Sales Strategy – Workshop 1 (Client Journey)
The Appleton Greene Corporate Training Program (CTP) for Sales Strategy is provided by Ms. Whitbeck MBA BA Certified Learning Provider (CLP). Program Specifications: Monthly cost USD$2,500.00; Monthly Workshops 6 hours; Monthly Support 4 hours; Program Duration 12 months; Program orders subject to ongoing availability.
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Learning Provider Profile
Ms. Whitbeck is a Certified Learning Provider (CLP) at Appleton Greene and she has experience in sales, business development, management, production, and operations. She has achieved a Master in Business Administration with a Management Concentration, and a Bachelor of Arts in History. She has industry experience within the following sectors: Manufacturing, Consultancy, Aerospace; Aviation; and Biotechnology. She has had commercial experience within the following countries: United States of America, or more specifically within the following cities: New York, NY; Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA; Seattle, WA; and Dallas, TX. Her personal achievements include: successfully developing national implementation programs; launching new products and services in emerging markets; developed end-to-end sales outreach optimization process; established sales management frameworks; and drove go-to-market sales for new products and services. Her service skills incorporate: sales communication optimization; process management; relationship management; sales strategy; and team management.
There are four core weighted aims to reveal, analyze, evaluate, and calibrate at the beginning of defining your sales strategy. The first objective is to bring together the key managers, team members, and stakeholders in your client journey. Next is to map your sales process, uncover expectations, and assign key roles and responsibilities. Thirdly, we will tap into the humanity and psychology of sales. Fourth, we will establish the deliverables and individual commitments to take your organization to the next level in sales.
When bringing your team of change agents together, we will identify and define roles, responsibilities, timelines, and milestones. We will focus on the internal readiness and acceptance of the sales strategy program. This will include appraising the team member involvement motivations and related program workload. This will ensure full alignment within the organization to reach your goals.
Together, we will then map your existing sales journey. The client sales journey is the complete body of experiences that your clients go through when interacting with your organization. Bringing together team members from all over your business will ensure a rigorous and systematic approach.
Mapping your client journey requires methodically aligning the sales, relationship, and client stages. While charting the associated activities with each stage. We will be performing a deep dive to determine existing relationship assets, review market/industry reputation, evaluate networking effects, and assess resources, knowledge, skills, and experience.
Utilizing the proven assessment tools and exercises we have developed, we evaluate your current situation. We keep asking questions to gain a clear understanding of your critical business requirements. We will establish the foundation of your initial situation. By evaluating your current systems, we can look for patterns, identify blockers, understand purpose, question usefulness and validity, and lay the groundwork to formulate a new plan.
This hard work is the essential building block of good sales strategy, capturing the big picture of your client journey. When we know enough about the nature of the challenge ahead, we are able to define it.
Together, we identify the challenge to overcome. This is the diagnosis of what is holding your organization back from reaching the next level of sales performance. We break down the complexity of your situation by determining critical aspects of your sales framework. From this newfound perspective, we establish a domain of action.
Next we will explore the psychology of sales, so we will be able to effectively tap into humanity and power skills. Embracing a growth mindset is crucial to objectivity, transparency, blame-free introspection, and acceptance of alternate perspectives. Through exclusive exercises, we will help your team reject complacency, adopt candid expectations, and accept the mantle of continuous improvement.
Finally, we will establish the key deliverables for the program, stakeholders, and your organization. These are the mutual commitments we form to ensure your sales strategy program success. We will set the vision and outline the actions to thrive at each stage. Through this work, we will begin to diagnose the challenge to overcome and ultimately design your sales strategy.
Throughout the Client Journey workshop, we are laying the groundwork to build a coherent sales strategy to achieve your desired outcome. When we have successfully opened your paradigm, we are able to focus individual minds and energy in the right areas. This becomes our guiding principle to reinforce and support your sales program evolution.
1. Obtain a clear understanding of the core objective of Workshop 1.
2. Bring together the key managers, team members, and stakeholders who will be actively engaged in all workshops.
3. Identify and engage at least one key stakeholder in every department for participation in Workshop 1.
4. Establish a regular meeting time, place, and information hub for the key managers, team members, and stakeholders to perform workshop tasks and related exercises.
5. For your pre-existing client journey map, regardless of age, review and have it available for Workshop 1.
6. Commitment by key managers, team members, and stakeholders to embrace a growth mindset.
7. Map client journey within the sales, relationship, and client stages.
8. Identify touchpoints and activities in the client journey, aligning with the sales, relationship, and client stages.
9. Associate the key influences of relationships, reputation, network effects, and ESK (experience, skills, knowledge) for each stage of the client journey.
10. Establish the essential deliverables for the key managers, team members, and stakeholders to ensure your sales strategy program success.
1. Each key manager, team member, and stakeholder is to thoroughly study the content of Workshop 1.
2. Company to identify and engage a key manager to lead the internal team of key managers, team members, and stakeholders who will be actively engaged in all workshops. This individual will be referred to as the Program Lead Manager.
3. Program Lead manager to collaborate and coordinate with company department heads to identify and engage at least one of their team members as a key stakeholder for participation in Workshop 1.
4. Program Lead manager to coordinate and establish the regular meeting time, place, and information hub for the key managers, team members, and stakeholders for workshop tasks and related exercises.
5. Program Lead manager to collect any existing client journey map or client’s path-to-purchase chart, then distribute to the key managers, team members, and stakeholders for review prior to Workshop 1.
6. Program Lead Manager, key managers, team members, and stakeholders to research growth mindset. Recommend Carol Dweck’s books: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, and Mindset: Changing The Way You Think To Fulfil Your Potential.
