Any seasoned salesperson or marketer will tell you that today’s prospects and customers don’t follow the same buyer’s journey as they used to. The reality is, buyer personas have changed and B2B decision-makers research solutions and engage sales in totally new ways. Although the traditional sales funnel made sense for the way prospects used to learn about products and services, modern buyers are now more influenced by word-of-mouth recommendations, online research, and referrals.
So why spend your precious time and energy moving prospects down an outdated funnel model that positions customer acquisition as a one-and-done opportunity? Can we please stop saying the “Buyer’s Journey?”
Keep your business spinning by rethinking your sales process not as a funnel, but as a holistic flywheel that involves sales, marketing, and customer success efforts working together to build momentum and grow. Here’s what you need to know to get started.
The Fly… What?
The flywheel is a model adapted by HubSpot that aims to keep your prospects and customers in an ongoing engagement regardless of their needs at the moment. This also decreases friction between sales, marketing, and customer service and in turn, encourage customers to help grow your business. It’s about looking at the bigger picture and turning prospects and customers into evangelists, rather than viewing them as an outcome or end goal. While the traditional sales funnel focuses on new business, it doesn’t take into account how customers can help you grow your bottom line. At the end of the day, you need to view customers as a driving force that either promote and recommend your products or services, or warn others not to work with you.
Apply The Methodology
So, why a flywheel? According to HubSpot, the most effective way to grow your business is by building meaningful, lasting relationships with prospects and customers. The inbound methodology is circular rather than having a defined top and bottom or beginning and end (think funnel), and includes three primary phases: attract, engage and delight.
Attract: Create and share helpful multimedia content like videos, blogs, podcasts, webinars and eBooks that make it easy for prospects to learn about your business. By leveraging strategies like social selling, you can earn buyer’s attention and help them find solutions that align with their goals without bombarding them.
Engage: Prioritize building relationships with prospects and customers, not just closing deals. Position yourself as a trusted industry advisor by providing highly personalized content that speaks directly to your target’s pain points.
Delight: Empower your customers with the support, education, and services they need to succeed. If you offer customers unmatched value from beginning to end, opportunities for cross-sell, upsell, renewals and referrals will follow.
Personalize the Experience
HubSpot said it best by stating, “The biggest threat to your company’s growth isn’t your competitors. It’s a bad customer experience.” The flywheel methodology truly revolves around taking a people-first approach and humanizing the sales process overall. By delivering useful, no-nonsense content to prospects and customers how and when THEY want it, they’ll be sure to share their positive experiences and you will be top-of-mind as they and their networks make purchase decisions in the future.