These days, every company needs to make engagement as customer-centric as possible – from marketing emails to sales meetings. To be truly customer-centric, organisations need to ensure that all employees collectively and individually prioritise customer needs in everything that they do.
In this blog, Showpad’s COO Hendrik Isebaert explains the five keys to customer-centric marketing which focus on:
How collaboration across departments
Consistent and continuous focus on the customer journey
To begin with, Isebaert broke down the traditional barriers between marketing and sales to enable greater collaboration. “We're stepping away from measuring whether it's marketing or whether it's sales that had the impact because what we're seeing is that practically every sales cycle requires a close collaboration between the two,” he explains.
Marketing is rapidly becoming the new sales for Showpad. So it’s important to educate employees and customers about this new way of thinking. “We need to really understand our customers so we can identify where they are on their journey and respond appropriately,” he adds.
“Through Salesforce, we've been able to provide insights to our account executives and customer-facing teams, so we can ensure that customers that are about to buy get the white glove treatment.”
Uniting departments and enabling them to leverage the same valuable customer insights is key to successful customer-centric marketing.
Disparate data has its limitations. For example, you might be able to see how many employees are using your sales training and coaching platform and which sessions they’re accessing. Yet, it doesn’t tell you whether they’re taking the information on board and applying it in their day-to-day activities. By connecting that data to sales conversion rates, however, you can quantify results and verify the impact on customer engagement.
Showpad has been using Salesforce to drive smarter decisions for more than a decade by consolidating its information.
“By connecting multiple sources of data in Salesforce, it helps us draw conclusions that are much more impactful and relevant.”
In turn, these valuable customer insights support the company’s customer-facing teams and its customer-centric marketing strategy.
We all now recognise that customers want relevant, personalised information – this is no longer an option. In fact, 73% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations. And it’s key to successful customer-centric marketing.
To cut through the amount of content consumers receive every day, it has to be highly targeted. But to drive customer-centric marketing, you need to understand your customers in great depth. That requires not just sales data, but data from across all your customer-facing teams – including sales, service, and marketing.
“Once you're able to provide that 360-degree view to your teams of their customers, you're equipping them to just have much more meaningful conversations,” confirms Isebaert. “And we’ve found that's been crucial in a world where it's just so hard to get the attention of the people you're trying to reach.”
Keeping the customer at the centre of operations isn’t a one-off challenge. Customer-centricity takes time to achieve and requires continuous effort to maintain. For example, Showpad started by focusing on capturing and refining its sales processes, such as opportunity management, with Salesforce. However, now it has the foundations it needs, it’s able to focus its attention on the customer side.
“We’re now building on our relentless focus on the customer journey. We've made the transition to really thinking from the perspective of the customer, building their journey, and guiding our sales team to support it.”
Finally, in his efforts to optimise customer engagement, Isebaert has switched his focus from efficiency to effectiveness. As he explains, "What's more interesting for a sales organisation - is it that your sellers can save a couple of hours a week doing their job? Or is it that they're perfectly equipped to have the right conversations at the right time? The effectiveness of those conversations, that's become so much more important for us, and data is a real driver of that.”
Customer-centric marketing can’t be achieved by the marketing department in isolation alone. With connected customer data, teams can work together to ensure the customer journey is seamless, and that every interaction along the way delivers value for the customer. That’s the only thing that matters.
Interested to learn more about customer-centric marketing and becoming more customer focused in general?. Learn all about Salesforce Customer 360.