7. The Program Lead manager and each key manager, team member, and stakeholder to list the historical sales, relationship, and client stages within their departments.
8. The Program Lead manager and all key managers, team members, and stakeholders to identify and list the historical I touchpoints and activities in the client’s path-to-purchase.
9. The Program Lead manager and each key manager, team member, and stakeholder to review and identify key influences on the client journey.
10. The Program Lead manager to communicate with the department heads
regarding the core deliverables of their participating members to ensure program success.
1. Read through the entire workshop content including: Profile, MOST, Introduction, Executive Summary, Curriculum, Distance Learning, Tutorial Support, How To Study, Preliminary Analysis, Course Manuals, Project Studies, and Benefits.
2. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to complete the program team blueprint. The team blueprint will identify the Program Lead Manager, along with all key managers, team members, and stakeholders who will be actively engaged in the program workshops.
3. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to identify and engage at least one team member from each department as a key stakeholder for participation in Workshop 1.
4. Set up the regular meeting time, place, and information hub for the key managers, team members, and stakeholders for workshop tasks and related exercises.
5. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, for the Program Lead manager to collect and distribute any existing client journey map or client’s path-to-purchase chart to the key managers, team members, and stakeholders for review prior to Workshop 1.
6. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, for the key managers, team members, and stakeholders to review any existing client journey map or client’s path-to-purchase chart prior to Workshop 1.
7. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to read one of Carol Dweck’s books: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, or Mindset: Changing The Way You Think To Fulfil Your Potential.
8. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to review and list the historical sales, relationship, and client stages within their departments.
9. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to identify and list the historical touchpoints and activities in the client’s path-to-purchase.
10. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to review and identify key influences on the client journey.
11. Set up ongoing communication channels for the core deliverables of the participating members to ensure program success.
Having a successful, thriving business is ultimately about the client experience. This is the true area where businesses compete with each other to attract, secure, and nurture client s, foster expansion, and boost profits. The key to delivering an excellent client experience lies in your approach to Sales Strategy, the essence of which is to engage, cultivate, close, and convert client s into champions. With our strategic and methodical approach, together, we will make it happen.
Sales strategy begins by bringing together the key managers, team members, and stakeholders in your Client Journey. To create an accurate client journey map, we must include people from all over the business. Team members from different areas of the organization will be more familiar with unique aspects of the journey, how they work, and how clients experience them.
We need input from enough sources so we can detect patterns. These patterns will guide our understanding of where clients are enjoying the least amount of friction in the journey – and suffering through the most. Our goal is to understand each step from the client’s point of view, starting with the process before your company even enters their mind.
We will ask questions that help elicit responses providing a complete view of the client journey. We need to understand your internal process and employee perspective as they relate to the client journey. The only way to fully capture the true client experience is to document it from every angle. Having a 360-degree view will play a major role in identifying opportunities to improve the Client Journey experience.
The team you assemble for the Sales Strategy program should include the key managers, team members, and stakeholders in your sales process. From a departmental perspective, this will include sales, marketing, management, and operations. These are the core groups that will attend every training module and be the change agents within your business.
With their boots on the ground, all members of the sales team should participate in the training. This includes sales management, support roles, and customer service. If it is not feasible to include the entire sales team, you may instead select individuals who are representative of the group as a whole, running the gamut of product and service experience, tenure, and volume.
Your highest marketing role with the organization, or their chosen representative, should participate in all training modules. Depending upon your business model, you may want to include several marketing team members. And certainly, a wider segment of the marketing department should be engaged in the Client Journey.
The marketing team has constant indirect and behind-the-scenes involvement in the client journey. Steps like creating lead magnets, managing social channels, and implementing email outreach campaigns barely scratch the surface of the marketing touchpoints in the client journey. They will also be heavily engaged, as they are now, in supporting the sales team in your evolving sales strategy.
Your management/leadership team will want to be present during all modules to drive the actions and steps required to achieve your strategic objectives. The Sales Strategy program is built to grow your sales, and therefore your business. While it may not be viable for your full management/leadership team to attend, choose the individual who will be the driving force for the program.
Getting the client journey mapping right is crucial for your business outlook. While in the past, businesses competed on products, price, and delivery, today a core competitive edge is with the experience you give your client. Clients have a different relationship with the businesses they buy from. Due to the increasingly global nature of business, B2B clients no longer have to choose from a select few local or national businesses. They have the power to choose from a whole world of suppliers.
Your operations team and management must be included in the Sales Strategy training. To capture the entire Client Journey, this first training module should include operations team members from manufacturing and production, shipping and logistics, and support services. People from different areas of the business bring fresh insights to the client touchpoints, how they work, and what the client experiences at these junctures. An example could be your customer service team who may interact with clients daily, hear their frustrations, and see areas of friction.
Finally, client interaction representatives from the administrative, IT, HR, finance, security, and supply chain departments should participate in this first training module. Accurately mapping your Client Journey relies on input from every client touchpoint, from accounts payable to the security requirements for a client plant tour.
When bringing your team of change agents together, we will identify and define roles, responsibilities, timelines, and milestones. We will focus on the internal readiness and acceptance of the Sales Strategy program. This will include appraising the team member involvement, motivations, and related program workload. This will ensure full alignment within the organization to reach your goals.
The following roles will be defined at this stage of the training to carry us through the entirety of the program: Program Lead Manager, Key Managers, Team Members, and Stakeholders.
The company will identify and engage a key manager to lead the internal team of key managers, team members, and stakeholders who will be actively engaged in all workshops. This individual will be referred to as the Program Lead Manager.
