The buying experience whitepaper
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The buying experience whitepaper

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Companies that deliver great buying experiences grow 2X faster than their peers. If you work in sales, check out how you can create and deliver remarkable experiences for your buyers.

Companies that deliver great buying experiences grow 2X faster than their peers. If you work in sales, check out how you can create and deliver remarkable experiences for your buyers.

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The buying experience whitepaper The buying experience whitepaper Presentation Transcript

  • The Buying Experience: The Most Important Thing in Sales and Marketing © TOPO 2013 TOPO   TOPO   The  Buying  Experience:     The  Most  Important  Thing  in  Marketing               and  Sales   A  TOPO  white  paper  for  marketing  and  sales  professionals     Learn  more:   www.topohq.com   blog.topohq.com  
  • The Buying Experience: The Most Important Thing in Sales and Marketing © TOPO 2013 An  Introduction  to  the  Buying  Experience   The  buying  experience  is  the  most  important  thing  in   sales  and  marketing.  To  understand  how  something   you’ve  likely  never  heard  of  can  be  so  important,  let’s   look  at  something  Steve  Jobs  once  said:   “You’ve  got  to  start  with  the  customer  experience   and  work  back  to  the  technology  –  not  the  other  way   around.”   While  Steve  wasn’t  talking  about  sales  and  marketing   specifically,  we  can  apply  his  fundamental  point  to   everything  a  company  does.  In  fact,  Steve’s   experience-­‐first  point  is  especially  applicable  to  sales   and  marketing.  At  TOPO,  our  research  shows  that   delivering  a  great  experience  to  prospective  buyers   has  the  biggest  impact  on  whether  or  not  they  will   buy  something  from  you.  The  overall  buying   experience  actually  outranks  product  and  price.  It’s  a   surprising,  counter-­‐intuitive  data  point  that  got  me   thinking  that  the  Steve  Jobs  quote  could  be  remixed   into  something  like:   “You’ve  got  to  start  with  the   buying  experience  and  work  back   to  the  revenue  –  not  the  other   way  around.”     The  experience-­‐first  approach  works.  Our   benchmarking  shows  that  companies  that  deliver   great  buying  experiences  grow  twice  as  fast  as   companies  that  deliver  average  experiences.  This   faster  growth  is  just  a  byproduct  of  the  buying   experience’s  ability  to  deliver  more  traffic,  higher   conversion  rates,  larger  average  deal  sizes,  shorter   sales  cycles,  lower  churn,  and  more  customer   referrals.  It’s  nothing  more  than  providing  buyers   with  what  they  want  –  a  great  experience  –  and  then   watching  critical  revenue  metrics  improve  as  a  result.   What  could  be  more  important  than  that?    
  • The Buying Experience: The Most Important Thing in Sales and Marketing © TOPO 2013 What  is  the  buying  experience?   If  the  buying  experience  really  is  that  important,  we   need  to  define  exactly  what  it  is  so  we  can   understand  it  and  improve  it.  Our  definition  of  the   buying  experience  is:   How  your  target  buyers  perceive   the  experience  of  buying  a   product  or  service  in  your  market.   Like  all  loaded  business  terms,  our  definition  needs   some  unpacking  to  understand  its  true  meaning.   There  are  a  few  key  words  and  phrases  contained  in   our  definition  that  we  can  analyze  to  help  us   understand  the  buying  experience.  First,  the  buying   experience  needs  to  be  understood  from  the  buyer’s   perspective.  Second,  the  word  “experience”  is  a  big   word  that  covers  the  process  a  buyer  engages  in,  as   well  as  the  total  experience  the  buyer  has  during  that   process.   The  buyer’s  perspective   The  first  thing  to  understand  is  that  the  buying   experience  should  really  be  understood  from  the   buyer’s  perspective.  That’s  what  we  mean  when  we   use  the  phrase  “how  your  target  buyers  perceive”.   Lots  of  people  in  marketing,  sales,  and  other  parts  of   an  organization  will  tell  you  what  they  think,  but  true   north  here  is  the  buyer’s  perception  of  the   experience.  Only  the  buyer  can  tell  you  the  steps   they  must  take  to  get  to  a  purchase,  what  they  need   at  each  step,  and  their  satisfaction  levels  throughout   the  experience.   The  buying  process   The  buying  experience  includes  the  entire  process   that  the  buyer  engages  in  as  they  move  from  status   quo  to  purchase.  The  status  quo  represents  what  the   buyer  is  doing  before  they  embark  on  the  buying   experience,  while  purchase  represents  the  final  step   that  moves  someone  from  buyer  to  customer.  
