Crafting the B2B customer journey

01 September, 2015 | Salesforce

Think about everything that happens to your customer over their lifecycle with your company.

For B2B or considered purchase B2C companies, the customer journey from first touch point through to brand advocate is a chasm of complexity. It covers:

  • How your customers first connect with your brand.
  • The experience they get when they hit your website, provide their contact details or call direct.
  • How they're nurtured, educated and influenced throughout their buying journey.
  • How they're sold to, onboarded, supported, serviced, upsold and cross sold.
  • How they become loyal. Stick around. Refer and recommend.

A lot can go wrong on that journey.

If you've got a disjointed marketing strategy or sub-par website, they'll never talk to you in the first place. A mishandled sales call or a lack of follow up or lead nurturing and they're not buying. Weak onboarding means they won't be successful with your solution. If you provide reactive account management they won't buy more. Unresponsive support will send them knocking on a competitors door.

Have you actively crafted that journey?

Or, like most businesses, do you focus on building capability and developing solutions and your customer journey just "happens"? It's easy to forget that your customers are out there having experiences with your company every day for better or for worse. In the end, the volume and quality of those experiences are the two greatest enablers or inhibitors of your company's vision being realised.

The rewards are there for companies that commit to getting it right.

Crafting and delivering a consistently exceptional end-to-end customer journey is the single greatest competitive advantage a B2B or considered purchase B2C company can have. It's no surprise a 2013 Forrester research study found companies that excell at lead nurturing generate 50% more qualified leads at 33% lower cost.

Forward-looking Salesforce CRM customers are also starting to catch on. The 2015 Bluewolf State of Salesforce report showed 84% of Salesforce customers believe customer engagement will overtake productivity as the primary driver of growth in the year ahead. 

Nailing the customer journey isn't easy

This is because of the sheer variety of skills required to pull it off. Winning customer journeys all have:

  • A predictable flow of high quality sales leads (digital marketing strategy, inside sales)
  • Lead nurturing to ensure only high quality prospects make it to sales (marketing automation, communications design and copywriting)
  • Best-practice sales, service and support processes driven by a tailored, integrated CRM system (CRM implementation, business process mapping, system integration)
  • Business process automation to deliver consistent, efficient communication throughout the customer journey (workflow and marketing automation)
  • A skilled team with a passion for customer outcomes (management, training, HR)

Cloud technology and digital marketing platforms have leveled the playing field.

The digital marketing and cloud revolutions have allowed smaller enterprises to compete on the customer journey for the first time. If you're willing to invest in sound digital marketing strategy, SaaS user licenses and the expertise to craft your customer journey and bring to life through agile cloud technology, the rewards are huge.

Imagine every customer getting the perfect sales and service experience every time at scale. That's something worth striving for.

Think about everything that happens to your customer over their lifecycle with your company.


The customer journey from first touch point through to brand advocate is a chasm. It covers:


  • How your customers first connect with your brand.

  • The experience they get when they hit your website, provide their contact details or call direct.

  • How they’re nurtured, educated and influenced throughout their buying journey.

  • How they’re sold to, onboarded, supported, serviced, upsold, cross sold.

  • How they become loyal. Stick around. Refer and recommend.


A lot can go wrong on that journey.


If you’ve got an unclear ad linking to a poor landing page, they’ll never talk to you in the first place. A mishandled sales call, no follow up or lead nurturing and they’re not buying. Weak onboarding means they won’t be successful with your solution. If you provide reactive account management they won’t buy more. Unresponsive support will send them knocking on a competitors door.  


Have you crafted that journey deliberately?


Or, like most businesses, do you focus on building capability and developing solutions and your customer journey just “happens?” It’s easy to forget that your customers are out there, in the world, having experiences with your company every day for better or for worse. In the end, the volume and quality of those experiences are the two greatest enablers or inhibitors of your company’s vision being realised.


The rewards are there for companies that commit to getting it right


Crafting and delivering a consistently exceptional end-to-end customer journey is the single greatest competitive advantage a B2B or considered purchase B2C company can have. It’s also the most difficult to execute. This is because of the sheer variety of skills required to pull it off. Winning customer journeys all have:


  • A predictable flow of high quality sales leads (digital marketing strategy, inside sales)

  • Lead nurturing to ensure only high quality prospects make it to sales (marketing automation, communications design and copywriting)

  • Best-practice sales, service and support processes driven by a tailored, integrated CRM system (CRM implementation, business process mapping, system integration)

  • Business process automation to deliver consistent, efficient communication throughout the customer journey (workflow and marketing automation)


Cloud technology and digital marketing platforms have leveled the playing field.


The digital marketing and cloud revolutions have allowed smaller enterprises to compete on the customer journey for the first time. If you’re willing to invest in sound digital marketing strategy, SaaS user licenses and the expertise to craft your customer journey and bring to life through agile cloud technology, the rewards are huge.


Imagine every customer getting the perfect sales and service experience every time at scale. That’s something worth striving for.