In his most recent blog post, David Lewis talks about the ever-increasing connectivity and complexity that make up the digital customer experience, and their relationship to winning market share.
As he mentions, Sales is no longer interacting on every deal — and that’s okay. New customers are going directly through the digital buying process and ending up straight at fulfillment, or what could be considered bottom of funnel.
I’ve talked a lot about the merging of the CIO and CMO roles, as well as the evolving overlap of technology, budgets, and functions across what used to be fairly separate kingdoms. Well, delivering a seamless digital experience requires a really tight fusion of Sales, Marketing, Product, and Operations. Yes, Operations now enters the list of ingredients!
As the Operator in the mix here at DemandGen, I’d like to share a few thoughts around how to execute this holistic strategy.
Alignment first, then technology
When most marketers think about the customer experience, they typically think about the explosion of digital marketing technologies that are now available. But it isn’t just about all of the technology you need to execute this type of experience; it’s the actual experience that truly matters.
That may sound obvious, but think about it this way: if you don’t glue the front of the experience (Product and Marketing) to the middle (Sales and Operations), and the middle to the end (Operations, Marketing, and Sales), you can’t provide a truly seamless, friction-free experience.
You need to collaborate across teams and map out the entire customer experience — from interest, intent, and purchase to support, retention, and upsell. Every touchpoint should be connected into one holistic customer experience.
If you start with the technology, you’ll have to map the customer experience based on its existing features and limitations. Start with the experience, and use this “map” to produce the technology triggers needed to glue the experience together.
The fusing of functions
Digital buying experiences are nothing new. What is new is that these processes and strategies have gotten so complex, you really need to map them out before you create your final strategy. In order to do that, cross-functional collaboration is key.
And don’t forget to bring in additional functions, such as Project Management, to help you through this process when it makes sense. Your Project Management team can keep things moving and ensure that functions and departments are linked together well enough to get you the ingredients you need to produce your master plan.
I also highly recommend implementing the Good Enough Policy (my personal favorite). This policy reminds people to not overthink things in the beginning. Get your plan to Good Enough first to avoid confusion, lack of buy-in by other groups, or just boredom in a process that is too long and distracting. Then, you can build on the solid foundation you’ve put in place.
Sometimes it helps to bring in someone who’s been there, done that. Our consultants can help you map out the customer experience and work with your internal teams to drive your project forward. Once you have your experience mapped and know what tech you need to deliver, we can help you execute on that strategy with our seasoned workforce of MarTech experts and project managers.
As DemandGen’s Chief Operating Officer, Greg Carver brings nearly thirty years of operations experience in the high-tech and enterprise software industry. As a strategic operator, Greg has consistently proven success as a turn-around executive, change agent and catalyst in taking technology companies to the next level. He is a hands-on customer champion with a passion for building a culture of exceptional client relationships and experiences. As an innovative mentor and determined leader, Greg’s devotion to hard work and team building translates to company success.