  • The Buying Experience: The Most Important Thing in Sales and Marketing © TOPO 2013 A  number  of  steps  sit  in  between  status  quo  and   purchase.  Some  buying  experiences  are  simple   enough  to  consist  of  just  a  few  steps.  Many   ecommerce-­‐centric  experiences  fall  into  this   category.  Other  experiences,  however,  are  complex   enough  to  consist  of  dozens  to  hundreds  of  steps.   These  are  often  found  in  B2B  markets  where   purchasing  something  like  CRM  software  may  involve   the  buyer  taking  25  to  30  steps.  But  examples  such  as   buying  a  new  home  or  choosing  a  college  can  also  be   found  in  consumer  markets.   From  a  process  perspective,  it’s  important  to   understand  that  the  buyer  might  not  make  it  to  a   final  purchase.  Similarly,  they  might  buy  something   from  a  competitor,  but  not  from  you.  That  doesn’t   mean  they  didn’t  have  a  buying  experience.  They   very  much  did  –  they  just  didn’t  reach  your  end   objective.  That  sounds  like  a  buying  experience  that   is  ripe  for  analysis  and  optimization.   The  total  experience   Our  definition  includes  the  entire  experience  that  the   buyer  has  as  they  move  from  status  quo  to  purchase.   That  experience  consists  of  different  elements  from   the  buyer’s  psychology,  to  the  information  they   consume,  to  the  interactions  they  have,  during  the   buying  process.   None  of  these  elements  is  more  important  than  the   buyer’s  psychology  and  emotions  –  their  desires,   needs,  wants,  and  fears.  This  psychology  governs   much  of  what  the  buyer  will  experience.  For  example,   many  buyers  are  motivated  by  a  sense  of  community.   That’s  why  buying  experiences  that  emphasize  a   brand’s  or  company’s  community  of  customers  tend   to  outperform  those  that  don’t.   The  experience  also  consists  of  the  information  that   the  buyer  will  consume  during  the  process.  Most   buyers  are  voracious  consumers  of  information  and   view  it  as  the  currency  of  the  buying  experience.  Take   online  reviews  as  an  example.  According  to  a  recent   study  by  Dimensional  Research,  90%  of  buyers  claim   that  positive  online  reviews  influence  their  decisions.   That’s  just  one  type  of  information  that  informs  the   final  purchasing  decision.  
  • The Buying Experience: The Most Important Thing in Sales and Marketing © TOPO 2013 The  final  element  is  the  interactions  that  a  buyer  has   during  the  process.  These  interactions  are  defined  by   whom  the  buyer  is  interacting  with  (brands,  peers,   journalists,  analysts,  the  list  goes  on  and  on…)  and   how  the  interaction  takes  place  (online,  in  person,   the  phone…).  When  it  comes  to  interactions,  it’s   critical  to  know  that  buying  experiences  will  almost   always  include  interactions  that  don’t  involve  you.   For  example,  according  to  Sirius  Decisions,  70%  of  the   B2B  buying  process  is  done  before  the  buyer  engages   with  sales.   Different  types  of  purchases   This  definition  is  meant  to  be  inclusive  of  different   types  of  purchases.  For  example,  it  can  be  applied  to   the  experience  that  a  Director  of  IT  has  when   purchasing  security  software.  It  can  also  be  applied  to   the  experience  a  stay  at  home  mom  has  when  buying   a  new  car  or  something  as  simple  as  a  blender.   How  is  this  different  than  CX?   Some  people  will  argue  that  the  way  TOPO  is  defining   the  buying  experience  makes  it  a  component  part  of   the  overall  customer  experience.  But  we  believe  that   the  buying  experience  is  really  different  than  the   customer  experience.  The  starting  point  for  this   distinction  is  that  the  buying  experience  is  clearly   focused  on  prospective  buyers,  whereas  the   customer  experience  deals  primarily  with  existing   customers.   This  may  seem  like  an  obvious  and  somewhat   academic  distinction,  but  it’s  one  that  has  real,   practical  ramifications  for  companies.  For  example,   the  buying  experience  should  focus  on  revenue-­‐ oriented  objectives  such  as  increased  conversion   rates  and  shorter  buying  cycles.  That’s  really  different   than  focusing  on  customer  satisfaction  levels.   Another  example  of  the  distinction  is  that  companies   have  less  control  over  the  buying  experience  because   it’s  about  prospective  buyers  (in  most  cases,  people   you  don’t  know),  as  opposed  to  the  customer   experience  where  companies  already  have  a   relationship  with  the  customer.  There  are  many   other  examples  that  highlight  the  distinction,  but   these  two  show  just  how  different  the  buying  and   customer  experiences  really  are.
