HomeBlog Building the B-to-B Customer Engagement Technology Stack

Building the B-to-B Customer Engagement Technology Stack

April 11, 2018 | By Jessie Johnson

  • B-to-b marketing leaders invest in customer engagement to drive profitability through insight into customer needs, increased retention and upsell opportunities, and customer advocacy
  • A successful customer engagement function requires supporting infrastructure that carries insights and interactions from the buyer’s journey into the customer lifecycle
  • Learn how to build a best-in-class customer engagement tech stack at this year’s SiriusDecisions Summit

Walt Disney famously said, “Do what you do so well they will want to see it again, and bring their friends.” 

For b-to-b customer marketing leaders, this means delivering a positive customer experience that drives relevant interactions well beyond the sale. An investment in customer engagement improves profitability through increased retention and upsell opportunities, better insight into customer needs, and customer advocacy in support of new logo accounts. Customer Engagement Technology Stack

A successful customer engagement function requires a supporting infrastructure that carries insights and interactions from the buyer’s journey into the customer lifecycle. Building on core capabilities from the demand creation tech stack provided by sales force automation (SFA) systems and marketing automation platforms (MAPs), four customer technology categories should be on the roadmap: customer journey mapping, customer success management, customer advocacy and customer intelligence management.

Visualize the Experience: Customer Journey Mapping

Customer journey mapping technology helps organizations visualize, design and optimize the customer experience to enable a reliable, repeatable and data-driven process for journey mapping across the phases of the customer lifecycle.

Proper customer journey mapping takes the customer’s point of view and highlights all the ways in which the organization interacts with that customer to provide a complete picture of any bottlenecks, disappointing customer experiences to manage or positive sentiment to amplify. This holistic view into customer touchpoints across various functions also helps break down organizational silos by fostering alignment in an effort to create a positive customer experience. 

Make It Matter: Customer Success Management

Customer success management solutions provide intelligence, analytics and workflow management to ensure customers get maximum value from the offerings they purchase. These solutions integrate with SFA systems and MAPs to provide customer intelligence and lifecycle support.

By enabling a data-driven approach to designing interactions that exceed customer needs, customer success management solutions provide greater visibility into customer relationships for a more complete picture of customer satisfaction, loyalty, engagement, propensity to buy, and likelihood to renew or defect. Customer marketing leaders can leverage insights derived from customer feedback and behavior to orchestrate a better customer experience across all delivery channels to drive increased loyalty, retention and profitability.

Bring Your Friends: Customer Advocacy

Customer advocacy is becoming fundamental across demand creation, retention, growth and reputation management activities (e.g. nurture campaigns, sales references, case studies, review sites, customer videos, communities, social media, events). As advocacy programs develop, the portfolio of assets expands, and customer marketing leaders must manage a growing number of potential interactions while activating customer advocates and maintaining their level of involvement.

Customer advocacy technology can streamline this process by creating a repository for advocacy assets, and quickly identifying and sourcing those assets, helping b-to-b marketers deliver the right asset at the right time and track the impact of advocacy assets across the buyer’s journey or customer lifecycle.

Know Your Customer: Customer Intelligence Management

Customer intelligence management technology collects and manages customer feedback across a wide range of touchpoints, helping organizations tap into traditional data sources – as well as less formal, but increasingly important social media channels – to gain insights into customer sentiment and intent.

B-to-b organizations can use this rich stream of data on customer attitudes to respond to customer concerns and prevent potential problems, improve customer relationships, provide input into demand creation and account-based marketing planning, and gain insights into potential product features and required enhancements to existing solutions.

Customer engagement is a critical differentiator for b-to-b organizations. Integration of customer marketing capabilities into the organization’s technology stack and supporting data architecture is integral to customer lifecycle marketing, customer experience, and customer success.

Learn more about the customer engagement tech stack at Summit 2018, in the session “Customer Engagement Infrastructure: A Capabilities-Driven View of the Stack That Drives Growth” – and bring your friends!

The SiriusDecisions Customer Lifecycle Framework

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Jessie Johnson

Jessie Johnson is a Research Analyst at SiriusDecisions. Jessie is a marketing technology thought leader focused on leveraging marketing automation technologies and actionable intelligence in demand creation, content strategy and development, and integrated marketing. She has more than 10 years of experience working with b-to-b organizations. Follow her on Twitter @jjhnsn.

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