HITT Series Videos

HITT- Understanding Client Needs in CX Technology Sales- June 4, 2024

June 4, 2024


Introduction to CX Buyer Personas
Hey, everyone. Sam Nelson, VP of CX here at Telarus. Today’s high intensity technology training is called CX buyer personas, the sales game changer. Now as you start to work on CX opportunities, it’s really important to understand what’s most important and challenging to the key decision makers within any deal, whether that’s the CRO, CMO, CFO as well, one of our favorite personas. Right?

And just knowing kind of what’s important to everyone, as you’re talking to them about new CX technology. So that’s all we’ll cover today. But before we do that, let’s just revisit what CX technology structure sort of looks like. So you’ve got the overarching customer experience title up here as the sort of or overarching term for all the technology.

Right? In the middle layer, you’ve got these light blue UCaaS, CPaaS, CCaaS. Again, CPaaS standing for communications platform as a service. Now these are referenced as core technologies, and on the bottom layer, what you’re seeing down here refers to what we call the ancillary products or the bolt on products.

So adding things like artificial intelligence or quality assurance, quality management on top of these core solutions. Right? But why is it structured in this fashion, and why are these little yellow arrows existing, you know, here and here? The reason for that is because this structure allows you to really bidirectionally sell across the different technologies.

So in addition to being able to go to a customer and say, hey. What do you like, not like about your contact center center solution or your unified communication solution?

You can now go into a customer from the bottom up saying, hey. How are you leveraging artificial intelligence within your contact center today or within your, you know, CX technology stack today? Right? So, this model in particular, opens up sort of that new conversation or series of new conversations that you could have with customers.

Understanding the Sales Process
So let’s get right into what the sale actually looks like. So when we look at just how complex a sale can be, it’s really, really complex. Right? We as human beings, we love to do our research.

It typically starts with your problem identification.

So this puppy right over here. Right? You got your problem identification.

Or then it could go anywhere from, say, I go into a web search. Right? And then maybe I, from there, I decide to download a white paper. Right?

And then from there, I’m like, okay. Well, the solution sounds great. In theory, I finally hit the second stage. But then this is where it gets really, really crazy because once I start looking for stuff, thanks to social media, I start getting bombarded with a whole bunch of other things, within my social media feeds and what have you, right, as to when I’m doing something like a web search, I start actually, you know, being pointed to different supplier websites.

I may be ending up on something like a Reddit peer discussions.


Maybe I end up talking to someone who I used to know. Right? I talked to a former colleague or, an existing colleague about a particular supplier that they may or may not be using.

I start kind of thinking as a customer, does it integrate with everything, right, that, I have in my current solution?

I start visiting websites. I then start to sort of build my requirements, not just within, like, what’s in the project, but also based on what I find out from the supplier websites from my peers. And then, you know, decades later, it feels like right to everybody here, I finally make my supplier selection. But, of course, that doesn’t go without, you know, even more, you know, expert consultation as you see here, or even, like, reading into several business cases, looking at testimonials, and then finally finally finally making that ultimate purchase decision. And so it’s really, really complex. It’s a crazy math, you know, that we all have to try to navigate.

Focus on CRO (Chief Revenue Officer)
And so the goal here is to potentially eliminate some of those steps by really understanding what exactly your clients are looking for in a solution and helping them walk through this crazy journey because we don’t want customers to end up with all of those different circles as you just saw here. Right? So let’s start with the CRO, chief revenue officer. Primary goal, grow the company’s revenue.

Right? And some common challenges for a CRO include things like lack of visibility into actual KPIs or key performance indicators, within a business. Right? Where is the data?

How do I prove that these initiatives are working?

And on top of that, while trying to manage gross sales, right, keep existing customers, build loyalty, we as customers consumers are super, super needy. We have really high expectations, but employees do too if you think about it. Right? And so attracting and retaining top talent can be a really, really big challenge, for anyone within the sales organization.

And when I point out, that it’s a CRO, right, I’m actually referring to everyone, within the sales org, whether that’s a VP or a manager or someone, right, within that sales org. So just know that these are really common challenges that you’ll see within really any sales organization, within a business. And so when we look at sort of the top objectives, right, involved in revenue growth, we’ve got the upsell cross sell conversation. Right?

