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The 360° Customer Journey

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Carson Conant

Founder's Spotlight

Everyone talks about the "Customer Journey" but often operates in stage-by-stage silos of customer acquisition, retention, and expansion. What is the Customer Journey - first, it often depends on if you come from a "Buyer perspective" versus the "Seller perspective." Ultimately, the seller is trying to figure out how to turn the buyer's meandering journey into a more liner, faster buying journey...sounds like an adversarial relationship using this model. One interesting aspect of today's buying journey is how to optimize how Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success collaborate across the customer journey. The early phase can feel disjointed to the customer as they engage with a vendor using multiple "marketing-led" experiences that are not well understood by the Sales Development and/or Sales resource, who often do not know the knowledge and experience the prospect already has from self-directed research. Does having shared goals and metrics across Marketing, Sales and Customer Success impact the customer experience? Having an "Account Energy Score" may assist in aligning the functions across the customer journey. It can also inform the probability of a prospect becoming a customer. The Account Energy score factors in signals at each stage of the journey and weight specific actions such as content engagement or activities based upon the stage of the journey, such as Customer Acquisition vs Customer Retention vs Customer Expansion. Though there is never a "magic bullet" that can guarantee a prospect becoming a customer, being able to dynamically score each point of engagement depending on the latest understanding of how each signal correlates to customer journey progress is a material increase in insights versus today's standard models. In the "tough question category," is it the seller's responsibility to follow the buyer's journey OR to try and help guide and lead the prospect to make the best purchase decision? Carson's perspective is it is better to lead the buyer through the process by understanding the buyer's actual needs and being willing to stop the process IF their solution is not in the best for the buyer. Another key point is there is NO single customer journey or buying process, so it's critical to always be listening to the prospect and align plus help guide the buyer through the process. In today's "land, retain and expand" customer lifecycle process in the SaaS industry, having a 360 degree view that is informed by every signal that impacts the customer journey is a best practice. It is also a best practice that requires tight integration of your Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success team aligned to the customer journey. If you are interested in learning more about today's customer journey, and how to use their engagement as input to your forecast, and to better inform your internal resources on the best next action, this conversation with Carson is highly informative.

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