Customer Engagement 2.0: How to Win Customers in the Digital Era with Giles Giddings
In the digital era, customer engagement is a top priority for businesses across industries.
With the rise of technology, customers have more information and choices at their fingertips than ever before.
This has led to a shift in power, with customers now holding more control over their purchasing decisions.
So, we are wondering…
What are some innovative methods for businesses to engage and connect with their customers?
To shed light on this important topic, we are joined by Giles Giddings, Global VP of GTM Enablement at Mimecast. Giles is an accomplished sales enablement and strategy executive with twenty years of experience building high-performing sales teams and selling to enterprise customers. In the past decade, he has specialized in designing and executing data-centric enablement strategies that resonate with CRO objectives, driving consistent and sustainable revenue growth.
Redefining Customer Engagement in a Digital Age
According to a recent Gartner study, sales representatives are engaged in five percent of the entire sales cycle. When sales reps have such limited touchpoints in the buyer’s journey, each interaction becomes critical. This shift isn’t just a concern for the sales department; it cascades into marketing as well.
The key question arises: How do you effectively market to these customers in this digital age? The drive towards digital is not just about embracing modern technology but about achieving broad engagement across your entire clientele.
Moreover, the sales process is becoming increasingly collaborative. More stakeholders are involved than ever before, requiring more interactions. However, paradoxically, your time with each stakeholder is diminishing. As a result, sales reps need to rethink not just their sales strategies, but the holistic way their organizations engage with and serve the customer.
“Prospects and customers, while they don’t want to deal with a salesperson, they want to deal with a multitude of people who are experts who can help them through the process. But then they don’t want to deal with more people. They only want to deal with one person. So you’ve got this pull that’s happening between what a buyer wants and then what and how organizations are actually structured”.
Mastering Modern Sales
Today, the emphasis on sales is more pronounced than ever. Preparation is crucial. Salespeople must understand both their customers and the environment within which they operate. It’s about optimizing the limited time they have during interactions and understanding the issues and challenges the customer faces.
Successful salespeople can briefly present their solutions. Within a short span of fewer than five minutes, they can relay their understanding of the customer’s needs, highlight the potential benefits of a product or service, and position its value based on high-quality insights.
“Today, more important than ever is sales people need to be doing their prep. They need to understand the customer. They need to understand the landscape in which the customer operates, and they need to maximize the time they have in those engagements”.
From Features to Tech Solutions
Salespeople in technology often fixate on features. However, the most effective ones adopt a consultative approach, similar to doctors diagnosing a problem and prescribing solutions. This method is essential across roles, from sales to customer support.
Today’s market offers plenty of customer engagement tools, with many providers expanding their offerings. When evaluating these tools, consider their future trajectories. Key tools to prioritize include:
- Prospecting Tools: For early-stage sales funnel activities;
- Content Management Tools: To efficiently provide sales reps with the right content;
- Conversation Intelligence Tools: Harnessing AI to enhance sales engagement and productivity.
Adapting to the Evolved Customer Landscape
When it comes to processes for organizations to be more effective and efficient, there’s a need to streamline tasks. Avoid over-complicating procedures and align with the current buying behaviors of customers.
Over the past decade, however, there’s been a shift in understanding the buyer’s process. In today’s context, the customer has evolved. There is a rapidly approaching future where the boundaries between sales, professional services, customer service, partners, community, and the customer become blurred.These entities will access similar content tailored to their role and engagement stage.
Forward-thinking organizations are already recognizing this. They’re investing time and resources to adapt to the changing customer landscape, reimagining how they engage with customers in this new world.
“Don’t try to do too much. There is such a desire to move fast. And the reality is, if you don’t spend the time getting leadership buying, getting everyone in line to what you’re trying to do, making sure that you’ve got the right metrics and reporting in place, what you end up doing is putting a lot of effort into getting a lot of stuff out there with not a lot of results and people just revert back to it”.
Redefining Customer Success: Balancing Sales and Technical Expertise
Understanding the customer journey requires defining customer success at the start. The concept of customer success has evolved significantly over the years, resulting in various interpretations. So the question arises: should you focus on hiring customer success professionals primarily for sales and revenue generation, or should the emphasis be more on technical aspects, offering value in different ways?
Regardless of the chosen focus, it’s essential to determine how to balance upselling and implementation. Initial clarity in defining success metrics is vital. In the past, many companies relied on sales teams to ensure both the sale and successful implementation of a product. However, an emerging trend is shifting this responsibility towards dedicated customer success teams. This change presents a challenge as salespeople now require a skill set they might not initially possess.
Compensation plays a significant role in driving behavior. Whether technical experts or sales-oriented professionals, customer success teams should be compensated based on the desired outcomes. It’s a universally accepted principle: individuals are driven by what they’re rewarded for.
“Having a package or a compensation range that supports the behaviors you’re trying to drive in customer success is really important and not necessarily something that most customer success people traditionally think about”.
Now that you know how to meaningfully and successfully engage with your customers, learn other innovative methods you can leverage in the digital age. Check out the full list of episodes here: The B2B Revenue Executive Experience, and instructions on how to rate and review the show are here.