Anyone who’s worked in sales or marketing has probably heard of the classic ‘funnel’ model. This is a traditional model that shows the different stages of the sales process, essentially mapping out the customer journey. I’m here to tell you that this tried-and-true model is outdated and needs a cheeky facelift to truly help more businesses become customer centric.

The funnel is inefficient as a sales/marketing model since it’s a one-directional process, filtering potential customers from a vast many to a select few. Also, funnels don’t visualise handoffs throughout the sales process, which means handoffs are often forgotten or mismanaged. Therefore, a new model is needed to understand the customer journey.

The Long and Windy Customer Journey

With climate action becoming increasingly important across industry and politics, it seems only fitting that we replace the old funnel model with a wind turbine. Converting energy out of wind goes back millennia – from ship sails to windmills – but using a wind turbine as a cultural model can drastically change the way a business attracts and retains customers.

Wind turbines harnesses wind energy and store it as rotational energy that keeps spinning; so long as there’s enough force to do so and no friction slowing it down. In this instance, the wind force represents company growth, which is often powered by happy customers who either keep purchasing from you or recommend your brand to others. Friction, on the other hand, is any element that hinders growth or success.

Any positive influence can create force such as good products, satisfied employees, happy customers, a strong brand – basically any area where a business can invest to improve. Negative influences create friction, like poor products, slow sales process, disgruntled staff, unhappy customers. All these points of friction stem from internal and external processes.

Customer Expectations v Reality

It’s no secret that all consumer industries are searching for the most convenient sales process. Just look at how the music industry has changed in the past 30 years – we went from physical sales of LPs & CDs to downloading, and now streaming. Other businesses are making similar moves into adding convenience and putting the customer experience first.

Wind turbines gain momentum when there is minimal friction and maximum force, which means aligning customer expectations with your offering and ensuring cross-business collaboration. There are three primary elements to a wind turbine that map out the customer journey: attraction, infatuation, and love. A brand that continually invests in these three sectors creates synergy across its marketing, sales, and service teams.

Next time, we’ll explore these three teams to understand their roles and interdependence in helping to creating ongoing growth.

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