B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode 131 · 2 months ago

131: Mapping the Customer Journey Towards Revenue

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Understanding the ideal customer’s journey is paramount when building and launching a marketing plan, allowing you to influence their decision with various touch points along the way.

It should go without saying that data and marketing go hand-in-hand, particularly when creating a strategy that not only engages, but converts.

Creating targeted content aimed at your business’s ideal customer profile (ICP) is not as simple as it may seem. First, you must understand who is of value to your business, and then map out their journey before understanding how your marketing tactics can positively impact the steps towards revenue.

In the latest episode of B2B Revenue Acceleration, our host Aurelien Mottier (Co-Founder and CEO of Operatix) sat do wn with Steffen Hedebrandt (Co-founder at Dreamdata.io) to discuss how to go about mapping the customer journey toward revenue.

Listen in to their conversation, with critical points including what data should be used to define a marketing strategy, the importance of creating a detailed ICP and why you should turn away customers that don’t align with it. 

Interested in this topic? You can find out more about customer journeys here

To hear this interview and many more like it, subscribe to B2B Revenue Acceleration on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, our website, or anywhere you get podcasts.

You're listening to be to be revenue acceleration, a podcast dedicated to helping software executives stay on the cutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. Let's give into the show. This podcast is sponsored by Gong. Gong empowers your entire go to market your organization by operationalizing you almost valuable asset, your customer interactions. Transform your organization into a revenue machine, or unlocking reality and helping your people reach their full potential. Get started now at Gong dot Io. Hi, welcome to be to be a revenue acceleration. My name is Olier and I'm here today with Steffen headed brand, with CO founder at Dream Data, DOT Ayo. How are you doing todays seven? I am doing pretty good. Today we will be talking about mapping the customer journey towards revenue, but before we start, could you please introduce yourself, as well as the company your present Dream Data Dot Yo. I've been working in B two B marketing and grow forward for more and ten years now, ever since I got out of out of university. I have out of experience and pure pain. I've learned the hard way that it's all you should do. Marketing to produce revenue. My claim to how you should do marketing today's really you should do you should try to produce revenue with all your activities. Our kind of the way reason and saying business that today, now at Dreams Day, that we are we're basically we're B two B go to market data platform, and what it essentially we help people do is to take all the touches that they have available about every account they deal with and every user and linked towards whether it ends up becoming with deals. You Win in this room system, the classic closed one. So because and there's so many inherent challenges for for B two B markets, which I think you, guys and the audience here knows all about that. The journey is along, there's a lot of people involved and it can be a little bit harder and sometimes to understand, which is we shifted. Things are present when we when deal? What what is it meanly, that is the good things and what are the bad things? And but this I mean do we solve or do we not sell at the end? This is the what we're doing at the dreams that is, we help all our customers trying to understand kind of this long complex b the B A journey and to see whether the activity is that they're doing our ending up producing deals, are are not producing deals. So we've streamed data, being a revenue attribution tool. I'm sure you produce lots of information, lots of useful data for marketers that they can use to defend their strategy, but we are, to boil it down from your perspective, without the most relevant data points marketer should be tracking and basing their decisions on. So first of all it's about being Impol to connect the full customer journey and by being able to do that then they can also link all of their activities that they have two revenue, which typically is the proble, plumber, is that you have some activity that has an associated cost and that associated that much activity and cost is very rarely well linked to revenue. And you know, when we have these times that we do have now, you see the marketing but just getting sliced because they have no they don't have a strong enough proofs. But they can give to the let's say to the chief revenue officers, to to the CEO, to the CFO, that these activities over here is actually kind of be your pipeline in in three months. So I think that one is the kind of the strong link. You need to establish that strong link between your activities and and revenue, just like I would imagine you guys do with all the meetings you book for your clients. It's party clear the business value of that. And then the other thing is that we can see now that we you know, we have data from hundreds and hundreds of of B Two b accounts and we can see the data that the journeys are typically, I think the ladiest bench park. We released it as a hundred ninety two days from first touch to...

