Middle-market Enterprises Want Investments in Customer Experience and Additional Sales Force

By Tom Stewart posted 01-28-2022 03:15 PM

Top Takeaway: CX and Sales for the 2022 Global Midmarket CFO-CHRO Sentiment Study

Customers, markets, and sales: Tightening the tie between technology and the human touch

The relationships between enterprises and their customers are being transformed by two seemingly contradictory forces. One the one hand, data analytics and digital transformation have brought technology into the company-customer interface as never before. Simultaneously, as companies provide more complex offerings—services and solutions, not just products—empathy, relationships, and personal connection have become more important than ever. Marketing, sales, and customer service become inextricably linked, all focused on identifying the right customers and building deep, mutually beneficial ties with them. Customer journeys are in; silos are out.

It is therefore increasingly important that employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX) be aligned—because in a services-and-solutions-oriented world, employees often are the experience.

Getting the right high-tech/high-touch mix is central to the 2022 growth plans of mid-market and emerging enterprises. Today more than half the middle market says it has at least a somewhat formal process to design, manage, and improve customer experience. Given extra marketing dollars to invest, CFOs would spend a quarter of them to improve CX, bolstered by an additional 15% devoted to research aimed at understanding existing customers better.

A stronger, more relational sales team is critical to growth plans—one reason increasing sales force effectiveness ranks among the three most critical success factors for 2022. To strengthen sales, CFOs and CHROs agree that upgrading and adding talent is the top priority for 2022. Beyond feet-on-the street, research by AchieveNEXT and the National Association of Sales Professionals shows that the head of sales and the CFO often have different views about the right sales investment mix, with CFOs placing more emphasis on upgrading technologies like CRM and data analytics while sales leads push for more reps, more training, and more incentive pay. Ensuring that the CFO and CRO are in sync on
priorities can have major positive impacts on both top-line growth and profitability, because with the right relationship finance leaders can help their sales colleagues identify, win, and retain the most profitable customers, not just the biggest ones.

To Read More, download the 2022 Global Midmarket CFO-CHRO Sentiment Study