How are we making sure that sales reps are asking customers if they want fries with that. Right? For example, a moving company. Right? Are they ordering, extra tape, extra boxes? Do they need extra hands, to complete the move? Right?

Product service knowledge. And this is not just for employees. It’s actually for customers as well.

The industry has changed so much where businesses are now enabling customers to access knowledge bases for self-service.

A lot of, you know, up and coming generations, they don’t necessarily want to hop on the phone anymore. Right? They would love to find the answers themselves, and just kind of tapping into that new generation. It’s more important than ever.

But, the key here is keeping that knowledge up to date, and that can be a real challenge. So guess what? Of course. There’s artificial intelligence out there that will help modify all of the knowledge bases based on, the, ratings that they receive from customers as well as employees in helping customers.

So really neat there.

Issue resolution, I’m I’m leaving personalized recommendations for the last on on purpose. But issue resolution is a big one as well.

And so for those of you who are unaware, you know, retaining an existing customer, is really important. Right? It’s actually more expensive to to keep that person versus acquiring another one, and actually losing that existing customer is really, really costly. And so it’s super important to make sure that, you know, the company is prioritizing issue resolution.

Now personalized recommendations. This is one of my favorites. So if you’ve ever been scrolling through your social media feed, whether that’s Instagram or Facebook or whatever it is, and you see an ad and you, spend a little time on it, and you’re like, oh, that’s funny. I was just talking to somebody about that.

That is not by mistake by any means. You spend anywhere from three to five seconds on a particular ad, you rest assured, you will see that ad again and again, but you’re also going to start seeing different versions of those ads, based on your demographics. Because what the app is doing, it’s actually taking in your demographics, matching it to others where they’ve been successful in selling a solution, or service, and, they’re going to start pushing that stuff to you. So with regard to revenue growth, that’s an engine that can just run without, any, you know, manual sort of labor involved there.

So what are my top three when speaking to a CRO? There are quite a few. Right? So one is, really high level.

What are your main revenue growth priorities for the coming year? It’s one of the best questions you can ask because it could be, I wanna grow the team. I want to increase the number. You know, I want to, attract and retain more clients.

You really get down to the meat of it, but it also tells you what’s on their plate.

The second one is how do you currently measure the success of your sales and marketing efforts? This is actually a big one.

Ask anyone in revenue, marketing, finance, kind of what the primary frustration can be, and it is actually around this particular question.

And that’s because, you know, there are so many initiatives that everyone wants to do to grow the business, but it’s really hard to sometimes justify what those initiatives are.

And then the third one is, you know, how do you envision technology enhancing your sales team’s performance and efficiency?

And instead of telling them how it potentially can, let them open up that can of worms. Right? And that’s how you’re going to be able to identify really what’s top of mind for them because those are the things that you want to address. So those are my main three for the sales organization.

Insights into Marketing Objectives
Let’s head into marketing.

And there’s a reason why I put sales and marketing first. Right? Because, those two actually go head in hand. But even more importantly, the CRO and the CMO, their organizations, are the ones who have the budget, and they’ve got, I would say, sort of the most involvement when it comes to new initiatives, and, you know, brands and and all that. It’s really just important to make sure that you are addressing these personas because we’re seeing more and more of their involvement in CX technology related opportunities and general conversations.

So when we look at a chief marketing marketing officer or anyone within the marketing organization, primary goals are things like, you know, maintain the visibility of customer experience, but even more importantly, understanding what makes their customers tick or what makes their ideal customers tick. Right? It’s important to understand buying trends, how are people, you know, consuming products and services, What are their motivations? What are their frustrations?

Right? What does the overall brand look like? And the challenges involved in achieving these goals, it’s fairly straightforward, but it’s lack of visibility into VOC or what we call voice of the customer.

And on top of that, it’s getting a lot harder to sort of gather and counter competitive intel, just because of how much we spend on the Internet, how much time we spend on the Internet, as well as just the breadth of, you know, how big the Internet is. Right? It’s really difficult to kind of gather all that data and figure out, okay. How do we put together a plan and move that forward?

