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Q&A w/ Tim Handorf on Flipping Funnels

So far in the run up to FlipMyFunnel Austin, we’ve interviewed three B2B leaders:

Matt Heinz, Jon Miller and the man himself: David Raab.

The response has been incredible. Now we’re hitting for the cycle with Tim Handorf of G2 Crowd.

We hear a lot about the term “engagement” – most of the time followed closely by the term automation so I wanted to get Tim’s take on what actually creates customer engagement and therefore loyalty, the more practical the better.

What are companies doing well?

TH: Most modern companies realize that their customers must be successful for them to create a lasting business. Companies that take the time to understand their customer’s business by listening and getting to know them first will deliver products and services that ensure success.

In addition, I think companies want to work with companies they aspire to be like. This starts with the company’s values, which impact the people, product and culture.

A loyal customer believes in your company’s product or service. A loyal customer wants to do business with you because of who and what you are.

A loyal customer feels something for your company, products and services. To gain that kind of loyalty you must create a real, personal, and emotional connection with your customer—and honor that connection across the entire customer experience.

Is marketing at the core of customer relationships? If not, what is?

TH: Marketing is essential throughout a customer relationship.  Since Marketing is often at the start of the customer lifecycle, they set the tone for the future of the relationship.  By being transparent and providing the information that buyers want, marketers have the opportunity to build a foundation of trust, which I believe is the cornerstone of a lasting relationship.

In a “Buyers Come First” environment, rather than focusing on what might bring in the most revenue, we focus on what will benefit buyers. It is a long-term philosophy that is focused on achieving our vision.

“Buyers Come First” doesn’t mean that we ignore users and vendors. All three groups are essential to achieving G2 Crowd’s vision, so we spend considerable effort creating value for all three. However, we won’t implement anything that will have an adverse impact on the buyer.

Is ABM just another buzzword?

TH: Buzzword or not a buzzword, it is a smarter way of marketing enabled by technology that wasn’t available in the past. Being extremely targeted is a win for both the customer and the vendor.

[Editor’s note, we’ve previously discussed this topic at length on the LeadMD blog.]

Is engagement scalable?

TH: Although I think scalable engagement will be different for each business and potentially each customer, if you can’t create engagement in a scalable/profitable way, your business plan or strategy likely has flaws.

I will say that when your brand is caring, authentic, and transparent—and your customer experiences that across their entire journey—it builds a loyal relationship and tremendous mutual value. That’s why it’s so important to really win at customer experience.

You can check out the entire FMF agenda here and we hope to see you next week as we all share our strategies for ABM success!

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