take to achieve a cultural transition. One of the ways New Business Strategies differs from other customer experience and business strategy consultancies is our concrete methodology for consistently aligning organizations with their buyers with pre-built programs we have implemented before. Everything about our methodology is based on our Sellers' Compass, which provides a framework to map the journey buyers go through in their lifecycle as a prospect and customer. Clients that understand what influences a buyer's decision to buy, renew and evangelize their products develop a North star that guides their path to aligning with the customer's decisions that contribute to revenue. I'm happy to announce today that we have finally committed our methodology to paper in a new whitepaper that serves as the industry's first actionable, how-to for building a customer-centric organization. Read the whitepaper at: http://www.newbizs.com/resource-library/papers-stories-webinars/experience-to-revenue-white-paper/

Customer Experience: Is It the Chicken or Egg?

Companies are starting to see the light. They are embracing the principles that Apple, Google, and Philips Electronics have been advocating for a long time – differentiate yourself based on the experience you deliver to customers; not on the products you sell. According to a CEI Survey, 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience. But only 1% of customers feel that vendors consistently meet their expectations. These statistics highlight the magnitude of the growth opportunity before us. What if you just increased the percentage of consistently happy customers by 5%?.... Read the full article on Forbes.

Customer-Centric Messaging JIT for Sales Kick-Off

It’s three weeks before annual Sales Kick Off event and there’s grumbling in the hallways about marketing’s messaging. It just doesn’t seem to work and wouldn’t it be nice if more effective messaging could be shared with the sales team at Kick Off. It doesn’t really matter if the conclusion that the current messaging is wrong was reached by sales, marketing or management. L ikewise, arguing that the messaging is correct is both fruitless and a political blunder... Read the full article on Forbes.

Why Customer Loyalty Is Hard

Wrapping your business around the customer has been a core business principle since before Adam Smith wrote the “Wealth of Nations” in 1776. Yet every year, there are new technologies, theories, and business models that promise to get a company closer to its customer, as if customer alignment had just been discovered for the first time. Do we really need new-fangled ways of solving the problem, when many companies have performed well at customer alignment for centuries?... Read the full article on Forbes.  

14 Articles Every CMO Should Read

A couple weeks ago I wrote a post “The Myth that Marketing Automation Reveals Buyers’ Journeys” that explained there was increasing consensus among analysts, academics and consultants about changes in the buyer’s journey and the mandate for vendors to adapt to those changes in order to grow. Consolidating the research in one place demonstrates the flood of voices urging vendors to align with the customer, break down silos and bridge marketing and sales departments. Below is a collection of reading materials every marketing executive should sift through. Customer Centricity • A study by Booz & Company found that companies that offered valuable customization in a cost-effective way outperformed their peers in revenue growth two-to-one and had profit margins 5 to 10 percent higher than competitors. • A Forrester report on content marketing emphasized that the right content “requires a deep understanding of the buyers, their information needs, and their content sourcing preferences.” • An article in the International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management recommends an approach where “all business processes and all individuals are focused on identifying and meeting the needs of the customer.“ • Forrester has published a wealth of research aligned with the recommendations we give at New Business Strategies, including reports like “Transform To An Experience-Driven Organization” and “Become Customer-Centric, Service-Focused, And Automated.” • Forrester analyst Ronald Rogowski wrote a post urging readers to improve the digital customer experience. Forrester has also written reports about webinars, social media and other aspects of marketing and how to align them with the buyer’s journey. Marketing & sales alignmentHubSpot wrote a good post about overcoming the blame game between marketing and sales with open communication and more accountability. • One of my own blogs last year offers three metrics to measure the degree of sales and marketing alignment within your organization. • A report by Oracle says the friction between marketing and sales has gotten “cliché” and found that a lack of communication was at its heart. • Research by CSO Insights and IDC have identified four problems with a lack of marketing and sales alignment: longer sales cycles, missed quotas, lower productivity and less sales efficiency. (source) • A study by The Red Herring found that sales and marketing alignment was ranked a nine or ten on an importance scale of 10. (source) Breaking down silos • According to an article in HBR, executives identify silos as the top inhibitor of innovation, but silos can only be overcome if executives can embrace change. • Businessweek provided an overview of silos and some common approaches to overcoming them. • Forrester’s 2012 Tech Marketing Planning Guidance noted that marketing hasn’t made the drastic changes that are needed, because each year’s plan is based on last year’s marketing strategy. • IBM’s 2012 State of Marketing Survey called upon marketers to expand our role in the customer experience and break down silos.

Change or Die

We’re waking up from a daze that started when marketing results became increasingly unreliable and change whacked us in the head and flipped decades of established marketing and sales practices upside-down. Lori Wizdo also noted that buyers expect a personal touch yet sales departments are still pushing products instead of building relationships. As a result 50 percent of sales don’t meet their quotas and only three percent of customers feel their interactions with sales are meaningful.... Read the complete post on Forbes.