How the flywheel works:
If you look at your activities as a flywheel instead of a funnel, you make different decisions and will adjust the strategy. To show you what we mean, we will explain how the flywheel works.
As we mentioned above, the amount of energy or momentum your flywheel contains depends on three things:
- How fast you spin it
- How much friction there is
- How big it is
The most successful companies will adapt their business strategies to address all three aspects. The speed of your flywheel increases when you add power to areas that have the greatest impact – such as customer service. By focusing on how to make your customers successful, they are more likely to pass on their success to potential customers.
Don’t forget, every company is different. The way you design your flywheel depends on your business model. Find out which teams and departments in your company have the greatest impact on growth. You can personalise your flywheel by the use of insights.
Since you are applying force on the flywheel, you need to make sure nothing goes against it – that means removing the friction from your business strategy. You can reduce friction by looking at how your teams are structured, why customers move to a competitor, and where potential customers get stuck in the customer journey. Are your teams aligned or do they work in silos? Is your pricing simple or is it opaque? Can prospects get in touch with your company how, when and where they want or are they forced to follow your strict process?
The higher the speed and less friction, the more promoters of your business there will be. And all these promoters will contribute to one large flywheel.
Inbound marketing and the flywheel
You may wonder how the inbound method fits into this. Now with the flywheel, the inbound method has also been redesigned, which is now also a circle. It focuses on building a flywheel that attracts, engages and surprises – creating a business that puts customers first. By using the inbound method, you align all your teams in such a way that they can attract, involve (engage) and surprise (delight). You do this by applying more force, reducing friction on your flywheel and providing a great experience throughout the customer journey.
Companies that choose to use the flywheel model instead of the typical funnel, have a huge advantage because they are not alone in helping their business grow – their customers help them grow too.
This is an efficient way to get new customers.
The flywheel also helps eliminate friction and reduce careless handoffs between teams. In the funnel model, customers are often shifted from marketing to sales to customer service. This can lead to an unpleasant customer experience. But with the flywheel model, it’s up to every team across the company to attract, engage and delight customers. When all teams are aligned with the inbound methodology, you can provide a more holistic, enjoyable experience for everyone interacting with your business.
Why this is important for you
The flywheel model is a more comprehesive, unified way to represent the forces influencing the growth of your business.
The actions taken by each team in your company influence each other. Your marketing input affects how quickly prospects move through the sales process. The sales department influences how likely prospects are to become happy and successful customers. And, of course, the support and service activities will affect whether your customers become promoters – people who recommend you to their colleagues – or warn their networks to stay away.
Nowaday, 57 percent of the B2B purchase process will be completed before the buyers contact the supplier. And buyers don’t look to your company’s marketing materials to make that decision: third-party review sites, peer-to-peer recommendations, and word of mouth play a bigger role in purchase decisions than ever before. At the same time, the overall trust in companies is reducing: 81% of the buyers trust the recommendations of their family and friends more than the business advice of companies and 55% say, they have less confidence in the companies they buy from than before.
Conversations are taking place in more places, among more people, than ever before. The funnel was a good representation of how buyers used to orientate about products – they found (or received) marketing materials, they had to talk to sales to learn more, and then they became customers.
But that’s not how people make decisions nowadays. They ask their network for advice, they search for information about your company on social media and they read reviews.
The traditional funnel doesn’t take these factors into account. And because they are linear, funnels don’t reveal the momentum you build through a great product and an excellent customer experience, nor the obstruction you experience when your internal processes start to slow down the growth.
The flywheel is the mental model that brings these forces together. By removing friction from your internal processes (think of manually entering data), you can make the flywheel spin and grow faster. And more importantly, in combination with the inbound methodology, the flywheel reveals the importance of the customer experience. In the ‘delight’ phase, the ‘attract’ phase of the inbound methodology is driven, because the way you treat your customers influences what potential customers hear about you.
The flywheel is a more comprehensive overview of where your business is growing fastest and reveals your greatest opportunities.
Growth with the help of the flywheel
Today, the biggest threat to your business is not your competitor, but a bad customer experience.
That’s why businesses need to put their customers first and do more than just grow, they need to grow better. Growing better means realising that customers are people and not data in your database. So make sure you interact with them the way they want it and when they want it. You have to put your customers first and it is important that you appreciate the relationship. You grow better by adding power to the strengths of your organisation and removing friction from your organisation, especially the processes that can mean a negative experience for your customers.
Only if you invest in transparent and easily understandable (customer) processes that make a real contribution to the experience of your customers, you achieve growth and do not give competitors a chance.