The Key Managers represented will include, but not be limited to, the leadership, sales, and marketing branches of the organization. And the Team Members will comprise of the sales department, along with a pick of marketing staff. Depending upon your business model, you may choose additional departments to have individuals in the role of Team Members.
Key stakeholders to be involved in the Sales Strategy program should include areas who serve the client. This may include a representative from your customer service call center, accounts payable unit, IT division, and product manufacturing. These individuals will participate in many of the training sessions, but not all.
Once your team of change agents is assembled, we will clarify and define their functional roles and responsibilities in regards to the Sales Strategy program. This will include the time requirements, tasks, and expectations outside and between the training sessions. Our goal is to provide the direction and facilitate positive engagement for the program team to thrive.
Bringing your team of change agents together is an important step to help them work together effectively. By setting context for what the overall team is responsible for, we can effectively clarify individual responsibilities and find gaps that need to be filled. From there, we will then discuss specific tasks, review ideas, establish dates, and prioritize.
To meet their responsibilities, your team of change agents requires a growth mindset. A growth mindset is where individuals believe that their abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. Your team needs to embrace a love of learning and pushing their boundaries. A growth mindset encourages curiosity to ask why, pursue alternate viewpoints, and a resilience to move through challenges.
In addition to all team members attending and actively engaging in every workshop, they will meet between training sessions to further develop concepts acquired, complete assigned exercises, and seek opportunities to grow. It is vital to be actively listening to their counterparts in different silos to gain a high level of understanding of the client experience across the business.
Timelines are extremely important throughout the Sales Strategy program. They help the team visualize and synchronize tasks, set deadlines, and define potential delays. Clearly communicating expectations and schedule requirements will foster effective team building. Furthermore, we want, need, and deserve the full engagement of every team member.
Milestones are powerful components in this program because they showcase key stages, highlight accomplishments, and map the forward movement in your Sales Strategy. A milestone is a marker in the Sales Strategy program that signifies a change or stage in development. Milestones act as signposts through the course of your program, helping ensure your team members stay on track.
With careful planning, we will gain improved collaboration between and among the team members and departments, while reducing the possibilities of misunderstandings and disputes, especially between silos. By communicating their responsibilities and accountability to the Sales Strategy program team, we produce stronger teamwork, leading to higher productivity and better results.
To truly develop a highly effective team, a key component in the process is team building. An important area to start with in the development of team building is communication, which was discussed above.
Effective communication is the most straightforward, surefire way of creating a strong team. To have trust in your coworkers, a great deal of the initial foundation is built on the ability to communicate. When another team member can clearly express their expectations or needs to another member, then effective work can be done, but, perhaps most importantly, those team members have an understanding of their expectations. All team members in this program must consider what their colleagues need to know to be successful. Oftentimes, conflict within a team is rooted in the fact that there has been miscommunication about an important task or requirement. By clearly communicating a rubric for the work, teams can ensure they are on the same page.
Once this initial cornerstone of team building has been placed, more precise support systems can be developed. A group not only needs to have good communication—the best groups also have a deep understanding of everyone’s areas of expertise. Teams work more effectively when they take into account that, even if a task is assigned to one person, another group member may still make meaningful contributions if the task relates to their expertise. Members should therefore be encouraged to seek feedback and input from relevant team members.
A final building block to discuss in a strong team is respect. This goes beyond the basic respect expected not just in the workplace, but in every area of life. Recognize and respect that other team members are people, and that everyone will make mistakes. Make sure to keep in mind others’ successes even against their failures. In most teams, there will be an ebb and flow of intense work, and it is important that everyone keeps respect at the forefront of their thoughts in a stressful work period.
And, if there ever is a team member who you feel is not completing their tasks, it is a disservice to ignore them. If such a problem is ignored, then the issue will never be resolved. For whomever it is appropriate to do so, honestly address any problem with the other team member. Take care to understand why they are struggling. Would this team member be better off in another area of the project? Or do they simply need a weekly check-in if they have questions about their work? Additionally, a team member perceived to not be pulling their own weight may not realize they have a slow work output. If they are made aware of the problem, then they have the opportunity to work to improve it.
Now that our team is assembled and has clarity, we will begin mapping where we are: what your Client Journey looks like from the client’s perspective. We perform a deep dive into your current processes, systems, interrelated activities, and sales journey. This allows us to fully understand your starting point, processes that are working well, and the processes that need the most attention for full improvement. Utilizing the proven assessment tools and exercises we have developed, we formulate and assess your current situation. We keep asking questions to gain a clear understanding of your critical business requirements.
Ultimately, we are creating the process to build a client journey map that will deliver clarity to your business. It will enable us to see where the focus may need to be shifted, highlight much needed improvements, and identify areas that require tweaks and refinements. It delivers transparency across the organization, fostering a unified purpose, and supporting enhanced collaboration between silos.
Throughout the planning stage, we are laying the groundwork to build a coherent sales strategy to achieve your desired outcome. When we have successfully opened your paradigm, we are able to focus individual minds and energy in the right areas. This becomes our guiding principle to reinforce and support your sales program evolution.
The definition of Client Journey is: the complete sum of experiences your clients go through when interacting with your company. Instead of looking at just a part of a sale or experience, the client journey documents the full experience of being a client.
Client journey maps are a visual representation of your client’s course with and through your business. They are a powerful tool and reference element when making business decisions. For your organization to thrive, all decisions must keep the client journey in the forefront to enhance and strengthen the client experience.
Client journey mapping encompasses visualizing the client’s journey and experiences as a means to create actionable goals. It is imperative to place yourself in the mind of the client. See and experience your business through their prism. Because, from inside your business, it can be difficult to understand the clients experience in the same way as they do from the outside. Throughout the Client journey mapping process we will be asking “why” to capture the clients viewpoint.
