As marketers, we talk a lot about the importance of maintaining quality customer data and its fluidity. If your data isn’t fresh, up-to-date, and easily accessible across your organization, the value of that data is potentially compromised.
Having a central repository to store and manipulate your data isn’t a “nice to have” option. It’s absolutely essential. Needless to say, the moment a spreadsheet is involved, you suddenly lose any integrity in your data.
Introducing Microsoft Dynamics
Microsoft Dynamics is a software solution that organizations employ to manage their data for a variety of roles, including Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). As such, it’s the perfect place to manage that “single view of the truth” when it comes to prospects and customers and the role they play in your organization’s success.
One of the many benefits Microsoft Dynamics offers marketers is the ability to map the customer journey.
The customer journey can be defined as the steps a prospect might take on their way to becoming a paying customer. Understanding these steps can help you identify opportunities for email list segmentation, triggers for automation, and campaign ideas for lifecycle management.
The basic principle of customer journey mapping is that all of your potential customers fall into specific buckets (or personas). So, if you know what makes those personas tick, you stand a much better opportunity of winning more sales.
Building a More Efficient Sales Funnel
As prospects move through the sales funnel, they will leave markers (or data points) that enable marketers to assign a persona and follow their journey. This journey will either see those prospects work their way through the funnel and become customers or remove themselves from the sales process.
Note: It’s inevitable that prospects will remove themselves from the funnel. This should be welcomed as not all prospects are qualified to become customers. However, the longer these “deadbeats” stay in your marketing funnel, the greater the drain on your sales and marketing resources. And yes, we are talking time and money.
Mapping Customer Data Points
Microsoft Dynamics is designed to map various data points throughout the customer journey. These data points will typically include the following stages:
- Awareness: The moment a prospect discovers your organization.
- Consideration: When a prospect notices that your product or service could solve a problem for them. Remember, all good products or services solve problems.
- Convert: The point when a prospect becomes a customer or, in the case of a more complex sales process, a “red hot” lead.
- Loyalty: Building on that customer relationship and creating customer lifetime value.
- Advocacy: When customers become an asset to the marketing organization and actively promote your product or service.
It’s important to remember that customers don’t always travel in one direction. So understanding when customers take a step back can help you identify roadblocks on the journey.
Just to complicate things, customers won’t always stop at every step of the journey. Sometimes they’ll surprise you and jump straight from Awareness to Convert.
At other times, they’ll never become customers but become your number one advocate. Therefore, customer journey mapping is a great way to identify those all-important influencers who will help you promote your business.
Mapping your customer journey can also give your organization insight into the competitive landscape. This is especially important when prospects choose a competitive product or service over yours.
When you understand at what stages of their journey you are losing customers to the competition, you can start making plans to stem those losses and start winning again. Therefore, it is essential you include data points relating to competitors in your plans.
On the more positive side, understanding when your competitors lose out to you can help you optimize the journey and ensure more customers join your winning side.
Customer journey mapping using Microsoft Dynamics might be something of an inexact science. However, the insight it gives you will almost certainly benefit your organization when you take the time to implement it.
The Value of Mapping Your Customer Journey
Suppose you are struggling to understand the value of mapping the customer journey. In that case, we should remind you of a fundamental principle relating to the success of your email marketing and marketing automation campaigns.
Your success will directly correlate to the relevancy of your campaigns to your subscribers. This means sending the right message to the right person at the right time. Taking the time to identify customers’ personas and map their typical journeys will almost certainly help you do this.
While mapping your customer journey will involve an investment in time and effort, it’s also essential to consider that every lead that comes into your possession will cost you money. Furthermore, they will continue to cost you money until the point of conversion or when they exit your funnel.
To learn more about how Microsoft Dynamics can help you better map your customers’ journey, check out our infographic and download our How to Build a Customer Journey Map with Microsoft Dynamics whitepaper.
Need more help in mapping your customer journey? Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.