4 min - Feb 22, 2023

“Hi, I’d like to be landed.” Why Customer Journey Wording Matters.

Imagine you’re in B2B SaaS marketing or sales. How often do you get an inbound inquiry from a prospect like this?

“Hi there,

We’re looking for a new solution to help with X, which is a large and growing problem for us. Could we book a call to learn more about how you can potentially help us?

During the call, could you be sure to cover how you would:

1.      Land us. We really want to be landed, and landed right.

2.      Expand us. Even before we buy anything, we hope you’re thinking about how to expand us and get more wallet share from us. Will this be part of onboarding and our Quarterly Business Reviews if we sign on with you?

3.      Renew us. Should we budget for 10 years of renewals with a generous uplift every year, or what do you recommend?

4.      Get us to advocate for you.  As you can imagine, learning how we can advocate for you is one of our biggest questions as we tackle our large X problem internally.”

Curious prospect.”

So back to our original question: How often do B2B SaaS and marketing teams get inbound inquiries like this?

Um. Never.

That just isn’t how customers talk.

And yet we regularly see SaaS companies using these terms to describe the stages of their customer journey. Not just internally, not just on investor calls, but all the time. With customers. In customer facing collateral.

This is a good news, bad news kind of story.

The good news is they’re thinking about the customer journey, and about moving their customers forward.

Customer journey mapping, when done well and used as a springboard for action, is proven to help companies increase revenue, reduce costs, and increase both the customer and employee experience.

Research from the Aberdeen group shows “companies that have a formal program to map and manage customer journeys enjoy superior sales, marketing, and service effectiveness. Specifically, they increase incremental revenue associated with marketing campaigns by 24.9% year-over-year, reduce service costs by 21.2%, and shrink the average sales cycle by 16.8%.”

The bad news is using “Land and Expand” wording in your customer journey signals to customers that you care more about growing your own business than guiding them to value as they define it. Essentially your customer journey stages are vendor-centric not customer-centric.

Here are three easy hacks to ensure your customer journey stages are customer-centric:

1.  Do a first pass using words you think your customers use.

2.  Go out and ask them, “Is this what you call the stages of your journey with us?”

3.  Update accordingly. Then use these words both internally and externally when talking about the customer journey.

By doing this, you show prospects from day one that you speak their language, and that you’re focused on guiding them to value on their terms. It also gets employees in the mindset of delivering value to customers on their terms. If you do this (and ok – a few other things), your own revenue expansion and customer advocacy will follow.

Some examples from SaaS companies I’ve had the privilege of working with, to help them map their customer journeys, starting with customer-centric stages:

Consider > Try > Commit > Share

Become Aware > Select > Onboard > Use > Expand Value

Identify a Need > Evaluate Solutions > Purchase > Implement > Use

Identify Business Needs > Evaluate Options > Select Vendor > Implement > Demonstrate Value > Enhance

For more info, check out these resources:
  1. Aberdeen Group – Customer Journey Mapping: Lead the Way to Advocacy
  2. McKinsey Article – From Touchpoints to Journeys: Seeing the World As Customers Do
About SaaSCan

SaaSCan for Scaleups helps scaling North American SaaS companies increase revenue and improve the customer & employee experience through scaling Customer Success, and Customer Journey Mapping.


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