To effectively map your Client journey, we need to think like your clients. This includes understanding how they behave, what they want, how it will benefit them, and what it will enable them to do. This is an important part of mapping the client experience which delivers significant benefits for your business.
Mapping your client journey provides the means to make immediate refinements, eliminate redundant or unnecessary steps, tighten gaps, reduce costs, and implement improvements which delight clients. In addition, with the clarity your map provides, you have exceptional insights to planning the how, when, and where to market new products and services.
The process of mapping your client journey demands a clear methodology to identify touchpoints, pinpoint areas of friction, classify client “why”, look for gaps, reveal pain points, and areas of excellence. We will go through each of these facets to ensure they are incorporated into your strategic planning.
Touchpoints are where clients interact with your company, product, service, and team members. In other words, anywhere they come in contact with your organization – before, during, or after they purchase from you. Common touchpoints are planned by your company, initiated by your client, inherent within your product or service, and some are unexpected.
There are a myriad of possible areas of friction. Examples of friction include: places where expectations are not being met, unnecessary interactions, overly complex pathways, or lapses in timely communication. This is the tip of the proverbial iceberg and illustrates how vital these risks are uncovered during our Client journey mapping process.
While we will go in depth into the “Client Why” in module 3, classifying what your client is experiencing is crucial in the Client journey mapping process. Examining specific behaviors, motivations, emotions, and common patterns helps us humanize the client and make the Client journey mapping process more real.
There are areas of improvement in every organization. Our Client journey mapping reveals where gaps may exist in the client experience. For example, one department may prove to be understaffed and thus a cause of frustration for clients when they interact with this group. Similarly, problems in communication among internal team members or departments may also be revealed if agents are unable to obtain timely support from peers during service interactions. Our work mapping the Client journey is ideal for understanding the gaps that need to be addressed.
A pain point is a specific problem that prospective clients of your product or service are experiencing. However, they can occur internally within your business as well. Many people think of pain points as problems, plain and simple. Like any problem, client pain points are as diverse and varied as your prospective clients themselves. A key benefit of initiating the client journey mapping exercise, is providing an awareness of the pain points that exist for your clients, and how severe they may be.
During the process of Client journey mapping, we will acknowledge and seek to replicate areas of excellence. Asking how a process, approach, or solution is working in one space, and how the principals can be applied elsewhere. Working together as a team, we reveal these hidden gems.
Good sales strategy requires fitting various components together so they work as a coherent whole. This encompasses multiple departments, functions, and requirements. Developing a client journey map requires exploring, evaluating, and choosing the objectives that will facilitate reaching your sales goal.
Another key component to creating an accurate client journey map is creating buyer personas. A buyer persona is a profile representing a particular group of people, such as a group of clients in specific roles, industries, market segments, or a stakeholder group. They help us relate to the groups as individuals and provide the context needed when mapping their experiences with your organization.
Together we will create a primary buyer persona for the client journey mapping exercise. Optimally, this persona exemplifies your target client. We will define their role, industry, goals, and motivations. Tapping into the sales team members knowledge will help us avoid assumptions and stereotyping.
Creating a robust buying persona requires asking questions that clarify their connection to a specific problem, situation, product or service. What are their expectations of your product or service? What are they trying to accomplish? What is their purpose for using your product or service? What do they want, need, or lack? Are there specific pain points they are experiencing and trying to overcome? What questions do they need answered? And, what really matters to them.
To complete fleshing out your buyer persona we will want to gather additional facets. What does a typical day look like for them? What tasks do they need to accomplish? What channels of communication do they use or how do they communicate? How do they make decisions? Which people or situations influence their decision making process?
Our goal in creating a buying persona is to prevent you from getting stuck in an inside-out perspective of the client journey. This is the “client-will-purchase-from-us journey” because it is grounded in a biased view that the prospect will become a buyer of your products or services.
We need buyer personas to capture an accurate client journey map. They enable us to incorporate alternate viewpoints and a better understanding of the client experience. Which leads us to why it’s crucial to include people from all over your business when creating the client journey map. Team members from different areas of the organization will be more familiar with unique aspects of the journey, how they work, and how clients experience them.
We have developed the 5-Lane SAMI mapping framework that we find successful across all industries. Together we will use this as our overall strategy to mapping the client journey. We will establish our overall approach to the purchase journey across the five interlocking SAMI lanes: the sales, relationship, and client strands, activities, methodologies, and influences. This is where the client journey starts coming to life. Where we follow the client pathway across and through each phase of their journey.
The sales, relationship, and client strands are interconnected throughout the client journey. They support, influence, and play off one another throughout the client journey. They establish lanes with bridges that the client traverses during their journey.
The sales strand encompasses the four phases of lead, consultation, close, and implementation/delivery. The sales phase begins with the initial touchpoint or spark when the client connects to your company and becomes a lead. Consultation is the phase when the sales team is working with the client to understand how your product or service benefits them. The close phase includes the negotiation and deal closing process of the client journey. And the implementation/delivery phase includes ongoing business, how you manage the relationship, and where you can grow within the client’s sphere.
Each of the sales strand phases directly correlates the four relationship strand phases of worthy intent, cultivation, rapport, and nurture. In the first relationship phase, worthy intent is demonstrating sincere interest, discovery, and active listening. It’s about them. A person. In the cultivation phase of the client journey, you find common interests and learn about your clients’ passions, while building a bridge to a deeper connection. The rapport phase is when you have uncovered the internal and external forces in your client journey, and they are ready to move forward. And the nurture phase in the relationship strand is when your client feels secure, in control, and confident.
