I recently wrote an article about how we all have the power to change an average customer experience into an epic one. I’ve been thinking more on this, specifically how our much-loved marketing funnel plays a key role.
We’ve all got our own version of the funnel varying from one organisation to another depending on the sales and marketing process for winning new business. At every stage we all use a tonne of acronyms - MQL, SAL, SQL and so on (I could go on forever!). So, here’s the thing - if we’re so focused on the acronyms are we forgetting the most important thing of all…our customers. If we truly want to build an epic experience for our customers we must look at our funnel and make sure it’s customer, or even better, people centric.
The good news is this is quite simple - lose the acronyms and talk about customers instead, after all people buy from people. Here’s an example of what a people centric funnel could look like - you can optimise yours to better suit your customers’ buying journey.
Interested prospects - often defined as MQL. Every organisation will have a different criteria, but some examples of an interested prospect could be someone that has downloaded content, attended a webinar or spoken to someone on your trade stand. When having conversations with your sales team, interested prospects should be referred to as people not accounts i.e. it’s the CMO that has shown interest not the business they work for.
Agreed conversations - more commonly referred to as a meeting/SQL. Essentially these are the people that showed an initial interest in your business and you convinced them to talk.
Held conversations - pretty self-explanatory and also a key stage to monitor. This enables you to measure how many of the held conversations have progressed to the next stage of the funnel. If this conversion is out, it’s easier to define the reasons why. For example, the sales person requires more training to increase their conversions or the marketing activity is attracting the wrong type of customer.
Potential customers - typically labelled as an opportunity. The main difference here being that a person could be a great customer but not necessarily in the immediate future. Keeping sight of these people and marketing to them accordingly can speed up the sales process and also ensure that they are not overlooked when their requirement becomes more immediate.
Customers - no change here -only that we should remember that our customers are people, and should be referred to as such, as opposed to just the business they work for.
A real benefit of this approach is that the conversation between marketing and sales is focused on people and not faceless leads/SQL’s - this makes for a more powerful interaction whilst maintaining a laser focus on the objectives we all have relating to attracting and winning new customers.
We all talk about being customer-centric but all too often we fall back to the tradition funnel where acronyms rule -let's remember we're trying to attract and open conversations with people, so why can't our funnel reflect this?
For support with your customer approach or any marketing related queries, Really B2B are on hand to support. Pop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or a call on 02392 315 607.