The sales funnel, after a career of over 100 years has finally been put into retirement, and according to Brian Halligan, he 'threw it a party, gave it a gold watch, and congratulated it on its move to a condo in Florida.'
Why? Because in today's buyer-centric market the funnel is no longer fit for purpose. Your relationship with your customers should not stop once you close a sale.
How often do you make a significant purchase for your home without first reading the online reviews, or asking others for recommendations before making a final decision?
Your B2B customers are no different. Their expectations of you are high, and if you do not deliver a great customer experience, they will leave you in droves. In over-crowded and competitive marketplaces, customer experience can often be the only thing that differentiates you and your competitors.
The flywheel approach focuses on capturing, storing and releasing energy, as measured in traffic and leads, free sign-ups, new customers, and the enthusiasm of existing customers. The more force you apply to delight your existing customers, the more new customers will find you.
But you also need to remove friction in your sales process that slows down your flywheel. A lack of alignment between your sales and customer service teams, for example, can create unhappy customers that slow your flywheel when they churn.
It is not an all or nothing approach, Brian suggests that any changes you make that reduce friction or organisational alignment of forces that optimise for customer delight will have a measurable impact on customer experience.
Using a flywheel to describe our business allows me to focus on how we capture, store and release our own energy, as measured in traffic and leads, free sign-ups, new customers, and the enthusiasm of existing customers. It’s got a sense of leverage and momentum. The metaphor also accounts for loss of energy, where lost users and customers work against our momentum and slow our growth.