An was invented by business types, that much

An even lesser percentage, compared to both previous stages, decides to do business with us. Our activities aimed at them are represented at the bottom of the Sales Funnel. Once our sales team (or e-commerce platform) closes the deal, the customer typically exits the funnel. However, the ultimate goal of any good marketer should be to ensure that as many of these people end up “recycled”, re-entering the Sales Funnel again from a midway-point. In other words – becoming loyal customers.INFOGRAPHIC So, a Sales Funnel helps you, as a marketer, understand your sales process as it is set up internally. As such, it is useful regardless of whether you sell to end-consumers or other companies. Ideally, it will be developed and maintained as a joint effort by the company’s marketing and sales teams.You will use the Sales Funnel to:• ensure mutual understanding and alignment between C-Suite, Marketing and Sales• choose communications channels and their roles• define and measure meaningful KPIs for each channel• monitor and optimize marketing and sales team effortsCustomer Journey deep diveThe Sales Funnel was invented by business types, that much is clear. But the Customer Journey idea was borrowed from product designers and developers, gaining prominence together with the disruptive Silicon Valley start-ups that were using it. They were naturally predisposed to take a customer-centric view when developing new products, or improving existing services and models of behaviour. The iPhone is a result of, more than anything, a robust and rigorous User Experience and Customer Journey exploration.Seeing how wildly different its applications are, it’s best we make some assumptions before proceeding. Let’s assume you are looking to understand how a particular type of user (e.g. moms aged 30-45) use your service (booking a holiday).The Customer Journey will include a version of the phases of customer interest and engagement, much like the Sales Funnel. However, unlike the Sales Funnel with which we strategize internally, these are now looked at from the outside, like a customer would experience them. In other words, we see how our choices within the Sales Funnel actually look like to regular people encountering them in the wild.In our holiday travel service example, we would first try to map our typical mom’s quest to book a holiday using (potentially) our company’s website or branch office. We’d define what she’s doing, what she’s probably feeling and thinking. We’d also work on understanding all the frustrations and barriers that arise and prevent a good experience.Afterwards, we cross-reference all this data with all the things our company is doing, in terms of marketing communications (the channels we are using and how they are used) and business processes (how our website is designed and how it performs, our sales rep’s tactics, etc.).The resulting infographic is a valuable artefact in its own right. It’s often seen hanging in the C-Suite boardroom as a reminder of what the company is all about. As such, it’s influence can be tremendous:• it galvanizes the entire company around influencing actual observed customer behaviour• the Customer Journey is a road map to improving the entire customer-facing part of the business• it helps focus disparate company resources on solving the biggest issues first• The CJ map is a great starting point for thinking about innovations in both process and product• it adds a new perspective to understanding how our communications channels work in practice