...deal being on, which means this is gonna take a long time before your activity is gonna work. And if you're judging you know, your marketing experiments, growth experiments in a two short time frame. You missed your risk not understanding what's actually going on. But you also risk, which is probably worse, that you don't hit your sales targets because you know you get the timing wrong of the activities. So marketing has to source the pipeline and you have no clue about how how the whole function works. Then it's a it's a big problem for the whole companies. Yeah, I appreciate that. And another question for you is around the what we realize, and not jolley for a bit more of a desruptive vendorls. It seems that there is more and more touch points in the process, in the marketing process. So maybe, I don't know, twenty years ago or ten years ago, you had two to three for decision. Make your people involved in the decision making process. It seems now that our clients may have around, I don't know, maybe eight, two, fifteen different person that they need to target. You know, don't make an eignal move. So I wanted to know how you are, how you know, how you guys think, based on the data you're received, that we can impact that that more complex customer journey. Is it, you know, with content? Is it be useful to wanderstand if there is any specific that tics that you see for that by your personal type of Johnny to be more successful? Yeah, and first of all, I think you're super right that more and more people gets involved in biotunities. At least that might be God feeling as well. And I think it comes down to like, in the big word, accessibility of information, because you know nowadays everybody expects that they're able to just quickly Google and, you know, find software that can solve certain problems. They can check out websites, see what's working, what's not working, etcetera. So, because the whole world is moving towards this exce stability of information, there it's also easier to say, Oh, you should also just take a look at this and you should take it of that. And the way that I perceive, and this is my opinion, I think you should really utilize your website as being almost a library of any question you might ask related to your product and your industry, because there are going to be so many stakeholders and you might not be you might only be aware of fifty percent of the people who's involved in the deal. The rest of the fifty might just be lurking around your website, being on the G twos and Captera, etcetera, just trying to valudate that the things are working. So you really really need you can't just squeeze people into like a funnel. They are a little bit more autonomous than that and I think, I think you, that's my opinion at least, is that you you need to address it in the way that your website needs to have hold so much information and so many answers to all sorts of questions. Then people can kind of self service the information that that they need. Okay, so technically you would have you would have your direct and sales and marketing effort going to specific personnel, but then you would have a library of content, maybe for technical people or whatever it may be. So people, it may not be in the meeting room or in the zoom call during the peach or the meetings, but people that technically will be taking part in a way in the process that would want to have a look online and see get the information for themselves so self educate themselves in the in the process. Right. Yeah, exactly. And actually, now that I think about what the ones who decide the most a part the concert will produce is our sales people, because it's those sales people who are in the front line every day and we want to yeah, I think the classic terminus that you know, sales is like once in one and marketing is one too many. So every time, you know, since people hear a repeating thing being mentioned or they consistently meet a certain objection,...

...then sales should let marketing have this information so they can produce that kind of one too many information. So we always closely listen to our sales people. What are the questions that you're repeatedly being asked? What are the objections? What do people may be like about our competitors? Can reproduce some information that I can kind of contest this information. So I would, you know, listen closely to the sales people investigate, like who are the people who are always part of these conversations? I'll be addressing all the questions that they might have. Do you need to produce something for the CFO that talks about the R I of buying our software? Does the legal team have some data protection concerns and so forth? I think really you should be completely inspired by the ones that are engaged in your your sales process. H Yeah, that makes sense. So so coming back to probably my first question, which is like, you know, the different things that marketers should be tracking, as you are answering, I was thinking while I was neast week. So last week I was at a big conference in San Francisco, which was good because, you know, it's past covide. Lots of people who are present, as much as you would have seen in a normal year. But he actually feels good to walk down the street and just come across someone that you've not seen for a few years and just catch and meet people. You're having a bit of human contact. was also beautiful. But I'm very intrict to understand how you you can correlate the data from physical interaction, which would be kind of the events, a potential workshop or, you know, executive dinners or whatever you made with you can be eye touch or low touch, versus the more digital piece, because I think the digital piece is probably a little bit most. More simply, if it's an add someone clicks through something, you can probably track them. Yeah, that lead was created, but how would you correlate the two together? Yeah, so personal all this is hard and I'm thinking that what you can do with you know technology, with like ours, as you can say in his think that has a digital reflection and map that into a customer journey. What you cannot do is stuff that doesn't get a digital reflection. So that also first of all, that means that you should see from what the information like a too like ours, provided as a statistical framework for your you know, experience and God feeling and what else you're experiencing, and it's about we want to take you from knowing five to ten percent, so knowing let's say fifty, seventy percent of what's going on, because that still means you can take very solid decisions about what to do more and what to do less of. Now, coming back to I was also at hours at dissaster conference in Barcelona last week and it was super nice to see people in real life again, almost a bit of overwhelming. But you need to kind of as an organization, as a team, you need to commit to a digital course. So that means, for example, the people you met at the conferences, you need to kind of give that a digital reflection. So you could be going into the serium system and making sure you know down I met this person at this conference again, because if if you don't leave that digital stand it doesn't mean that it doesn't have value, but you can't really describe the value because it didn't get a reflection. So we'd say all of these digital reflections that maybe into the account's journey, and that means you don't get all of them, you don't get that kind of one on one conversation or you ask confirmed and he recommends it. Does that make sense? Well, so basically you would take let's say you scan someone. You would just want to make sure that lady is coming into the system and attribute against the event. Okay, that's right. Straight then you can. Then you can slip it around. So you can then also look at the you can sorw that you can do a data driven approach to it afterwards. So let's say you have won a hundred accounts and if there's an overrepresentation of meeting people edited at conference us in the one accounts, then it could look like...

