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Terminus Blog

October 22, 2020

In an Era of Infinite Competition, Experience Is Everything

Category: FlipMyFunnel Post

Companies have been saying they are focused on customer experience for years.

For most… it hasn’t exactly been true.

But these days, it’s no longer an option. Experience matters more than anything else in your business. 

In this Takeover episode, host Ethan Beute speaks with David Cancel, CEO of Drift, to find out why experience matters now more than ever before. 

They discuss:

  • Why experience is the most important focus for any company
  • Why this insight has taken a while to catch on
  • Conversational marketing

Are you experienced? 

For David, experience is everything. 

And, he argues, it should be for you, too. 

A customer’s experience when they interact with you is how your brand gets perceived. It becomes the stories they tell the world that shape your brand’s reputation.

So, you want them to tell good stories.

“Whatever job you do, people are going to tell stories about that experience. So you can focus on making them good. Or if you ignore them, they can become mediocre or bad experiences.”

And that means more than just a good website or a cool product. It’s more than your personal branding. 

It’s every touchpoint the customer has with your company. It’s the people within the company. It’s your values. 

It’s everything you do. 

If you want to capitalize on the power experience holds, you need to bake it into every facet of your company. 

From how you engineer your products to marketing to, of course, sales. 

But despite the primacy of the customer experience, most companies — though, this is beginning to change — have only ever paid lip service to customer experience. 

Why?

Infinite competition

It’s not like any of these ideas are new. 

There has been a buzz around creating great experiences for decades. 

But until recently, most companies could afford to leave customer experience simmering on the backburner. 

That’s because, in most ecosystems, there really wasn’t a great deal of competition to worry about. 

They could dictate the sales process and how they wanted to serve customers. 

But today, that’s gone out the window.

Now, we live in an age of infinite competition.

“There’s an infinite supply of competitors. That means customer experience is the most important thing you can focus on as a business.”

Infinite competition isn’t being too hyperbolic, either. 

There really are infinite — or effectively infinite — options for any product a consumer could want. 

With new digital strategies lowering the barrier to entry for competitors and worldwide markets opening up for every conceivable product, you need to stand out. 

And, unless you are planning on going toe-to-toe with Amazon, you aren’t doing this through quantity. You’re doing it through experience.

How to provide a better experience

This focus on experience also means that you are going to need to change some things. 

Just take your sales department as an example. What are the titles of your salespeople? 

SDRs, BDRs, account executives, CSMs… you get the idea. 

And this litany of initialisms may make sense to solve company problems. You want specialization — certain people who are better trained to handle different steps in the buying process. 

But what problems does it solve for the customer? Does anyone care what 3-letter title they’re speaking to? 

No. People just want their problems solved. 

“We’ve been in this world where all we care about is the company problems. And we inflict that on to our customers.

So, David has addressed this problem at Drift through conversational marketing. 

For instance, he’s rethought the roles within the company and modeled them around the experience of going to an Apple store to solve an issue. 

When you enter an Apple store, have you ever known the hierarchy of the employees? Their specialties? 

No, they either help you or grab someone who can. That’s how it should be. 

Conversational marketing is more than just not inflicting clunky initialisms on the customer. 

It’s also making sure that all the tools you use to connect with your customers capture data, which in turn leads to making better connections with your customers. 

It’s a bit meta, but it makes sense. You want your playbook to be guided by the conversations you have with your customers — you want to know that the real-world experiences they are having guide your strategy. 

And in the end, you want the conversations you have with your customers to be guided by your playbook. After all, it’s those conversations that create the customer experience.

Conversational marketing means you will always be delivering the best experience to your customers while also learning how to give an even better experience the next time. 

That way, everybody wins. 

This is a #FlipMyFunnel podcast. Check us out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or here.

Written by Sangram Vajre

Sangram Vajre is the co-founder and chief evangelist of Terminus, the leader of the account-based marketing (ABM) movement transforming B2B marketing. Before co-founding Terminus, Sangram led the marketing team at Pardot through its acquisition by ExactTarget and then to Salesforce. Sangram is the author of Account-Based Marketing for Dummies and is the mastermind behind #FlipMyFunnel. Follow Sangram on Twitter at @sangramvajre.

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