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Selling Beyond the Buyer's Journey

At CMG, we specialize in surfacing and activating strategies that foster greater customer engagement.

When thinking about how to maximize sales, marketers tend to laser in on the “Buyer Journey,” a prospect’s path to purchasing a product or service. By analyzing that path (Awareness, Consideration, Decision), marketers can rightly focus on providing compelling content at opportune moments to influence that decision-making process.

But what happens post Decision?  Does the “sale” end there?  In today’s “always on” environment – where customers are bombarded by choices – it can’t. Optimizing the entire Customer Journey, which expands beyond the initial decision-making process through on-boarding, use, and support, must also be considered as part of the “sale” to retain and grow your customer base.

CMG’s outside-in, customer centric approach breaks down the Customer Journey into six discrete stages that allow us to identify gaps and opportunities from initial awareness through ongoing service to improve overall engagement, satisfaction, and brand promoters.

Recently, CMG leveraged our Customer Journey framework to help a SaaS solutions provider identify specific opportunities to accelerate sales to small businesses. Sharpening their focus on the early adoption of small businesses was key as their solutions can grow with them. After conducting qualitative research to understand the preferences, pain points, and needs of the client’s small business customers and prospects, CMG analyzed each phase of the existing Customer Journey to identify areas of significant friction and opportunity. Crucial was identifying processes and practices built for larger-sized businesses that were potentially alienating small business customers. A few examples:

  • LEARN: Messaging was geared to large-sized businesses in regard to tone, use cases, and terminology. Solution: create easily navigable messaging and content specific to smaller business’ needs, language, and use cases.
  • BUY:  The existing consultative sales processes, necessary for large-sized customers, were too long and complex for smaller businesses. Solution: explore turnkey sales processes and e-commerce.
  • GET: On-boarding of the service was a lengthy, comprehensive process–necessary for larger, more complex customers but onerous and frustrating for smaller, more nimble ones. Solution: create a streamlined offering with a simplified, stock implementation.
  • USE:  Product interface was often too complex for small business needs. Solution: develop streamlined version for small business.
  • PAY: Contracts were annual with yearly payment terms. This proved difficult for smaller businesses with cash flow challenges. Solution: implement monthly/quarterly payment terms.
  • SUPPORT: Service plans were tailored to large customers who often had internal support resources vs smaller customers who were resource constrained. Solution: provide more self-help tools and cost-effective live support packages.

CMG partnered with the client to prioritize these and other recommendations with respect to operational alignment, timeliness, and ease of activation.

By expanding the scope of “sell” to the entire Customer Journey, CMG was able to provide richer insights and prioritized opportunities to maximize the customer experience for small businesses across all touch-points. The critical issues and opportunities surfaced under the Get, Use, Pay and Support stages of the Customer Journey would have been overlooked if using a traditional BuyerJourney approach.

At CMG, we specialize in surfacing and activating strategies that foster greater customer engagement - it’s what we do. To chat and learn more about how CMG can help improve your Customer Journey get in touch with us – we’re here to help.

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