And then, of course, a challenge also across the the CRO’s desk is this rising customer and employee expectations.

Think about I I bring this analogy up a lot, but think about the last time that you ordered a package from Amazon.

Right? And you got that two day shipping. All that sounds great. But has anyone ever added extra products to their box just so they could get the box today by five PM and at the latest, nine PM.

Don’t lie. But I certainly have. I’ve certainly added things to the box so I can get that box today. Now if you think about, you know, gosh, did we even consider that three, four years ago?

I certainly didn’t. Right? But post pandemic, we’re all you know, we’re locked in our houses, and we just have these really high expectations now of companies that like Amazon, that really catered to our wants and needs while we were locked up. So now it’s just an expectation. I want my stuff yesterday, right, if I could.

So when we look at kind of the brand reputation, and how it’s managed and and what technologies are involved and and objectives. Right?

Number one is a consistent experience.

As humans, we love doing business with people and companies that we like. And if we’re gonna get a consistent experience every single time, it’s an expect it becomes an expectation, but it also helps build loyalty. And there’s technology that that helps with that. Right?

Customer advocacy.

You know, how often are we sending the like? If you, you know, take any time on Reddit whatsoever, that’s a it’s a whole forum of just opinions on different products, services, topics, whatever it is. Right?

Social media management. Now this can be fairly new to some some of you, but there are ways, to actually listen into conversations where a particular phrase, topic, even your company name could come up in conversation.

There are specific technologies that will scrape the interwebs, and pick up, you know, phrases, and things mentioned about literally anything.

And so companies are using this as an advantage because it’s impossible to just type something in Google and spend all that time kind of figuring out, you know, what do people think about this and that? How nice would it be to have a tool to just analyze all that for me? And that does exist. And, yes, you can.

And the last one is collaborative initiatives. And this also feeds back to the ROI conversation of, okay. If we, push out this campaign, one, how do we do it? Right?

But, two, how effective is it, and what changes do we need to make? In other words, how do I make data driven decisions around the different collaborative initiatives that I’m doing on marketing, but as well as marketing with the sales team. Right? So, lots going on there.

My top three for CMO or anyone within the marketing organization. Number one, it starts at the top again. Right? Very similar to what you would ask, another personas. What are your key marketing objectives for the next quarter or maybe the next year? Right?

How are you currently measuring and tracking customer engagement satisfaction? This is a great one. I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve spoken to clients, and they’re like, we you know, customers love us. They’re buying stuff, and that’s all we know.

Well, like, what’s your churn rate? Right? What are people saying, and why are they saying that? And, you know, could you, within some point of the customer journey, do better at these things to increase overall engagement satisfaction.

Right? And there are tools to help with that. Now the third one is sort of how do you again, begging the question, how do you envision technology impacting customer loyalty retention and advocacy in your marketing initiatives? And this is, again, forcing them to answer the question.

If the answer is simply I don’t see it happening at all, I don’t know. Maybe you’re talking to the wrong person. Right? But people who really think about it, who are responsible for executing these initiatives are going to tell you that, hey. You know, it would be nice to have x y z, and that’s a great conversation starter.

Engaging with the CFO
Let’s head to one of our least favorites.

If you can avoid, starting with the CFO, do that. But, again, it’s really important to kinda understand what would unlock, the conversation with the CFO with regard to moving a c x techno technology sale forward. So when we look at the goals of CFO, increase the cash flow, reduce costs. Right? Anytime there’s the word cost in there, their ears perk up.

The challenges with being a CFO, and I’ve I’ve spoken to several, is that the data doesn’t always make sense. And it’s usually located in several different places, and they don’t talk to each other. It’s one of the biggest struggles because companies have so much data. They just don’t know what to do with it. And, in addition to that piece, implementing anything new, really has to, you know, fit with compliance needs, and, you know, overall risk management.

It’s it’s crazy. Right? CFO has a lot to think about.

And so when you’re talking to CFO, there are a few things, though, that might make their ears perk up. One is process optimization, making people way more efficient, making, you know, processes way more smoothly, way more smoother, and just in general, anything that they can do to to make things go faster, but just overall increasing overall efficiency, a really great conversation. There are tools that can help with that, yes, from a CX perspective.