...those digital touches were more important than other touches, if that makes sense. Yeah, now that that makes sense. I mean the reason why I'm asking the question is because, but I don't know for your events in Barstona, but the one we went to in San Francisco, we we we've got some people telling us, but some of the amount of money days are spending in being there, you know, setting up the booze, then bringing the people in the hotel's room and sometimes even the parties, because there is parties also taking peace in the evening. And Yeah, they spend a nough ful, lots of money and when we ask the question about attribution, sometimes we've got people looking at us. Well, we just need to be here. This is an industry event. We've got to be here, we've got to be represented. Right, it's about and and I get that, but I guess I kind of drives another question to you, which is probably a bit often. No Code. Well, is obviously working for dream data, which is attribution. You want to attribute revenue to everything and you want to link everything, but do you think there is some part of marketing that actually cannot and should not have revenue attribution directly link to them? Things that you need to do in your mixed maybe around brand and the flag that but quite frankly, you've got to go to your CFO and CEO and say do not expect the straight root on an investment. Does that exist? Yeah, I think so. The Way I think about this that if there's things that you intuitively know makes sense, then then they makes sense. And in that way that it's important that for us to be physically prisoned here, because then people can see me our brain, we might not record that it was here that they saw the brand. So I think I normally always tell people to first of all you need to build up a story of why does this make sense? Yeah, and then if you didn't try this story against your the people in your company and you know, tested in your team. So I'm thinking about spending this money on going to this conference because I think this will happen. I think that is the first test you need to do. And then the next thing is you should try to produce you can. You can say maybe, let's maybe called it there's a minimum viable return on investment or something like that. That's sometimes how I try to do this. You know, where it's harder to minish. You if we go to this conference and we need if we can get one customer out of going to this conference, it's probably actually worth it then and then you kind of just have to trust this kind of investment thinking around it. Yeah, but I would say that most good marketing leaves a trace, whether that comes in the form of somebody you know posting it just as a linkedin post, or they tell you, I saw you at this conference, then you need to bring that story to your team so the next next time you want to go to story to a conference, you have that story in hand that this cost my said this wasn't important. So there's the stuff you can touch and then the stuff that is harder to kind of regress, but it's still valuable and I think you, as m marktputs, is then responsible for doing like a verbal handover of the attribution. That makes sense, I think, I really because, like as you say, that's just stuff that makes sense to do, but it's hard to measure. And then what we should try to do? As you know, people can go to marketing. At least make sure that people understand the narrative of our actions. Yeah, yeah, I believe that it is the same for sales. There is some actions that are probably would would have a direct correlation to revenue, but there may be some action you want to take in sales that may not have a direct correlation to revenue, like being active on social media, helping others, you know, running communities and things like that. So, but, but what was interesting with with last week is that most of the people we spoke to would exhibit. So they would have a boost, they would have they would have people sitting on the Bush, but not executive people, more people that can speak to bypasser and show them a bit of...

