The Power of Cohesion: Building the Ideal B2B Customer Experience



This article provides actionable steps to enhance customer satisfaction and retention while simultaneously identifying and capitalizing on opportunities to increase revenue. It outlines four key steps.

By Maria Geokezas, Chief Operating Officer at Heinz Marketing

Do you ever feel like your sales, marketing, and customer success teams work from different playbooks? Imagine how your customer feels if they encounter inconsistent messaging, a clunky onboarding process, or a lack of post-purchase support. It’s certainly not an ideal B2B customer experience.

A fragmented approach to customer experience can lead to frustration, churn, and – worst of all – missed opportunities. It’s not ideal.

That’s why it’s important to establish a cohesive customer journey, where every touchpoint is meticulously planned and flawlessly executed. Below, we’ll cover four steps to crafting your ideal B2B customer experience.

Step 1: Define Your B2B Customer Experience

The foundation of a cohesive journey lies in a clear understanding of the customer experience. Every interaction a customer has with your brand – from initial awareness to post-purchase interactions – defines how your customers experience your product.


One valuable tool for visualizing the customer journey is the bow-tie funnel. This model represents the customer journey in three stages:

  • Awareness & Nurturing: The wide top of the funnel represents the stage where potential customers become aware of your brand and its products. Marketing plays a crucial role here, attracting attention through targeted campaigns and informative content.
  • Consideration & Conversion: The funnel narrows at the consideration stage, where customers research different options and evaluate your brand as a potential solution. This is where the sales team steps in, providing insightful demos and addressing specific needs.
  • Decision & Advocacy: The funnel widens again at the decision stage, where purchases are made. However, the journey doesn’t end there. The ideal outcome extends into the advocacy stage, where satisfied customers become brand champions, spreading positive word-of-mouth and potentially leading to upsell or cross-sell opportunities.

But how do you determine what your customer needs to move from one end of the funnel to the other?

Actively solicit feedback through surveys, reviews, and social media sentiment analysis. By understanding customer pain points and preferences, you can tailor messaging, optimize touchpoints, and ensure the customer journey resonates with your target audience.

Once you understand what your customer experience should look like at a high level, it’s time to make it personal through account-based marketing.

Step 2: Develop Account-Based GTM

Account-based go-to-market (GTM) is a collaborative process. It requires sales, marketing, and customer success to work together to engage high-value accounts. An account-based strategy is only successful if:

  • Marketing targets the right process with curated content and campaigns tailored to the specific needs and challenges of each high-value account.
  • Sales fosters deeper relationships with key contacts within these accounts, providing personalized solutions and ongoing support.
  • Customer success proactively identifies upsell and cross-sell opportunities, ensuring continued satisfaction and maximizing the lifetime value of high-value accounts.

Every role is as important as the next. If one part of the journey doesn’t align, a bottleneck develops and slows the flow of growth. That’s why the entire team must abide by the same guidelines.

Step 3: Build a Shared Playbook

A shared playbook outlines the agreed-upon strategies for sales, marketing, and customer success teams to promote greater alignment. The playbook ensures everyone works toward the same goals, and delivers a consistent message across touchpoints.

Some key elements a shared playbook should cover are:

Target Audience Definition: Clearly define your ideal customer profile to ensure all departments are targeting the right audience.

Lead Nurturing Tactics: Outline the strategies for nurturing leads across the customer journey, including lead scoring, email marketing campaigns, and personalized content delivery.

Conversion Strategies: Define the steps involved in converting leads into paying customers. This includes outlining the role of sales demos, free trials, and pricing packages.

Tool and Technology Integration: Specify which tools and technologies each team will use and how they will be integrated to ensure seamless data sharing and collaboration.

The playbook must also detail how the account hand-offs between teams should go.

Namely, the transition between customer success and sales, often after onboarding, which is a critical stage in the customer journey. A well-defined hand-off process ensures a smooth transition and continued customer satisfaction.

  • Role Responsibilities: Clearly define which actions each team (marketing, customer success and sales) is responsible for during the hand-off process.
  • Stage Definitions: Outline the criteria that define when a customer is ready to be handed off from customer success to sales. Here are some potential factors to consider:
  • Successful Onboarding: The customer has successfully completed the onboarding process and is actively using the product or service. This might involve achieving specific milestones within the product or mastering core functionalities.
  • Identified Upsell/Cross-Sell Opportunities: The customer success team has identified potential opportunities to upsell (encourage purchase of a higher-tier plan) or cross-sell (encourage purchase of a complementary product or service) based on the customer’s usage patterns and expressed needs.
  • Increased Usage and Engagement: The customer demonstrates consistent and increasing usage of the product or service, suggesting a growing need for more advanced features or functionalities.
  • Proactive Inquiries: The customer actively inquires about services beyond the scope of their current plan, suggesting an interest in expanding their relationship with your company.

By clearly defining these hand-off criteria, all teams have a shared understanding of when it’s appropriate to transition the customer from onboarding and initial support to exploring upsell or cross-sell opportunities.

Step 4: Make Data-Driven Decisions

Even with every piece of the customer journey well-defined, the best experiences continue to be optimized as your customer lifecycle fluctuates. In a season of growth, your customer journey may look different than during a period of refinement.

Fortunately, you can rely on the data to help you determine what your current customers need.

You can start by looking at:

  • Customer pain points: Analyze customer support tickets and feedback to pinpoint specific challenges customers face at different stages of the journey.
  • High-performing touchpoints: Identify which touchpoints (e.g., email campaigns, explainer videos) resonate most with customers and drive conversions.
  • Areas for improvement: Analyze customer behavior data to identify gaps or inconsistencies within the journey that might lead to drop-off or dissatisfaction.

Building a cohesive customer journey takes time, but with these insights in hand, you can continuously refine your customer journey.

When you integrate touch points across departments, incorporate feedback, and embrace data-driven decision-making, crafting a top-tier experience becomes easier — and your customers will thank you for it.

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