Empower Sales to Deliver a Better Customer Experience

 

Posted By Deirdre Sommerkamp | Oct 07, 2014

 

Happy Customer Experience Day!

I am celebrating the second annual CX Day with other CX professionals across the globe – over 2,800 of them! It seems like yesterday I was writing about the first annual CX Day and the critical role sales plays in Customer Experience (CX). CX awareness has certainly increased over the past year.

  • 63% of companies expect to spend significantly more on customer experience in 2014 than they did in 2013, which is up 54% in 2012 and 46% in 2011. (Temkin Group)
  • By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. (Customers 2020 Report)
  • 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. (McKinsey)

CX Day 2014

It’s the customers’ perception of their interactions with you that impacts your bottom line. What are you doing to help sales be customer connected and aligned to the needs and wants of customers/buyers?

A few practicals:

  • Free up your sales team to sell – identify non-selling activities that are bogging them down
  • Embrace change – ensure your sales process is flexible and iterate frequently. As the buying process continues to evolve, so should your sales process.
  • Sales leader availability – nothing says customer-centric louder than sales leaders who invest time with customers. Customer connectedness happens in front of customers, not behind a desk.
  • Diagnose and fix issues in your sales support function – what worked a year ago may not work today. Make sure your sales support function is aligned with the needs of its customers – your sales team.
  • Customer experience is everybody’s job, as is selling. Really hear, not just listen to your sales team. They are your customer advocates. Help them sell by providing great customer experience anytime you interact with a customer/buyer.
  • Avoid content chaos – it’s the 80/20 rule. Sales only needs a few pieces of content, personalized to customers/buyers and mapped to specific activities in your sales process. If you don’t think that’s true, ask them. Ask what they want and need. Develop it. Deploy it. Do not create 100+ pieces of content and waste their time and/or frustrate them by putting it in a sales portal “dumping ground”.
  • Track customer-focused metrics – key milestones, customer touch points, velocity and other KPIs such as content used in winning deals to gain insight into what’s working and what’s not.

Empowering sales to deliver better customer experiences allows you to begin the relationship with a positive sales experience which builds trust and rapport. The positive touch points your customers/buyers have with your organization is greatly influenced by their first interactions with your sales team.

“In the age of the customer, executives don’t decide how customer-centric their companies are – customers do.” (Kate Leggett, Forrester Research)

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63% of companies expect to spend significantly more on customer experience in 2014 than they did in 2013 http://bit.ly/1BMxCBs

By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator: http://bit.ly/1BMxCBs

70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated: http://bit.ly/1BMxCBs