Five Steps for Transforming the B2B Customer Lifecycle
Every business initiative of any significance and consequence needs a plan–and often a stepwise path to get from “as-is” to “to-be.” Here are the five steps for transforming your customer lifecycle to an outcomes-based approach:
Level 1: Alignment
The first steps enroute to achieving measurable outcomes for customers is ensuring that the supplier and buyer are aligned around a shared definition of success. Every purchase begins with one or more outcomes in mind. Level 1 on the journey focuses on documenting and validating these target outcomes with the buyer as a foundational first step toward both closing a deal, and creating the conditions for a lasting and profitable partnership.
With MetaCX, sales teams can collaborate with prospects in a co-branded digital space that allows both parties to document and refine target outcomes and work together on the mutual success plan. Progress on the path to partnership is tracked and celebrated to create trust and transparency, to drive conviction and, ultimately, deal closure. Sales teams can measure a prospect’s engagement as a way to improve forecasting. As a deal progresses, a rep can invite onboarding and success teams into the same space to signal post-sale continuity.
Level 2: Delivery
Too often, the goodwill and momentum created in the sales cycle doesn’t convert downstream into the implementation and onboarding phases because of a fumbled handoff. Level 2 of the journey focuses on coordinating this handoff to ensure all of the stakeholders are oriented to the same set of target outcomes, and organized to get the solution deployed, delivered to the customer, and getting them using it as efficiently as possible.
With MetaCX, implementation, onboarding and/or customer success specialists are invited to a shared digital space that includes all of the context from the sales cycle, including the target outcomes agreed upon. Within this space, this team can create a project plan (from scratch or using templatized playbooks) to complete the work in a way that gives customers confidence, secures some early wins for the customer, and accelerates the path to value.
Level 3: Adoption
The obvious but sometimes overlooked reality is that your customers can’t get value from your product unless they use it–and using it in the right ways. Level 3 focuses on measuring adoption and understanding usage patterns to ensure your customers are taking advantage of the capabilities that help them unlock value.
With MetaCX, you can measure adoption and understand usage patterns as the most basic foundational precondition for achieving measurable outcomes. MetaCX can instrument your application directly or capture data from tools like Mixpanel and Pendo that are used by your product team. By understanding adoption and usage patterns, MetaCX helps you keep customers on track as they learn to develop healthy habits inside your product.
Level 4: Impact
Enroute to demonstrating attributable ROI are various leading indicators that show positive impact in the right directions. Level 4 is where you start to start to measure impact for your customers by looking at the metrics that signal positive trends on the way to attributable ROI.
With MetaCX, you can start to measure the business impact of your solution by surfacing leading indicators to promised business outcomes. For example, a marketing automation provider may sell to their customers on the promise of increased revenue, which is a lagging indicator. A leading indicator for increased revenue may be something like website or landing page conversion rates or email clickthrough rates. Showing improvements in these areas gives your customer confidence that you’re having an impact on the lagging metric they care about. In many cases, the supplier already has access to this data from within their product.
Level 5: Performance
Finally, Level 5 focuses on the attributable ROI that your customer cares about most. These are generally expressed as some combination of increased revenue, reduced costs, or mitigated risks. Since these are lagging indicators, measurement of these things often requires data from your customer–either directly from their systems or manually provided to complete the picture.
With MetaCX, you can finally close the loop on business impact by showing how your product creates measurable business value. Back to the previous example: in this phase of maturity, you and your customer have a shared view of how the use of a marketing automation platform is driving revenue growth for their business. Being able to show this type of performance data is an airtight, practically bulletproof argument for renewal and expansion.