Creating the Best Customer Journey in Enterprise Sales
Closing deals for an enterprise sale goes beyond having an amazing product. It's more about giving your customer's a compelling sales journey.
In the world of SaaS transactions, it's only sometimes the person with a great product that closes sales deals. Many factors influence the making of sales, and one such is the customer experience.
Taking a cue from mobile applications on Google PlayStore, user experience determines the reviews and ratings of every application. Where an application offers a poor user experience and, consequently, suffers critical reviews, there'll be fewer downloads and usage. If users decide to take their criticism a step further by reporting the app, there's a high chance it'll be taken down from Google PlayStore. This phenomenon is also present in enterprise sale transactions. Enterprise sale is a complex transaction largely controlled by customer experiences - which can be described as the customer journey. As such, it’s not primarily about the product you offer, but about the impression you leave in your customer's mind.
What Is A Customer Journey In Business Marketing?
A customer's journey is critical in securing a successful enterprise sale. As such, it's important to get it right. Before you can get into creating the best customer journey for an enterprise sale, you have to understand what a customer journey is in business marketing. Also, it's important to understand the strategies involved in creating a successful customer journey, which you can implement in your enterprise sale.
In a world clouded with ads on all sides, it’s not surprising that a potential customer would feel annoyed. Statistically speaking, about 43% of internet users use ad blockers when surfing the web. The estimated 43% of internet users who use ad blockers don’t even account for other internet users who take the pain to consciously block ads or simply ignore ads. Despite blocking or ignoring many ads, some businesses still generate leads and close sales deals. The question then is; what’s the secret behind running successful ads and making sales?
It all boils down to the customer journey and experience.
The consumer psychology hack behind the idea that “the customer is always right” is that the customer’s preferences influence purchasing decisions. As such, the business that succeeds in making sales would learn to influence or align with such customer preferences in promoting its products. As such, marketing is focused more on the customer. Key points such as; who the customer is, wants and needs, purchasing behavior, and customer perception of the brand/business are used in creating an effective sales strategy.
In business marketing, the customer journey is a series of interactions between a customer and a business product or service, determining an eventual purchasing decision. Typically, this starts when the customer wants or needs to be satisfied. From having a want/need, the customer goes through the purchasing process of researching solutions. When a potential solution (product or service) is found, the customer begins the vetting process by comparing similar products and considering product reviews. Businesses can factor in certain consumer data to aid their ad campaigns because the customer’s purchasing decision will be based on what the customer has learned or experienced in the customer journey.
What Is An Enterprise Sale?
Enterprise sales is a sales model that typically focuses on selling to large companies. Where a product has a potentially high impact on business, whether, in terms of risk, profit, or implementation, it is typically sold to large enterprises, which are its target market. Most enterprise sales deals are targeted toward optimal product functionality. Buying a high-impact product isn’t just a matter of what the product is said to do but what the product is demonstrated to deliver. Where the product proves to be optimal in functionality and user experience, its sale is usually targeted towards multiple enterprises.
Due to the critical nature of enterprise sales deals, customers - typically large businesses, don’t just rely on a single product entity. Rather, customers reach out to multiple companies offering relevant products to place contractual bids for their unique requests. The bidding companies are expected to be active participants in analyzing and deciding the customer’s unique request/issue that requires a product solution. As such, enterprise sales typically involve customers looking out for a business that can cater to its unique needs rather than providing a one-size-fits-all product. Enterprise sales are known as complex sales thanks to the multiple layers of analysis and decision-making stages involved in closing a sales deal.
How Does Customer Journey Influence Enterprise Sales
A customer journey can be described as a series of customer experiences determining the customer’s purchasing decision. In an enterprise sale with higher risks and stakeholders, it’s important to ensure that the customer has the best perception of your brand and product. Your product, in particular, must provide optimal functionality and be tailored to your customer's preferences. As such, various customer journey touchpoints, such as product ads, customer experience, and interaction with your business, must create the best impression on your prospective customer in an enterprise sale.
Enterprise sales are known for their complexity and high risk. As such, you can’t venture into an enterprise sale without a background understanding of a prospective customer. By mapping out the customer’s journey, you can easily develop a buyer’s persona to aid interaction with a prospective customer. It’s also a lot easier to make an impression via customer retention strategies rather than seeking to generate new customers. It’s often safer to utilize existing customer data to push sales rather than spend more resources mapping a new customer’s journey.
Summarily, impression matters in interacting with a customer, making a customer’s journey so important to an enterprise sale.
How to Map Out The Best Customer Journey For An Enterprise Sale
A customer journey map is a marketing hack that ensures businesses make the best impression on prospective customers. It’s a strategy that relies on collating data on customer preferences and tailoring products towards such preferences. A customer journey map plans how customers will interact with your business. It’s not about how efficiently your product works but how impressive your overall interaction is with your customers - via other key touchpoints such as targeted ads and customer support experience.
To create the best customer journey map for an enterprise sale, here are four core steps to take:
- Create a Customer or Buyer Persona
To create the right product, you need to know your customer. As such, your first step starts with creating a customer or buyer persona based on collated data on the customer’s preferences. Website cookies, in-app analytics, and competition analysis can help collate said data. You can optimize interactive touchpoints with the said data to suit the customer’s preferences.
- Analyze Customer Behavioral Stages
A customer journey is more complex. Most times, customers will compare similar products and go through behavioral stages before making a decision. Every customer has five behavioral stages: awareness, consideration, purchase, retention, and advocacy. It’s up to you to determine the behavioral pattern of your prospective customer and ensure that you make an impression through each behavioral stage a customer may pass through.
- Identify And Optimize Customer Touchpoints
Customer touchpoints are the channels through which customers interact with your business. Touchpoints typically include targeted ads, product and website experience, customer support, and reviews. Impression matters in an enterprise sale; you can only make impressions via your customer touchpoints.
Before reaching out to a customer, you need to identify and optimize potential customer touchpoints using your collated customer data. It’s best to test-run each touchpoint before reaching out to prospective customers.
- Map Out And Supervise The Customer’s Journey
With all the necessary data ready, it’s time to reach out to your customers and let their journey of interacting with your business begin. You should monitor the customer touchpoints for potential lapses and pain points in each customer's journey. Be proactive in fixing pain points and leaving a lasting impression on your customers.
A Lasting Impression Aids Customer Retention
The best customer journey for an enterprise sale is the one that makes a lasting impression via the customer touchpoints.
It’s not strictly about your offer but how the customer perceives it. You can influence your customer’s perceptions if you play your cards right.