The sales and relationship strands align with the four client strand phases of awareness, consideration, decision, and champion. The client strand phase of awareness is about how the clients find out about your company. Consideration is the phase when the client is evaluating your product or service. The decision phase of the client journey is when the client is examining whether they will select you as a provider. And the champion phase is when the delightful client experience translates to expanded opportunities.
When the strands are aligned, they look like this:
Sales: Lead – Consultation – Close – Implementation and/or Delivery
Relationship: Worthy Intent – Cultivation – Rapport – Nurture
Client: Awareness – Consideration – Decision – Champion
The associated activities are then layered into the lanes of the sales, relationship, and client strands. The same activities present themselves in different ways within each lane of the client journey. Activities include the spark, target ICA (Ideal Client Avatar), qualifying lead, client “why”, communication, delivering value, outreach, presentations, follow-up, negotiation, close, transition, account team, client care, ongoing business, QBRs (Quarterly Business Reviews) and expansion.
The methodology we use in the SAMI client journey mapping framework was outlined previously. It captures the important nuances and details of touchpoints, areas of friction, client “why”, experience gaps, pain points, and areas of excellence. This work is critical to not only understanding the current state, but to help us refine and innovate your client journey.
The four influence factors of relationships, reputation, network effects, and ESK (experience, skills, knowledge) complete the SAMI mapping framework. Relationships are any existing connections between individuals and or organizations. For example, an existing client could provide a warm referral of your product/service to a peer. While reputation appears obvious, there are many components that impact the perceived standing of your organization. This could be a bad review on Google, to a whispered conversation at a conference. The same can be said for network effects. Impressions from PR, social chatter, and events are just a few of the network effects we want to document in the client journey. Finally, the collective ESK (experience, skills, knowledge) of your team is key to establishing competence, credibility, and trust.
This is the turning point where everything comes together. The development of the framework for the Client journey. Together we are building a bridge between departments, team members, functions, roles, and processes. It is the cornerstone for your evolving sales strategy.
This approach forces us to understand the experience from the time the buyer is figuring out whether their issue needs to be solved and is then considering different ways to solve it. Our objective is to uncover struggles that clients would have with any supplier, not just your organization.
Ultimately, we want to make the client’s experience smooth, easy, and enjoyable. Mapping the Client journey brings all the pieces together delivering powerful benefits and laying the foundation for your sales strategy.
The benefits of mapping your client’s journey include:
• Provide much needed context for developing your sales strategy.
• Identify gaps in service or communications to be reduced or eliminated.
• Guide departments across the organization on why and how they should break down their silos.
• Pave the way for your clients to better achieve their goals.
• Drive Better results, including a faster sales cycle, and more revenue from upselling and cross-selling efforts.
• Reduce costs through optimizing both sales and marketing practices, improvement in the cost of customer service, and a decrease in client churn reduce the costs of acquiring new clients.
• Enable better client experiences by connecting on an emotional level and provide optimum encounters in a proactive manner.
• Uncover many insights simply through the process of documenting the Client journey.
• Allows an understanding– and then redesign – of the client experience.
• The Client journey output is designed to be a catalyst for change.
• Greater employee satisfaction and confidence with a better understanding of the company’s goals and practices and receiving extra support to help them perform their roles with greater efficiency.
As we begin the implementation stage, we will utilize the SAMI Client journey map framework to gain a clear understanding of where you are at now. Understanding where your client journey is today will directly impact your company’s growth and business development. A delightful client experience creates positive client engagement.
Building out your client journey map delivers immediate and long-term benefits for your sales strategy and business growth.
Client journey maps help you create a more efficient and effective client experience moving forward. You will discover where you may be failing to deliver something your clients consider critical. This is key to meeting the high expectations clients have today. An efficient and effective client experience gives you a competitive edge on the global stage.
Building a client journey map helps you understand your clients better. In turn, fostering a more productive cohesion between your team silos or business units. Through the mapping process your team members gain a fresh perspective as to why each department needs to be closer to the client journey.
When we follow the SAMI client journey mapping framework we help you identify objectives, task, and priorities. By taking this approach to your client journey, you’re brought closer to the real things that make your business work. It provides you the opportunity to make changes and assess their benefits on the fly. This can then drive your decisions and goals for your sales strategy going forward.
Mapping the client journey gives a broad and clear view of how your client experiences your business. This is tremendously helpful for designing, planning, and executing the rollout of future products/services. A client journey map will also help you focus when it comes to how, when, and where to market your new products/services.
Every owner, executive, and board knows that client pain points add cost to the business. Mapping the client journey helps you identify client pain points. During the SAMI framework process we reveal how many pain points there are and determine how severe they are for your clients.
Another key benefit of mapping the client journey is how it cultivates your entire teams desire to innovate. Innovation happens when brainstorming, seeking alternate input, and fresh ideas happen. The client journey mapping exercise inspires and promotes this drive to offer the best possible client’s experience. And it can help you identify a great product/service you can offer them next.
When we ask, “how do we help our clients achieve their goals”, we begin the SAMI Client journey mapping process. Together, using the SAMI framework, we will map your existing sales journey. This is a strategic approach to better understanding client expectations and is crucial for optimizing the client experience.
To build an accurate client journey map we prompt input from across the business. This is why the client journey team includes representatives from departments all over the organization. People from different areas of the business will have insights and familiarity with specific arenas, how they work, and how clients experience them. It’s vital to document these elements in our mapping process to acquire the whole picture of the client experience.