The next one, rightsizing the workforce. Oh, okay. This one is tough because, I mean, you don’t wanna say, yeah, reduce agents and put people out of jobs. But the conversation here is around workforce engagement and workforce management.

Right? Or is the company leveraging people during the right times? In other words, when it’s really busy, are they making sure that they have enough people to help those customers? And when it’s slow, are they staffing appropriately, based on the activity that’s, coming in or going out at the business.

Right? Really, really important conversation. Now you’re probably wondering, well, why would a CFO care about training and skill development? And this is actually key to, your cost because when you hire someone new, you spend a lot of money training them.

Right? And if they leave immediately right after that, you wasted a ton of money, in putting, you know, that education together and enabling and onboarding that person. Right? And so, train and skill development is actually really important from a cost perspective.

You wanna make sure that it’s effective, but, also, workforce retention is a really big, thing here, and there is CF technology that helps with workforce engagement and overall retention so that, they can keep the investment they’ve made in the people that they’ve hired and that they’re continuing to grow within the organization. So that leads to my top three. Right? What are your top financial priorities? Again, starting from the top. Let them tell you what’s most important right now. If it’s cost, you’ll be ready to handle the cost conversation.

And sometimes, the cost conversation could be, what’s the cost of doing nothing about this? Right? That’s actually made a lot of ears perk up, at least from my experience.

Value of Sales and Marketing Initiatives
Another one. How do you currently measure and quantify the value of sales and marketing initiatives? This is a big one. If you have not had this conversation with someone in finance, try it, and they will it’ll become a therapy session.

I almost guarantee it, because a lot of the challenges that that customers are facing right now, businesses in general, is just justifying all of these sales and marketing initiatives and, you know, the ones that they come up with together. How is that turning into revenue? How is that affecting top, bottom line, etcetera? Right?

Technology for Cost Saving and Operational Improvement
And then the third one, it could be, you know, what technology supports your cost saving or operational improvement initiatives. In other words, you know, what technology are you leveraging to accomplish those priorities and objectives that you currently have for the organization?

Now I wanted to include this one, which is everyone. Right? Everybody right now is looking overall to accelerate digital digital transformation.

Importance of AI and Machine Learning
Right? And, it has to do with leveraging AI, machine learning. Gosh. If I had Penny for every time I heard artificial intelligence on a daily basis, I’d be a millionaire.

Right? But it’s really important to understand this. So, Microsoft did a study, and for every dollar a company invests in AI, it’s realizing an average return of three and a half x. That is massive, but it’s really important to understand exactly, how something like artificial intelligence, is going to help there.

Understanding the Outcome of Implementing AI
So when someone says, hey. We want AI, ask them why. Say, you know, what outcome are you looking to accomplish by implementing something like AI within your technology stack? Doesn’t even have to be CX related, but it’s just so important.

Guiding the Customer Journey
Start with the outcome. Don’t start talking about capabilities, features, things like that. Because remember that customer journey I showed you earlier? That’s when someone’s gonna go from this linear line to up, down here, sideways, horizontally, whatever it is.

Right? You don’t want that. Try to steer them in the right direction by simply asking, hey. What outcomes are you looking to achieve?

And here’s how x y z can help you.

Next Steps and Resources
So with that, as next steps, go ahead and check out Solaris University. If you haven’t yet, we’ve actually got a, new CX track for you as well as an AI track hosted by our very own Jason Lowe, our CX and AI solution architect.

And you can also reach out to admin at celeris university dot com if you have not, accessed it just yet.

Conclusion and Call to Action
But that concludes our high intensity technology training today, on CX buyer personas. It really is a sales game changer if you can understand what your clients are looking for and then feed into sort of what they should be using. And even more importantly, helping them shape the success of their business moving forward, is really going to help you stay sticking in those accounts, keep them as loyal clients, and grow them, now and in the future. So, as always, Sam Nelson, VP of CX, here to help you. We’ll be standing by along with our amazing CX solution architects, Mike Balarzian, Megan Tai, Jason Lowe. We are all here to help you go beyond.