Replacing Sales Funnels with Digital Experiences to Accelerate Growth
NEW YORK, Aug. 11, 2021 — For decades, sales and marketing teams have relied on their trusted funnels to gather leads, close deals, and get people to buy what they’re selling. These funnels traditionally guide prospective customers through the top of the funnel: “awareness,” and to the bottom of the funnel: “action/purchase.” As digital transformation accelerates across industries, the funnel is becoming less effective and less relevant to the way customers engage with businesses across sectors.
Funnels don’t put people first
It’s time for companies to rethink the funnel and embrace complex, responsive digital journeys as the key to building a loyal customer base and spurring business growth. Sales funnels, especially those hosted on flawed digital platforms, can silo customers into set paths that are not optimized for their experience, leading to frustrated customers and lost revenue. Funnels focus heavily on that first sale, treating customers as a product you can output rather than people you build a relationship with. In contrast, customer journeys are all about increasing the lifetime value of each person you engage with, forming a foundation of brand trust and loyalty, boosting profits and customer happiness in the long term.
Plus, funnels are only a piece of a much larger customer experience picture. By the time customers reach the funnel, their journey is already well underway. Data from Forrester shows that two-thirds of consumers are not happy with their digital services. Clearly, things need to change, and it starts by focusing on the people behind the screens and working to truly understand customers. The rapidly growing digital experience analytics field plays a crucial role in this understanding.
Digital experience analytics = better business
Digital experience analytics uses artificial intelligence to level up outdated approaches to customer journeys. Using groundbreaking analytics technology, companies can now gain unprecedented visibility into customers’ wants, needs, and frustrations. Sales teams no longer have to wonder why a prospect didn’t convert within the funnel. With full digital transparency, companies can access a complete view of customer behavior: what was and wasn’t clicked, the load time of a page, errors customers encountered on a page, and what was input. Businesses can map customer movement from the ad click or Google search, through the navigation of the website or mobile app, right through to the conversion or abandonment stage.
Without clarity as to where customers are encountering friction and why they may be abandoning the site, companies are left to guess and spin their wheels, wasting valuable time and resources. Digital experience analytics platforms provide thorough analysis of customer data as well as conversion rate optimization reports. Having a single source of truth empowers teams across departments to prioritize projects and make informed, collaborative decisions that fuel business growth effectively and efficiently.
Stay one step ahead of friction
In today’s fast-moving world of instant gratification, companies cannot afford to wait to address user struggles. Driven by AI, experience analytics technology can detect abnormal customer behaviors and technical anomalies. It can then immediately alert the organization of any friction points, allowing teams to fix issues in real-time so that the user experience remains seamless and the customer remains happy. This responsiveness could make or break a brand’s reputation and in turn, make or break revenue.
Use AI to maximize ROI
The sales funnel has been waning in popularity over the last few years, and it’s time we finally put it to bed. Mountains of evidence prove that elevated business growth requires a data-driven strategy that weaves machine learning into the customer journey development process. BARC research found that organizations that adopted a data-driven approach saw an 8% increase in profits, 69% cited better strategic decisions, and 52% reported a better understanding of their customers. Many of the world’s best-known brands are already integrating experience analytics into their operations, resulting in a significant return on investment via increased revenue, higher customer satisfaction scores, and strengthened brand loyalty.
Our digital age requires all businesses to be obsessed with customer data, and every company to prioritize digital experiences. Companies that leverage customer data to build and optimize their customer experiences will be leaps ahead of their competitors. Your customers, and your stakeholders, will thank you.