I have written a lot about the GoToCustomer idea. GoToCustomer is first and foremost a consequent way of thinking and designing your sales system backwards from the customer’s journey. GoToCustomer means to work consequently from the outside to the inside. Outside-in thinking is the most important prerequisite, before you even start to design any kind of framework.
A GoToCustomer framework is your foundation, especially in a complex sales environment. The customer’s journey is your design point for all enablement and coaching services. All seller/buyer related interactions are mapped to the customer’s journey with clear milestones. All internal decisions, every sales organizations has to make (e.g. opportunity assessments, resource allocation, delivery checks etc.) are also mapped to the customer’s journey – not the other way around.
It sounds simple. And at the end, it is. But to get there is hard work. It requires consequent, thoughtful execution and change management.
Executing a GoToCustomer strategy based on such a framework can become a challenging endeavor, depending on your organization’s culture.
“We need specific content for specific sales roles”, “content for training is completely different”. “I have to create this content, it’s on my check list” and the list goes on and on.
I cannot remember how often I got those requests, from many different groups. They have all one element in common: They refer to internal design points, such as sales roles, check lists and products. They don’t refer to the customer. For me, it seems to be an “inside-out muscle memory”. You can start to work immediately on those requests, which will put you in a reactive enablement role, reinforcing the current state, but not really executing your strategy.
The second way is more challenging, but it will lead you toward your goal: executing your GoToCustomer strategy. Discuss these requests with the relevant stakeholders in your organization and develop a deep understanding on the underlying, real problems. Change people’s perspective in these conversations from inside-out to outside-in: What’s the sales outcome, people want to achieve, at which stage of the customer’s journey with which set of stakeholders? Over time, you will develop a structured questionnaire how to deal with those requests, and how to inspire people to change their perspective to outside-in.
Additionally you will identify the root causes of these requests: Maybe, the sales roles are not properly mapped to the customer’s journey. Maybe, you have marketing teams that have to follow a “one size fits all” checklist. Maybe, the training and content teams don’t work closely enough together, to be able to adjust their efforts to the customer’s journey, etc.
The bottom line is: People have functional missions. You need their functional expertise – but during execution, not for the design.
- The design perspective has to be the same for all teams: The customer’s journey.
- The execution perspective is based on the design perspective
- GoToCustomer drives efficiency and effectiveness at the same time: You will get rid of unnecessary enablement services and sales people will be more focused on the services that really matter, to make them successful at the customer.
GoToCustomer means simplicity. Achieving simplicity is hard, but at the end, it’s beautiful.