Enterprise B2B companies have been steadily increasing their utilization of customer journey mapping for targeted customer segments. However, FinListics’ approach focuses on a single customer’s journey, not a general mapping that applies to all customers in a segment. In the highly competitive and often bespoke nature of enterprise B2B selling, it is critical to tailor your journey mapping to the individual client’s challenges, needs, and processes.
We call this approach “Strategic Customer Journey Mapping”. As a sales leader, it is an essential tool for your teams to deploy in engagements.
What is Strategic Customer Journey Mapping?
Strategic customer journey mapping aims to identify and address any potential gaps, questions, or other weaknesses in your enablement, sales, and service touchpoints with the client. By analyzing your interactions with a customer’s buying team, your sales team can improve their odds of winning the deal.
It is a flexible tool that fosters idea creation, knowledge sharing, problem-solving, and strategic thinking. By incorporating inputs and critiques from stakeholders, journey mapping aids in generating better ideas and overcoming obstacles. Plus, in combination with brainstorming, research, and detailed analysis, your group is better equipped to create new insights regarding your client's experience throughout the pre- and post-purchase cycle.
Collaborating and Critiquing
Mapping is the driver to consolidate your team’s knowledge and ideas, develop outlines and documentation, and address internal stakeholder feedback. The aim of the exercise is to produce a systematic and comprehensive view of the client’s experiences throughout the buying process.
Forcing your team to think like the client allows them to more easily identify pain points and create ideas to enhance the customer’s journey. Plus, by taking a more comprehensive view of the customer’s buying path, your sales team can make a stronger business case to better align with the customer’s top priorities.
Map Out the Entire Journey
A thorough, even predictive, understanding of your customer’s needs and challenges is essential to your team’s success. Steve Jobs once said:
"Get closer than ever to your clients. So close, in fact, that you can tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves."
Every phase in the enterprise B2B buyer's journey is interconnected, so it is important to understand the bigger picture. A critical error many teams make in journey maps is ending the review and analysis once a prospect becomes a customer. Instead, ensure your teams explore what happens during both the pre- and post-purchase stages and develop their approach to the hoped-for next engagement with the client.
Milestones on the Strategic Customer Journey
We use five separate stages in our strategic customer journey mapping:
Building a comprehensive and detailed mapping helps your team analyze the clients’ experiences and pain points to better communicate with them. Journey mapping assists your sales team in measuring and analyzing customer experiences to determine improvements required to increase satisfaction and retention.
Starting the Mapping Process
Stage 1: Awareness
The first stage of the strategic customer journey map is where the customer starts to understand your business’ products or services. During this stage, the customer will discover your company through advertising, brand recognition, word of mouth, or an online search. The stage aims to create a lasting positive impression of your brand and products.
Stage 2: Engagement
Stage 3: Consideration
In this phase, the customer begins to evaluate your company’s products in more detail. The buyer will compare your offerings against competitors and will seek out case studies and feedback from other customers. Your group’s goal is to demonstrate your solution’s value and build trust with the customer.
Stage 4: Decision
When your engagement team wins a deal, their work is just beginning. They must quickly shift their attention to the final stage - the post-purchase experience.
STAGE 5: POST-PURCHASE
Throughout each engagement, evaluating the project’s progress and finding ways to continually enhance the client's experience is critical. In addition, it is crucial to clearly demonstrate to the client the success of your solution. To do so, your team must quantitatively showcase the value your company has delivered.
As your team delivers on the solution to the client, they must be asking themselves the following types of questions:
- Has your company been easy to work with?
- Are deadlines and deliverables consistently being met?
- Is your solution living up to the promises made to the customer?
While one-time engagements bring in revenue, repeat clients drive long-term growth. To secure repeat business, it is essential to focus on continuing to meet client expectations to build enduring relationships.
Additionally, the team must think beyond the current engagement to the potential next one. To avoid missing out on future engagements, below are some tips for this stage:
- It is crucial to educate clients about all the services/products your organization offers.
- Stay on their radar even after the initial engagement is over to help ensure early awareness of any future RFx’s.
- Seek opportunities to leverage the success of engagement for introductory discussions with leaders in other functions or groups in the company.
This stage is often overlooked but represents a significant opportunity. The key is awareness - your company can easily lose out on a future engagement simply because the client does not associate your organization with other products you provide.
Research + Journey Mapping = Client Wins
By developing a strategic customer journey map, you can identify critical decision points when buyers engage with your company. However, as powerful as journey mapping can be for your company, do not view it as a substitute for business research. By conducting research and gaining a clear understanding of your clients, you can maximize opportunities and improve client experiences. In-depth research on a prospect goes hand-in-hand with strategic customer mapping. With a comprehensive understanding of the customer, your team builds the foundation for success.
Let FinListics Help Map Your Way to Success
FinListics' strategic customer journey mapping will help your revenue organization understand and plan for engagement with your client throughout the sales lifecycle. We offer a range of tools to help enterprise B2B sales teams compile and analyze information on a prospect's financial and operational performance, goals, and challenges. Empowered with this information, your team can access proprietary insights, apply the language of leaders to elevate executive conversations, and build credibility with buyers.