In this installment we explore the sales side of a CX platform. We've talked about the CMS from a marketing perspective, which felt very familiar. The job of marketing is to tee up, sales qualified lead to sales. Which means we'll look at the website and CMS through a lens of the sales team.
Start at the Beginning: Ask Sales What Works for Them
When thinking about how your website can assist the sales team, you have to go to the beginning. You need to find out if they even use the website. If you're building a Customer Experience Platform, it will have to work for your entire company.
You can start by asking your sales team where they get their tools for sales. Find out what content they use, what material they create and where it all comes from.
Hopefully they talk about your website, but don't lead them in your questioning. In fact, since salespeople are good at reading people and figuring out what they want, you may not want to have marketing ask.
So you want to find out if the website is in the top three tools they use. If sales can't get their content from the website to help reinforce their position in the sales process, then how can your prospective customer do the same in their buyer's journey?
The Two Schools of Thought in Sales
Generally you'll find two schools of thought in sales when it comes to sharing content.
"I have my secret sauce. I don't want anybody to see my secret sauce. You know, I don't want that stuff to be available to the general public."
"We're awesome. We care about our customers want to make sure they have all the resources and for the record, if they can find that information."
When customers are in the sales process, School 2 is ultra powerful for your company. Empowering the customer.
Too often Sales will say, "I don't want that stuff to be available to the general public. That's my secret sauce. It's not worth it."
By using a CMS like HubSpot to create a CX platform, you can create contextually relevant information for the sales process.
They consider the answer a one or a zero. It's either yes or no, it's not the gray area in between.
Instead, we propose that by using a CMS like HubSpot to create a CX platform, you can create contextually relevant information for the sales process. There's a huge opportunity to remove that hard line of black and white, one or zero, and actually have some gray.
We took this idea to another level at Impulse Creative. Here's how it works: We actually have a front facing, essentially deal object. So as Jackie on the sales team puts in information, she can drop in resources. It'll automatically recommend testimonials that are relevant. It'll automatically show recent work that's relevant. It'll automatically show a lot of these things. Those things are the blockers in our sales process that people ask for.
Back to School of Thought 1, you might have people that say "Don't lead with testimonials or references because that can slow down the sales process."
While it can absolutely slow down the sales process, why would you withhold that information when customers want it? That's a goldmine.
Rethink Your Website as a Sales Tool (CMS + CRM)
We rethought the website and the CMS from a sales perspective; there are two things that you have to really have right.
You have to have the right information and you have to have the right buyers context. A buyers context is the key piece.
Here's an example. The buyers context is Dan is coming to talk to your company about XYZ app. That app helps him solve problems. What are those key problems?
He could have filled that form out in the beginning. But he could have had a really amazing conversation with Jackie from the sales team. And Jackie could have uncovered more things or gone deeper into said goals.
If we look at a website, as just a website and just a CMS for managing content, the only available context that is available to share or modify anything for Dan, is what he submitted on that form.
We could change information on the website based on that form submit. We could change information in CTAs. We could even change chats. You could do that with a lot of other tools.
The problem that you have to think about, especially from a customer experience platform mindset, is that now the information Jackie puts in to the deal record in her notes is digging deeper into who Dan is and what he cares about.
Those individual interactions are so valuable towards the sales process. But they're also very valuable from a context process.
Imagine sales uncovering that the reason a prospect wants more leads is because they're about to launch a new product offering. If they just said "I need more leads" as the reason on the forum summit, we might talk about how you could do pay per click or how you could expand out all these different areas of your business. And we're really not doing anything different than recommending a section of our website.
Why hold on to the data that we know the client is going to request?
But when Jackie uncovers that it's for a brand new product or service... Now suddenly we can come back in, and if that information is connected the right way, and we're truly thinking of this from like an application standpoint, the new feature could pull relevant testimonials. You'd see what we've done for helping people launch new brands. It could recommend service or product offerings on the homepage for when you come back to do more research... and so much more.
Everything you just read about is content sales traditionally likes to hold in their hands. They've wanted to be the one that provides it to the prospects so they're in a point of authority.
But when we think about the customer experience, it's not the salesperson's experience. It's the customer's experience.
As we follow that thread, why hold on to the data that we know the client is going to request? Why not provide it to them and make it easy?
When that prospect comes back to the website throughout the sales process, how can we make that information the most relevant? Then thinking of this portal, this logged in view, if you will, you can almost make this like home base for those testimonials and other assets.
Now you're giving hyper-relevant information that's based on your sales team's conversations.
Satisfying Several Stakeholders in Sales Conversations
Whether it's gatekeepers in B2B sales or multiple contacts in a B2C situation, oftentimes sales has to satisfy several stakeholders through the process.
With a CX platform like we've built, it helps when you have multiple sales conversations.
For instance, let's go back to our example of Dan and he's thinking about this app. He may go to his CMO and ask her to look at this company. With this logged-in CX platform world that CMO can see the resources Dan has access to and the relevant, contextual content instead of a generic experience.
So if Jackie asks Dan who else should be in on these conversations or who should receive resources, he can tell Jackie who that would be and she can add them to the CRM and create an account.
Once again, it's an example of a website or CMS combined with a contact management system or CRM. That relationship management becomes really powerful from the context of the website.
Connection is critical.
What we're really getting down to is the connection and the data consolidated all in one spot.
For us, the tool we're talking about is HubSpot. HubSpot CMS Hub connects to the Sales Hub. It's all just one ecosystem.
Bonus: Serving the Sales Team
One of the bonus outcomes of working on a customer experience platform with a sales perspective is the service to the sales team.
Now all of a sudden your sales team can go from asking which examples of work they can share with the client, they can click a button that says show examples of work and they appear. When your CRM and CMS connect, and your team is putting the information into the CRM, the CX platform shows relevant work in context.
Sales doesn't have to go ask someone in service and wait. The client gets it faster, and the content has more continuity to it. And it all was less effort for the prospect, and it comes out to be less effort for sales.
At Impulse Creative, Remington even found that the dashboard feel of the CX platform prompted Jackie to ask for her own portal.
Now she has one with open quotes where one click gets into a quote to look at it, rather than going into CRM and doing a filter. It creates a more effortless experience for your sales team as well, especially if you're using membership.
Smarketing is growing up and becoming a customer experience platform in our new world of revenue operations.
Coming up in the next episode, we look at the website and CMS through the lens of the service side of it.