At first glance, creating your buyer persona for the client journey map process may seem apparent. Especially if you take the shortcut of modeling the persona after a specific existing client. However, creating your buyer persona is an essential building block of capturing the big picture of your client journey.
We will focus our efforts on crafting one buying persona to utilize for the client mapping journey. Optimally, this persona exemplifies your target client. The first step is to define their role, industry, goals, and motivations. Tapping into the sales team members knowledge will help us avoid assumptions and stereotyping.
The second step to craft a robust buying persona is asking questions that clarify their connection to a specific problem, situation, product or service. Identify the distinct problem, situation, product or service for the buying persona. Then answer from the perspective of the buyer persona:
• What are their expectations of your product or service?
• What are they trying to accomplish?
• What is their purpose for using your product or service?
• What do they want, need, or lack?
• Are there specific pain points they are experiencing and trying to overcome?
• What questions do they need answered?
• What really matters to them?
• What does a typical day look like for them?
• What tasks do they need to accomplish?
• What channels of communication do they use or how do they communicate?
• How do they make decisions?
• Which people or situations influence their decision-making process?
This approach to crafting the buyer persona will prevent us from getting stuck in an inside-out perspective of the client journey (the “client-will-purchase-from-us” journey.) We want an unbiased view from the buyer persona in regards to your products or services. This approach to crafting the buyer persona enables us to produce an accurate client journey map.
We will utilize our 5-Lane SAMI client journey mapping framework we developed and found successful across all industries. Together we will use this as our overall strategy to mapping the client journey. We will establish our overall approach to the purchase journey across the five interlocking SAMI lanes: the sales, relationship, and client strands, activities, methodologies, and influences. This is where the client journey starts coming to life. Where we follow the client pathway across and through each phase of their journey.
The SAMI framework follows the interconnected sales, relationship, and client strands throughout the client journey. Each strand encompasses four phases where we map the client journey. The strands are:
Sales: Lead – Consultation – Close – Implementation and/or Delivery
Relationship: Worthy Intent – Cultivation – Rapport – Nurture
Client: Awareness – Consideration – Decision – Champion
Our next activity is adding the layers of the associated activities into the lanes of the sales, relationship, and client strands. Activities include the spark, target ICA (Ideal Client Avatar), qualifying lead, client “why”, communication, delivering value, outreach, presentations, follow-up, negotiation, close, transition, account team, client care, ongoing business, QBRs (Quarterly Business Reviews) and expansion.
While each business model is unique, a common scenario for the first lane of sales – lead, relationship – worthy intent, and client – awareness would include the following activities:
• Spark – How did the client find out about you?
• Target ICA (Ideal Client Avatar) – How did you target the lead?
• Client “why” – Why was the prospective client attracted to your product/service?
• Communication – How did you communicate the client “why”?
• Deliver value – What did you provide that delivered value to the client?
• Outreach – What methods did you utilize to connect with the prospect?
• Qualify lead – How and when do you qualify the lead?
We will map the activities for the buyer persona in each subsequent phase lane. Often the same activities present themselves in different ways within each lane of the client journey. The key is identifying how, why, and where the activity pivots to perform a new purpose.
The methodology we use in the SAMI client journey mapping framework is to identify touchpoints, pinpoint areas of friction, classify client “why”, look for gaps, reveal pain points, and seek areas of excellence. This work is critical to not only understanding the current state, but to help us refine and innovate your client journey.
Client touchpoints are anywhere that the client interacts with your company. This could be through their sales representative, a physical location, your website, your customer service line, social channels, or events. We will identify all of your touchpoints of how clients experience your business.
Together we will pinpoint areas of friction in your client journey. These can be something the client sees or experiences, or behind the scenes with your internal processes. These are especially important as they are associated with areas where the client feels negative emotions.
Your clients’ motivations and emotions should be at the forefront of your mind when classifying their “why”, in the SAMI framework. Examining specific behaviors, motivations, emotions, and common patterns helps us humanize the client and better understand their perspective during the client journey mapping process.
Opening or gaps in the client experience occur when there is a difference between client expectations and client perceptions. Gaps can also be found internally between departments or processes which negatively impact the client journey. They are an opportunity within the client journey mapping process to immediately address. Especially as some gaps carry more weight because clients experience them at key moments in their journey which can make or break their experience.
Working hard to reveal where the client hits a pain point within the client journey is a critical part of the mapping process. Pain points have the immediate results of creating a negative experience. To set your organization apart within a client-focused market, we need to maximize positive emotions and minimize negative emotions. Clients remember when your business causes them a headache, and they will choose a different option in the future.
The client journey map is an opportunity to seek and celebrate areas of excellence. What processes work really well? Where does your organization consistently exceed client expectations? What actions do the clients value and appreciate? And how can these things be used in other areas of your business?
Our final step within the SAMI client journey map framework is to perform a deep dive to determine existing relationship assets, review market/industry reputation, evaluate networking effects, and assess resources, knowledge, skills, and experience. These are the influences that directly impact your client journey.
A key influence within our client journey mapping process are relationships. These are any existing connections between individuals and or organizations. For example, an existing client could provide a warm referral of your product/service to a peer. Or your production manager is co-coaching the softball team with a senior executive at a firm you would like to be doing business with.
The influence of your reputation is critical since it not only attracts clients, but it also keeps them away from you. There are many components that impact the perceived standing of your organization. We will analyze who, where, and how your reputation influences your client journey.
Documenting network effects within the client journey is focused on achieving closer relationships with our clients and prospects. As an example, these influences include impressions from PR, social chatter, and events. Note: for clarity, we do not use the term network effects as a value of a product, service, or platform depends on the number of buyers, sellers, or users who leverage it.
