Transforming the Traditional Sales Funnel to Flywheel

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As a marketer, you’ve come to know the ins and outs of the sales funnel. While there have been several iterations over the years, the basic premise has remained the same. But the traditional sales funnel has recently become impractical for almost all organizations. Why? It’s not customer-centric. Today’s marketing teams are laser-focused on how they can target the customer most effectively. Without the customer being at the center of the sales funnel, their strategy entirely falls apart––and no one wants their effort to go to waste.

Now is the time for organizations to shift from the traditional sales funnel to the flywheel approach. The flywheel not only pushes forward stronger momentum in sales, marketing and service, but it also places the customer at the center of the plan. Within its stages of the journey: attract, engage, and delight, the flywheel orbits around the customer in every aspect of the cycle. Additionally, marketing campaigns yield higher engagement and the customer is driving much of the content efforts when using the flywheel approach.

Let’s discuss some of the ways the flywheel model can channel pathways for team growth and product improvement while transforming how the customer engages with a brand.

The customer at center focus

Instead of the traditional funnel that leaves customers as an afterthought, the flywheel engages with them. They are the center of the wheel, the axle and hold the rest of the model in its orbit. The flywheel divides the customer journey into three equal parts: attract, engage and delight. Each area of the flywheel’s three components creates energy and propels the customer journey to the next stage of the wheel, Ultimately delight leading back to attraction. This cycle never ends, making it unlike the sales funnel, where momentum diminishes as the energy siphons into an inverse pyramid. In addition, the flywheel disc can also be divided into marketing, sales and service. Regardless of terminology, both versions of this three-spoke wheel revolve around the customer.

When used correctly, the flywheel can be an incredible growth tool because it encourages users to invest more in customer-driven marketing. It creates great value for both the customer and the brand. It provides insight to see how customers utilize and engage with your product, and ultimately your brand, and how the product can improve. In doing so, you gain knowledge that serves all parties involved better.

Starting with the flywheel

The momentum that the flywheel achieves is dependent on three factors.

Weight of the wheel

Like a physical flywheel, the more mass it contains, the greater its momentum and the harder it is to stop. In the customer-centric model, weight is an outstanding customer service experience that strengthens the foundation of your brand and creates customer retention. Delivering an exceptional customer experience will place your business as a standout among your competitors.

Speed of spinning

The speed at which the flywheel performs is largely dependent on your team. Is your marketing team delivering consistent content? If so, how much? What methods of outreach are you using to reach potential and current customers? Are any new customer leads coming through the content produced? These are a few questions that marketing teams should be asking regularly to keep the wheel spinning.

Reducing flywheel friction

Reducing friction in the flywheel model is all about maintaining customer satisfaction while not losing sight of going above and beyond in efforts. In case of friction, customer surveys can bring insight into growing customer needs and check their satisfaction. While the flywheel model does place the customer at the center of purpose, it’s the company’s job to continue fostering the relationship.

Finding Purpose Through the Flywheel

Engagement matters. Sales and marketing are about creating meaningful experiences for the customer journey. The flywheel recognizes the momentum that sales, marketing and service must maintain, but purpose sets the flywheel in motion. The flywheel picks up where the sales funnel lacks by prioritizing the customer in business plans. Implementing the flywheel generates more purpose behind branding, customer retention, and more substantial alignment between the people behind the brand and the customer. The flywheel ensures that the teams behind the brand have a shared purpose of keeping the flywheel momentum alive, thus creating a more secure bond and experience for the customer. The process of getting the flywheel spinning–purpose–may be challenging at first, but transitioning from the funnel to the flywheel is well worth the effort once it begins to churn.

The flywheel model is designed to transform the focus within a brand. But it’s up to the users to keep it spinning. The flywheel is here to enhance a brand and make it meaningful and make the brand experience worthwhile for the customer.

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