...a demo and stuff like that. It seemed that all the exacts from a client, so from a from a from an exhibit or perspective and from Prospective, so so that their potentially by your perspective, they would be in all the hotails scattered around the event place, you know, because there is a few hotels around the most peny center, and people will be going from suite to suite having one to one meetings. So it's kind of it's funny because it's kind of a place where people go fishing and hunting. So the fishing is waiting on your bulls for someone to come scan them engage the conversation. It collects some information but may not. It may not be information with your direct buyers, you just suggested, it could be with someone at work for your direct buyers. So you're I C P and then we can touch on a C P after. But that can give you information to then go to the right a CP moving forward and have the right conversation with them. And you've got the hunting element, which was also driven by by marketing in most of the case, where you would either have you would have new prospects meeting with your sales guys and then you've got the last spot, which is what we discussed a little bit earlier on, which is it's a multi touch process. You mentioned the website as a place where people can get information while having an event. Well, we know that people will be there. is also a great place to say, Hey, Stephen, why don't you come and that you're interested about the marketing side of what we do, and I've been speaking to yourselves, Guy, and they're all convinced. But since you will be there, why don't we get together? And there was also a lot of from what we've been told, a lot of meeting taking place with basically an opportunity that is already in process. But we want to have a different touchpoint with them and it gives us the opportunity to have not only a face to face such points, which is good, despite the fact we move digital and lots of people prefer to be digital because it's ease of life when your sales, personal marketing person, having a bit of us to face interaction is also very cool and makes a difference. But yeah, so it was quite interesting to see how the whole face it was an element of pure fishing, an element of hunting, an element of accelerating the cell cycles from meeting someone that is in their journey. Yeah, yeah, I think the whole event clipbook needs to be brushed off again for people. Yeah, yeah, but I think, and also this kind of if your product is something complex, the physical meeting will be even more important because it can be hard for unassumed call to to read the CBD. Or does she really understand what I'm saying now, or is it just something that they're not really not interesting? Like the sense of being physically together. Actually, agree helps a lot. I agree with you. And and last question for you. So you've spoken previously about the importance of turning away customers that don't align with the a CPS. Just going back to the A C P and all livings. Yeah, so can you tell us a little bit more about that concept and everything? It's kind of a start a concept for you, but can you can you tell us a little bit more about that disruptive sorts of yours, and also can you explain the benefits of this rather than, I think, a broader approach to marketing? Yes, so I C P, which is basically means ideal customer profile, and that probably means a lot of different things in different companies. But what it has been for us, I think this is one of the most important things we've learned then a couple of years, has been to use it as a strategic alignment across the company, not just in marketing, not just in sales or not just in in product. What means for us now is that do all of our marketing only to attract ideal customer profiles. Our series people are only allowed to work on accounts that looks like ideal customer profiles and the products only works build features for the ideal customer profile. So...

...in all these different places a lot of resources are going in and if you don't in your company have it written down and explained to everybody why is these people our ideal customer profile, then there can be such a waste in activities all over the place and, for example, in the bag in the day we we used to sell to all kinds of B two B companies because you know, if you can push somebody to sign a contract, it always feels good. But what doesn't feel good is that if if you sold to somebody who was not a good fit for your product, there was not a chance that they could actually be a happy customer, then CS is left with a big problem because they're trying to make them happy. Products has to go off the rails to produce something else than is actually not meant for your ideal customer profile. And you know, if you start analyzing the closing rates of you know those are kind of hopefully the closing agreation of your ideal customer profile is good at. Then you know other types of accounts, then you just start to see that if you're really tired about these things and everything just starts to float a lot better. I don't know if that's your experience as well. I want yeah, I think we do pretty much the same. So I would say it's that second nature. But it's very important to make sure that everybody in the organization focus on the right a C P a part purely when it comes to certain marketing, of course, because you want to prospect. But for us there is a big delivery center as well, so we've got people who are in operation and that's why it can become an issue because when you are in operation you may have to report two different people, okay, and then you may have divergence between people. Okay, so someone on the ground may not agree with someone with someone who is based in France, for example, with regional, may not agree with someone with based in the US with global. But the person in the US maybe the person having the budget, and they want consistency across the body and the person in France is like well, no, because this is the way it works in for us, Extera, etcetera. So we have that sort of interesting back and for sometimes with the A C P, because technically both of those individuals are important to us. But at some points we it's it's more about how do we manage the communication in an in an event of the nature and conflict management. So it could because sometimes its conflict is not again, for us, when we're in your delivery phase, it's thought about US creating the conflict. It could be an individual wanting something slightly different versus the Enterprise Agreement that you've got with an organization, and that's kind of difficult because if you change what you are doing, you're just so so. Yes, so the concept is kind of well established at operatics, but we still find it challenging because I guess for us it's slightly different and just normal sales process. We just held one person it could be and the project of changing. So I c peak and so not the A C P itself. You will still remain the same function and the same individual, the same title, if you will, but the individual can change. Yeah, so it's more about how do we what do we do when the trigger is pulled on an a c pin change, and how do we manage that changed, that change, and how do we make sure that? I mean it's almost like a change management process that you need to communicate and you need to make sure that everybody understands why things are as they are, both up and both down. And Yeah, in the organization. Yeah, our a CP is very straightforward. You know, you've got people wore managing the PNL. In a small company, that would be a CEO. In a large organization, that could be a managing director, that could be someone who is responsible for a business you need, or for for regional territory. Then you've got the people who are responsible for marketing, because usually these are the people who have the budget for us, for Operatics, and then you've got yourselves, people who are the receiving it. Okay, well, when you speak to the top, you really want to speak about our marketing and sales should work better together. We speak about accelerating cell cycle, increasing average gail value. When you speak to marketing, often marketing people will...