The ESK (experience, skills, knowledge) influence in your client journey map is a core area of strength. The collective ESK of your team is key to establishing competence, credibility, and trust. And it plays an important role in influencing your client experience along their journey with your organization.
We will establish the foundation of your initial situation through the client journey mapping process. By evaluating your current systems, we can look for patterns, identify blockers, understand purpose, question usefulness and validity, and lay the groundwork to formulate a new plan. We will analyze moving parts, anticipate actions and reactions, competencies needed, resources available, existing constraints, and coordinate action across departments.
We break down the complexity of your situation by determining critical aspects of your client journey. From this newfound perspective, we establish a domain of action. There will be subtle turns, refinements, and solution iterations as we proceed through the essential work required.
Just as it’s critical to understand the full journey, it’s important to pinpoint critical moments that often result in make-or-break decisions for your clients. Together, we identify the moments that lead to your clients walking away, and the ones that persuade them to move forward. At each stage of the client journey, we build the bridges to and between paths, activities, influences, and team dynamics.
Our objective is to make the map actionable: You want to empower people across your organization to improve the Client journey. We are developing a journey map to use the insights gained to change processes and outcomes for the better.
In the introduction for planning, we highlighted how sales strategy begins by bringing together the key managers, team members, and stakeholders in your client journey. Reviewing why we must include people from all over the business to craft an accurate client journey map. Additionally, we addressed how the input from different areas of the organization can help detect patterns to guide our understanding of the client journey.
The development introduction established the definition of the client journey, and how client journey maps are a visual representation of your client’s course with and through your business. Reviewing the importance of placing yourself in the mind of the client, allows you to see and experience your business through their prism.
The implementation introduction revealed the SAMI Client journey map framework. We went in-depth on how it enables you to gain a clear understanding of where you are at now and how understanding where your client journey is today will directly impact your company’s growth and business development.
To fully realize the learning, benefits, and opportunities revealed in the SAMI client journey mapping framework, your team must embrace a growth mindset. This means letting go of the status quo, rejecting complacency, exploring alternate perspectives, and recognizing previously hidden opportunities. Our activities and exercises are specifically designed to expand critical thinking.
But what is a growth mindset, exactly?
Ultimately, having a growth mindset means believing that positive growth and change is achievable, and that you are not trapped within your own limits. The fact of psychology is, belief itself can be a limiting behavior. Of course, this does not mean that some can defy basic laws of physics through belief—achieving self-powered human flight through pure belief, for example—but it is true that belief in your abilities strongly impacts your outcomes.
This relates to many psychological principles revolving around individual agency, locus of control, and concepts of personal fundamental limits. Locus of control, for example, relates to how people perceive events in their lives. When people have what is called an external locus of control, they believe that life events happen to them, and also believe, consequently, that they ultimately have little control over their lives. People who strongly subscribe to an external locus of control may be more likely to refuse to take beneficial action in their own lives.
An external locus of control is not inherent to an individual, and genetics do not determine whether or not any person has this perspective. Oftentimes, difficult events in life have pushed people to be more likely to accept that they are out of control, and because of a few bad events they may give up, subconsciously, the idea of maintaining any control to positively affect their lives.
We focus on promoting an internal locus of control, which represents the belief that individuals can affect real change for themselves.
Of course, we all probably like the idea of having an internal locus of control sort of attitude, and likewise for having a growth mindset, but sometimes challenges in life can make these benefits seem like they are only applicable to other people. It is critical to recognize that, in reality, the belief that at least some of the time you can take action to positively impact your life will actually trigger you to take the action required.
This is part of the key goals of a growth mindset. Nobody is destined to fail, and we can all take steps to better learn in areas we want to become more knowledgeable in. The first step to empowering yourself to have a powerful, enabling growth mindset is simply to recognize that it is possible. Then, the hard work begins.
Welcoming a growth mindset is crucial to objectivity, transparency, blame-free introspection, and acceptance of alternate perspectives. Without the freedom attained through having a growth mindset, accurately mapping the client journey becomes difficult. We cannot see beyond our own barriers or break free from the paradigm we have built without the use of a growth mindset.
Through exclusive growth mindset exercises, we will help your team reject complacency, adopt candid expectations, and accept the mantle of continuous improvement. Thus, creating the pathway to crafting an accurate client journey map. This is vital work to nurture your team’s growth mindset. Most limiting beliefs are subconscious, so they may take some work to uncover. This is why we want your team to complete the exercises for this session.
Our exclusive growth mindset exercises give you the tools your team needs to shake their paradigm, reframe their mindset, and shift their self-imposed limiting beliefs.
The growth mindset exercises include:
• Accomplishments Worksheet
• Automatic Thoughts Log
• Constructive Criticism Worksheet
• Reframing Flaws Worksheet
• Strengths & Opportunities Worksheet
• Managing Emotions Worksheet
• Identifying What’s Holding You Back Worksheet
• Affirmations Worksheet
• Value Vault Workbook
Our goal is to help your team perform a blame free analysis and to ask themselves questions and tease out the deeper causes of their behavior. It is a fact-finding mission, to identify patterns, and observe where your team has felt blocked. Once your team has identified their limiting beliefs, there are six techniques to overcome them. These are understanding their purpose, questioning the limiting beliefs, laughing at them, formulating new beliefs, retraining your brain, and finding inspiration.