  • The Buying Experience: The Most Important Thing in Sales and Marketing © TOPO 2013 An  Example  Buying  Experience  from  the  SaaS  Market     Buyer Stage Buyer Activity !"#"$%&'$(&& )*+,-%"#*+& .,/$0-,1,*"%2& 345(*%& 6*7#7,&8,*+(-9%:& ;+,*5<=&>-(?@,12 344(-"$*0"=& A#B,&C,D0%0(*2 >$-DE#%,& Key Question How do I keep my customers happy when I’m growing? What do I do now that I have two people in support? How do I make this really easy on my business? Does it satisfy my core requirements and is it easy? Can I show CEO that the software and price just work? !"#$%&'("&)##'%*"'%+" ,&-(+"./0-12.''+1$"3'4&" " " " " " " " 5'%61'07"+%'8-(+"90&*" :)/;$%"'9"<46$*&"+%'8-(+" ="#$'#1$"('8"8'%6-(+"&)##'%*" :$8"$/#1'>$$"('*"&$19?&)@4-$(*" " " " A8'"#$%&'("8'%6B'8"-&"-&&)$" " " :$8"$/#1'>$$"($$7&"*'"&'1C$" D'11$4*&";0&-4"-(9'")&-(+".''+1$" A016&"*'"#$$%&"E"C01)$&"*F-&" " D'%$"9$0*)%$&"-7$(<G$7" .0*F$%&"#%-4-(+"70*0" " H'4)&$&"'("$0&$"'9")&$" 3$C$1'#&"C$(7'%"&F'%*1-&*" D%$0*$&"C$(7'%"$C01)0<'(""#10(" I-&-*&"1$07-(+"C$(7'%J&"&-*$" K-+(&")#"9'%"*%-01" L)&*"($$7&"-*"*'"8'%6" K*0%*&")&-(+"*%-01" " :'"'*F$%"*%-01&" A06$&"40112$/0-1"9%'/"&01$&" M;1$"*'"&0<&9>"4'%$")&$"40&$" A06$&"=(7"4011"9%'/"&01$&" " N(*$%(01"/$$<(+"'("G(01"7$4-&-'(" " " O)>$%"7$4-7$&"*'"#)%4F0&$" P(*$%&"4%$7-*"40%7"-(9'" O)>$%";$4'/$&"4)&*'/$%" Next Step Requirement Potential Roadblock Workload requires more than 1 person to support process Complexity high enough to require real application Understands core use cases and leading vendors Actual use of trial, as opposed to just signup CEO must approve decision and provide credit card Business not growing enough to justify next step Buyer doesn’t realize general benefits of SaaS Can’t understand basic need and requirements Able to signup for trial, but too challenging to use CEO vetoes decision at last minute because of TCO issue !" =Q"
  • The Buying Experience: The Most Important Thing in Sales and Marketing © TOPO 2013 Delivering  an  experience  that  exceeds  expectations   If  you  work  in  sales  and  marketing,  job  number  one  is   to  deliver  an  experience  that  exceeds  the  buyer’s   expectations  so  that  they  buy  your  product  or   service.  That’s  easier  said  than  done,  but  there  are   three  things  you  can  do  to  get  started:   You  need  to  understand  the  experience  that  your   buyer  is  currently  having  versus  the  experience  they   want  to  have.  Most  people  who  interact  with  buyers   on  a  regular  basis  have  an  understanding  of  this.  You   just  need  to  take  time  to  think  about  it.   It’s  essential  that  you  design  and  deliver  a  buying   experience  that  is  grounded  in  what  the  buyer  wants.   At  TOPO,  we  call  this  buyer-­‐responsive  sales  and   marketing  and  it  works.  It  focuses  on  moving  the   buyer  to  the  next  step  by  providing  them  with  what   they  want  and  need.   As  you  design  the  buying  experience,  remember  that   every  buyer  wants  two  things.  First,  they  want  help   making  better  decisions.  Second,  they  want  it  to  be   easy  to  get  to  and  make  the  buying  decision.   How  you  do  these  three  things  will  be  the  subject  of   many,  many  more  white  papers  that  we’ll  publish   here.  We’ll  also  look  at  other  principles  that  will  help   you  provide  an  exceptional  experience  to  your   buyers,  as  well  as  case  studies  of  leaders  in  the   emerging  buying  experience  field.   Do  you  think  the  buying  experience  is  as  important  as   we  do?  How  would  you  define  it?  And  how  would   you  get  started  designing  and  delivering  a  world  class   buying  experience?      
  • The Buying Experience: The Most Important Thing in Sales and Marketing © TOPO 2013 TOPO We  help  our  clients  design  and  deliver   great  buying  experiences.  Why?  Because   companies  that  deliver  great  buying   experiences  grow  2X  faster  than  those   that  don’t.     www.topohq.com   blog.topohq.com   Contact  TOPO:   650-­‐303-­‐1120   scott@topohq.com