“You’ve got to stay ahead of the game to be able to stay in it.”
Kate Moss’s statement has become rather popular in the present times, especially in the business world. The phrase “keeping up with the times” is now being replaced by “staying ahead of the times” and for good reason. In today’s world, if you’re not evolving, you’re not going to survive for long. As a result, businesses today are letting go of the age-old funnel approach for customer acquisition and adopting the Flywheel Model.
For those who’re reading the name for the first time, do give our introductory article on ‘Embracing the Flywheel Model’ a glance before going ahead with this one. The previous article covers why it’s wise to ditch the funnel and focus on the flywheel. Not just that, it also covers the basics and phases of the Flywheel model.
If you’re acquainted with the Flywheel Model and looking to adopt it for your business, you’ve come to the right place. We’re not here to simply preach about great things like the Flywheel model but to break it down for you into easy steps that you can use to apply the model to your business.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to implementing the Flywheel in any business, irrespective of the company size, industry, or any other factor. This guide works for each and every model if executed right.
Steps to Convert Your Marketing and Sales Funnel to Flywheel
Step 1: Map all your funnel strategies to the Flywheel phases.
Many people are skeptical about using the funnel because they feel that all their existing strategies and activities would have to be replaced and they’d have to start from scratch. However, that’s definitely not the case. In fact, almost each and every strategy that you use for lead generation, conversion, upselling that you use in the funnel can be applied in the Flywheel too. All you need to do is to map it to the right phase of the Flywheel.
As you may be aware, the Flywheel has three key phases, namely, Attract, Engage, and Delight. Mapping strategies to phases allows you to put more focused efforts depending on the goal of the phase. Here’s how:
- Attract: In this phase, the goal is to allure prospects in such a way that they’d want to know more and engage with the brand. This phase is also for building awareness and brand image within the target audience of the brand. This means that this phase would include all the content and marketing efforts you have at the top of your funnel. These include a blog, social media marketing, paid advertising, webinars. Each and every lead generation effort that’s there at the top of your funnel gets included in the attract phase.
- Engage: The goal of this phase is to build a bond with leads such that they become a paying customer. If you map it to the funnel, all the strategies that your sales team uses to take a lead from the interest stage to the action stage fall under this phase. These would include sale offers, discounts, sales calls, email marketing, and more.
- Delight: This phase of the Flywheel may not have many of your existing strategies as this is a phase that the funnel approach overlooks. In this phase, the goal is to provide exceptional customer support to your customers such that they become brand ambassadors and promote your brand, thereby getting you new leads. If you have strategies like Referral System, Feedback Portal, Testimonial marketing, then they would fall under this phase.
Step 2: Measure one key metric for each phase.
This is probably the easiest step in the process of adopting the Flywheel. Yet, most people are unable to get it right. In the process of making their Flywheel approach effective, brands end up measuring too many metrics and take hasty decisions based on all of them. When you use the Flywheel, add multiple strategies to it, and focus on multiple parts of a lead’s journey to a customer and henceforth, there are too many things you can measure. While some numbers that you see can be reassuring, others might be disheartening too. Therefore, it’s key to fall back on one major metric that defines your goal and gives you a bigger picture of whether or not you’re headed in the right direction.
How to choose that metric, you may ask? That’s quite simple. Just find the metric that matches the goal for a phase. Here’s how.
- Attract: As the goal here is to attract your target audience into becoming prospects for your brand, the key metrics is leads. These could be social media leads, website traffic, and even webinar registrations. Any person that you are able to get interested in your content becomes a lead and that’s your key metric for this phase.
- Engage: Here the goal is to convert, right? Invariably, the key metric becomes your conversion rate. The higher it is, irrespective of the source, the better your ‘Engage’ phase is performing.
- Delight: This can get tricky. You may wonder how can one measure delight? Since the goal of the phase is to deliver happy customers, how would you measure happiness? Well, you don’t have to. You have to measure the result of what a happy customer does to your business. You measure the churn. The churn of your Flywheel includes how much revenue or growth you’ve gotten from your existing customer base. This is essentially a summation of the renewals and successful referrals that you get.
Step 3: Add efforts to the delight phase.
As discussed earlier, delight is the phase of the Flywheel that’s missing from the funnel. Needless to say, that means that you would have to add more value, and strategy to enhance your existing customer support. This could include providing exceptional customer service, adding easy customer support channels, including an automated helpdesk chatbot. Not just that, you could go a step further by offering discounts, and special treatment to your customers to make them feel that you care for them. Additionally, you can give them a referral and renewal bonus as an incentive.
However, just adding these efforts would not do the trick. There needs to be a change in perception too. You’d realize that a lot of your existing tactics could be made more customer-centric if only you change your attitude and perspective towards it. Here’s how Hubspot maximized delight in their funnel.
They identified tasks from their marketing, sales, and service teams and made them more customer-first.
Step 4: Reduce as much friction you can from the Flywheel.
You’d probably remember from our previous article that Flywheel requires continuous momentum that’s driven by the delight phase. However, a negative force that deaccelerates the Flywheel is the friction in your processes. Every hurdle that your lead faces, every discomfort that your customer has, adds to this friction. Therefore, it becomes imperative that you minimize all possibilities of friction in your flywheel for it to keep spinning and generating momentum.
There are two key ways to reduce friction. First, you need to identify all the hurdles that are there in your Flywheel. These could include website navigation, payment issues, and even customer support waiting time. Once, you know where your customers or leads are struggling, you try to eliminate those hurdles. Here’s how we did it for one of our clients at Prismbiz.
Back in 2017, our client which was a product-based brand was looking to reduce friction from their sales process. Diving into their existing process, we realized that their greatest challenge was their pricing system. Since it was a sales-driven business, the sales team drove the pricing completely wherein each team member had the liberty to get customers at the prices they decided. Apart from the base fare, the sales team members were free to add margins as per their will and offer discounts as per their choice–as long as they got conversions. This meant every quote that was sent had to be generated and prepared from scratch thereby increasing the turnaround time for sending it, which would often make the prospect impatient and skeptical, and they’d go ahead with a competitor.
The solution was rather straightforward. As we got involved in the process, we brought in a standard pricing system where we categorized each product into levels based on the technology used in them. Then we set a standard margin and discount percent for each level such that it covered all costs. Once implemented, the pricing was streamlined, customers would get their quotation for the products within 24 hours, maximizing delight and therefore increasing conversions.
Changing the existing processes to remove hurdles is one way to go about it. However, that’s not all.
Apart from taking care of known obstacles, you must also pace up existing processes to increase the momentum. Here you first identify all the possible steps of your customer journey and then check whether or not you can automate it. For instance, you could add an IVR to provide more focused customer support. Or add a chatbot on your website to help leads.
Summing it up
Every business has its own way of functioning and its own approaches to get leads and customers. That being said, Attract, Engage and Delight phases are a part of every customer’s journey. Hence, for any business, the above steps can work well in adopting the flywheel model. Once you start practicing Flywheel, you’d realize that you would be able to get more inbound leads than outbound ones, through your customers. That’s what the core of the Flywheel is.
The customers that are at the center of a Flywheel are not just sources of revenue, but those of growth. The Flywheel helps you realize the value of this core and narrow your efforts in building value for your customers. Trust us, if your product or service is worth talking about, you’d not even have to push your customers for promoting your brand. They’d be happy to do it.
As Michael LeBoeuf has rightly said,
“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.”