In the first technique, understanding their purpose, you can use time travel, as many of our self-limiting beliefs are formed early in life. With this technique you describe your upbringing. What were your parents or caregivers like? Their values? What did they teach you about the world? What about your wider environment, like school, extended family, local community, and/or religious institutions? What did they teach you about yourself? As you grew older, which of these early lessons did you react most strongly against? What did you learn about yourself that contradicted what you’d been taught? These are just some questions to get you started with time travel to gain an understanding of the purpose for the self-limiting beliefs. The idea is to get a clear picture of the environment you grew up in and how it shaped your belief formation.
The second technique in achieving a growth mindset is to question any limiting beliefs you have identified. This step of recognition allows you to objectively step back and question why your limiting belief exists and how it impacts you.
Consider how having this belief limits you, and imagine a scenario where you are incapable of feeling you are limited in this way. An example is, many people believe they are bad at math, and they may believe that this will always be the case. If a student goes into an exam with this belief, they are more likely to have poorly prepared for the test, because they already expect to fail no matter what action they take. Instead, if they recognized that they could in fact achieve better grades because they were not fundamentally limited in the subject, they may take action to study. Studies have shown that even having encouragement to do better will generally produce better outcomes—not that studying should be replaced solely with gold-star stickers.
Another helpful way to address your limiting belief is to imagine a conversation with a friend. Can you imagine your friend expressing to you that they thought this limiting belief about you? If you have good friends, they would probably never express this – they would only offer encouragement, and belief in your abilities. If your friends believe in you, why should you not believe in yourself? Trust in their judgement.
The next step is laughing at your self-limiting beliefs to shift into a growth mindset. Humor can be an effective unblocking tool. It’s hard for something to have power over you when you’re laughing at it. Make jokes out of your limiting beliefs. Take them to extremes and come up with absurd scenarios that make you laugh, or at least not take yourself and your beliefs so seriously.
The fourth technique to overcome self-limiting beliefs and adopt a growth mindset is formulating new beliefs. To break the power of your old beliefs, you also need to replace them with new ones. You need to believe in something to make sense of the world and to give yourself a stable foundation for navigating it. So for each of the limiting beliefs you’ve identified, turn it around and formulate a new belief that’s more in line with your values and that’ll support you in achieving your goals.
Retraining your brain is the fifth effective technique to help you embrace a growth mindset and quell self-limiting beliefs. Let us return to the concept of an internal locus of control. Recall that life events may be what lead people to have what we’re trying to change: an external locus of control. It is not easy to overcome events you have experienced that lead to any self-limiting beliefs, in part because life experience is very real. To retrain your brain, you will need to take conscious steps to implement growth mindset thoughts, and you will need to actively choose an internal locus of control. Whenever you find yourself following your limiting beliefs, take a second to recognize this pattern, and then instead pivot to a growth mindset.
The last technique in achieving a growth mindset is finding inspiration. Often, the best motivation to grow comes from new interests and passions. Next time you find an area that interests you, consider how you can take action to achieve success there. This can be in the workplace, but it can also be a hobby or life skill. An example is learning a new instrument. There is lots of evidence that at any age, people can develop new skills and become proficient, but instead what we often hear is that new activities, such as music, should be left to young people. This is a limiting mindset, and it is also discouraging people from pursuing passion and following inspiration. Anyone can become better at something if they are passionate and want to dedicate some time. Once you have found your source of inspiration, you can begin to really implement a growth mindset on a daily basis.
These growth mindset exercises for introspection deliver powerful and proven advantages to your team. They help us open our prism to account for logic and emotions during the client journey. People making business decisions and purchases experience emotions during the process. Feelings of anxiety or double are normal human experiences. By accounting for your clients’ logic and emotions in your client journey maps we are able to develop an accurate portrayal of their experience.
Together, we will be embarking on a deliberate cultural shift to create the changes needed to improve the client experience. The interrelated endeavors include refining organizational processes, systemic transformation, technology approaches, and team synergy.
Critical thinking is a key aspect of any well-developed plan. By interlacing the strengths of critical thinking into any project or strategy, a stronger outcome can be achieved. The reason for this is that critical thinking allows honest evaluation of any situation. Making controlled judgements about your goals, needs, and obstacles is the best way to recognize mistakes, as well as develop stable plans that will realistically get you where you need to go.
As we explore the psychology of the client journey, we will tap into human behavior. We can forget that clients are human beings just like us. Our clients experience life through their five senses. They unconsciously connect with emotion and memory through their innate human ability to perceive the world using sight, smell, touch, sound, and taste. The more the client experience reaches each of these five senses, the stronger the memory that is created and the more likely they are to recall the experience.
Therefore, we want to seek opportunities within the client journey where your company can tap into the emotions that are unconsciously engaged in the client. This requires some out-of-the-box thinking to make sense to the client and produce a positive experience.
Another common human behavior is hidden motivations. We need to identify these with the client journey map. Clients have deep-seated needs that need to be satisfied during their sales journey. It’s important to remember that clients are more interested in what your product or service can do to solve their problems and address their pain points than they are in your actual company.
Another human behavior is that we are hardwired to first trust recommendations from people we know. This even applies to clients who think of themselves as freethinkers. Crafting a client journey that delights the client will position your organization to transform clients into champions.
By combining critical thinking with human emotion, a more accurate, thorough client journey map can be crafted. Human emotion carries us through life and helps develop strong connections, but critical thinking is needed to effectively plan and develop long-term goals. By combining these aspects of the human experience, your team can strengthen all aspects of client interaction and achievement.
This process-driven workshop is designed to translate our findings into a visual representation of your client journey. By providing enough detail for people across your organization to take-action, you will strengthen your ability to address client needs and to benefit client outcomes. The client journey map we will have created together provides the clarity needed to allocate, focus, and coordinate your resources.
We will establish the key deliverables