...tell you part really, if you practive, engage, proactively, engage with them, they will tell you that their budget is allocated and that, unfortunately, even if you've got the best offering on the planet, they can't really change what they've already got in place. Right. And then you speak to cells and the good news we sell is that they seem to be never really to appear about what what marketing is giving them sometimes. So that can give you a very interesting overview on what's happening with the organization. So that's the simple process. But then when you get engage with the account and they start working with you. So in the sells process for us it's very important that we speak to the triangle. You don't want to just speak to marketing and marketing choosing you and the gay at the top of the gay responsible for the P N L and the sells people have not spoken to you, because you want to establish with the two other what's in it for them and then you want to agree with they should see from a reporting perspective and stuff like that. Very important that we speak to the three of them, because if you speak to two and the third one is not convinced, or even if you speak to three and one is that convinced, in that triangle you may as we may as well not move forward because it's gonna be a characrushed. Someone said no, I don't want to support the campaign, and it's like anything. You know, a good team of people will support themselves if they believe that they work as an extension of each other. You'll support your colleague. You won't let them down, unless you are bad human. Sure there is some. You always should see the positivity of working with someone. And but again I think it's it's being polite. If you'RE gonna deliver us like a meeting for seales personal or sales group, it's only polite that you include them in the decision making process. They will be at the receiving end. You can't just say well, we'RE gonna, we'RE gonna, we're gonna change everything, but that's fine, you know, you do your ta get anyway. So it's kind of that the way we've got to deal with it. There is an aspect of it of I C P and importance of speaking with you everyone at the beginning of the process, in the sales process. But then there is an ongoing customer success is keeping our customer success till very busy, which is well dealing with the changes, New People coming in with another way of thinking, etcetera, etcetera. Yeah, and you need to constantly check in with everybody. And I like speaking of your case. I normally always tell marketers that the quickest way to improve the turn on adspent is to become good friends, but the sales team, because you can handle over a thousand needs. But if the sales people don't want to work on these leads, you know, then you're still not going to have any profit on your own. Absolutely well, and we see that. We see that with everything you know. We see that with content indication, we see it with with with lots of marketing functions. They could be internal or they could be external vendors. Just people are creating leads. There are identifying maybe an interesting information or a priority of someone looking into something that may not need that they are ready to buy. We've got to be careful that. You know, marketing is not only at least in my perspective, marketing is not only perceived as someone who just deliver business to sells, because, if why would you need sellers? Always right. I think what marketing is supposed to do is to give you indication of where you should prioritize your time, which is kind of the the syndication, and you know, the priority engine that you would see in the market. What they can tell you with looking at your content or content similar to what you do. And then you need to turn that around into a practive approach. Right, you need to to your point. You need to identify all the right people. You want to speak to the business, the finance business led person and discuss the business case with them. What's the return from a financial perspective? You want to speak to the technical guy and also tell them that when implement your solution they won't have to work extra time, they won't have to work overnight. It's gonna be easy to implement extra so that's really the spectrum. And then in the middle you've got lots of other people to influence so they can understand what's need it for them, and that's something that is cells need to do, I think, more particularly when you go into deals and that's a challenge because it's complicated. You need to...

...identify all your IDP to list them and you almost need to have okay, this is the message for this guy. This is the value we deliver for this individual and it is how we convince them. So when there is a consens you send there all around the table. They all club and share for for a solution. That's nice. Yeah, I'm very much agree with this. Sign up the complexity typically in larger organizations. So, Stephen, thank you so much for your insight today and for spending some time with us. You shall have some very, very good information if anyone wants to get in touch with you to carry on the conversation to discuss about dam dream data dot IO. What's the best way to get all of your Stephen? You just sent the name of our website, but besides that, then I'm pretty excep on link. Then some people can just hit me up there and I will be happy to connect with them. Cool. Well, thank you so much, Stephanie. Was a great pleasure to have you on the podcast today. Yeah, likely, and have a nice day. You've been listening. To be to be the new acceleration to ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time. This podcast is sponsored by Gong. Gong empowers your entire go to market your organization by Operationalizing Your Most Valuable Asset, your customer interactions. Transform your organization into a revenue machine by unlocking reality and helping your people reach their full potential. Get started now at Gong dot Io.

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