Guest blog post by Brennan O’Donnell, Chief Commercial Officer at Euclid Analytics
Talking to prospects and customers all day, every day makes your sales and customer success teams experts on the needs of your market, and gives them unfettered access to some of the most critical business information in your company. Keeping these conversations isolated with customer-facing teams, however, is a huge missed opportunity. Regardless if you are an SMB or large enterprise, customer and prospect information is valuable across the organization, but it’s traditionally hard to get quick, unfiltered insights that are easily shareable with your entire company. When you’re able to break down these information silos, the benefits can be dramatic.
Here are a few examples of how cross-functional teams can benefit from direct customer conversations.
One of marketing’s key goals is to articulate the value of your product to your prospective customers and get the right message to the right person at the right time. Critical to this is gathering and analyzing key differentiators, prospect behavior patterns and industry trends that help sales target new prospects and form relationships. They focus all their energy on trying to get a product or service to cut through the noise and reach an audience -- so hearing directly from customers and prospects is critical. Without understanding what drives customers to engage with you or purchase your product, how can Marketing craft an effective strategy?
2. Product Management
Great product managers are relentlessly focused on understanding customer problems and building solutions, not just features. There’s a well known Henry Ford quote that says, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Moving beyond feature requests and bug reports is critical for building innovative products, and the best product teams depend on direct customer conversations and structured discovery interviews to peel back the layers and get to the core problems customers are facing. But the conversations that sales, client success and other teams have daily with customers and prospects are a treasure trove of untapped insight. Aggregation of customer feedback and tight loops between go-to-market teams and product managers is important, but nothing substitutes bringing Product directly into the conversation.
Executives are constantly thinking about the big picture. The information they know informs the decisions that impact the future of the company. When you give your executive team visibility into specific trends, like win rates, quota attainment and best practices, they are better equipped to make decisions, such as where to allocate resources, which new partnerships to pursue and how to give their teams the support they need to succeed. When you give them visibility directly into the voice of your customers, it layers on the story and brings business insights to new heights.
So, how do you share customer and prospect insights across your company? Here are three simple places to start that will immediately give your company greater visibility into the voice of your customers:
Make your CRM and marketing tools -- like Salesforce, HubSpot or Demandbase -- available to every department. Providing visibility into how their individual objectives help move the needle forward with prospects and deals not only helps connect people with larger company goals, but can inspire teams to find new and creative solutions for your customers. Empower them to understand how the decisions they make reach the customer and prospects; it might inspire a fresh approach.
Use sales intelligence tools like Chorus. Chorus uses artificial intelligence to identify insights from sales calls. It records and transcribes conversations with prospects, pulling key feature prioritization, product messaging and competitive positioning moments and integrating with Salesforce to share best practices. Enabling other teams to listen directly to prospects and customers, and distributing these insights across the organization, ties the entire company to your mission and connects their initiatives to larger objectives.
Build in workflows that require teams to use the above tools. After all, the technology you have is only as valuable as you make it. Ask teams to meet on a regular basis to discuss key insights or implement a weekly report that shares the top measurable data points. Set up monthly brown bag lunches where everyone is invited to participate in a discussion around a particular prospect or customer after listening to a call and reviewing the CRM history. You’ll be amazed at the unexpected and innovative ideas that arise from these cross-functional conversations.
You already have this data available to you, so use it to its maximum value. Make sure each department has access to customer and prospect information, and empower every person in your company to be a champion for customer success - this only leads to better outcomes for everyone.
As Chief Commercial Officer, Brennan O'Donnell is responsible for Euclid’s overall sales, marketing, client success, strategic alliances and business development efforts. Brennan brings over 15 years of experience building and scaling technology businesses and managing global teams.