Selling is broken (Part 3) … because sales processes dominate buyer and customer processes

Buyers and customers do not move through our “funnel” in a linear way anymore. They move around fluidly between our website and content, sales, success, and marketing teams.

Many, if not most companies, cannot respond because they put department-level processes ahead of a holistic buyer and customer experience.

Messaging is often different between marketing, sales, customer success, and product teams. This is confusing to our buyer and customers.

Measured and rewarded activities are department specific, rather than cross-departmental measures. This can lead buyers and customers to be “thrown over the wall.”

Building an integrated go-to-market playbook and process across your marketing, sales, customer success, and product teams is hard.

It takes time and work.

However, here is a simple first step you can take — agree on your buyer stories!

Customer stories are an important form of content because they make your product or service accessible by showing directly how it helps solve a specific customer’s problem.

They are also important because they easily connect the buyer and customer journey — marketing, prospecting, sales, customer success, and product team members can all tell stories.

As you work on shared stories, move through these steps — start with stories for key use cases, then create segment versions, and then finally stories for individual personas.

So, for example, if you were a provider of HR benefits programs, you would want to look for top customer stories in this order:

💡 Key use cases — employee retention and satisfaction, costs of benefits administration, targeted or higher caliber recruiting

💡 Key segments — high tech, professional services, manufacturing, retail, etc.

💡 Key personas — CHRO, Director of Benefits, Director of Recruiting and Talent, Benefits Administrator

Your goal is to build a “success story matrix” which every part of your go-to-market team can use in the same way so the buyer or customer is hearing the same messages.

Stories build engagement. Stories sell. Stories build consistency.

Have fun with it!