Experience Center Hype: More Than a Hype

Wessel Berkman

It sounds ideal: a place where you can show your customers what you have to offer as an organization. Complete solutions in the most comprehensive form possible, presented in the most inspiring way – as part of the ultimate customer journey. So-called experience centers provide such a place, but how do you organize them?

Experience centers exist in various forms, ranging from inspirational places where you can find answers to your questions, to a real SalesART Experience Center where you are fully guided towards the best ‘total solution’. This blog focuses on the latter.

What is the point of such an Experience Center? A visit to an Experience Center is a structural part of the sales process these days. The biggest advantages are a significantly higher conversion rate and more cross and upselling.

Everything revolves around creating the ultimate experience. This is, of course, a well-known concept in today’s business environment, but execution is often lacking. We see a lot of well-meant but incoherent marketing efforts that completely miss their target. Very rarely is a customer in an experience center really challenged and assisted in the overall process of finding his or her dream solution.

Ideally, an experience center is part of the commercial chain, aimed at making a significant difference with the best total solution for the customer and presented in the most inspiring, energetic and efficient way possible. Imagine the commercial results if this “new school” commercial process for expensive or complex products or services were to run as follows:

Prior to the physical encounter in the SalesART Experience Center
The modern sales manager first maps out all the decision-makers and influencers who work at his top customer’s company. He also makes a thorough analysis with Social Listening software and connects with relevant customer contacts on LinkedIn and Facebook. All involved people receive individual, provocative and specially-tailored killer content. They are asked questions such as: “What would this mean for your organization? How will you become the Coolblue in your industry? What would your organization look like with this dream solution? And what would that mean for you?”

After a digital one-on-one chat with the various decision-makers and influencers, an invitation is sent to attend an inspiring afternoon in the uniqe SalesART Experience Center, a place the customer has already heard (and read) avid stories about on several media outlets.

Prior to the event, the modern sales manager has a conversation with a few decision-makers and influencers, and he brainstorms with his colleagues on the program. In preparation for the experience, all participants receive an e-mail with a few challenging questions, along with a story relevant to the participant. Think of questions such as: “What would a transition to the total dream solution for the customer do for your organization, your department, and yourself?”

During the session in the SalesART Experience Center
On arrival, potential customers are greeted with welcome signs that put smiles on their faces. The doormat welcomes them as well and the hostess offers them the best coffee and tea that is available in the region.

The inspiration session starts with a short introductory film about the world surrounding the theme that is discussed. It outlines the history and latest developments. Then a door opens in the video screen and the group walks into an impressive pink room. A beamer projects the world surrounding the customer onto the walls, and in the middle of the room is a table with an iPad. The participants sit down at the table.

In the session individual input is collected in steps, projected onto the ceiling and discussed.  This input is needed to create group insights on the “agenda and dream solution” of each individual participant. A common understanding is created and the elements together form a picture of the total dream solution that meets everyone’s needs.

Another essential part of the inspiration session is discussing the intended results of the dream solution. Also discussed is what is needed for the transition route to this total dream solution and – not unimportant – what stands in the way of reaching the desired results. This input makes up the directions toward a comprehensive solution.

As a last feature, every participant is asked to what extent the dream solution is aligned with the corporate ambitions. Commitment is also requested. This is a test to find out whether everyone is on board with the customer dream solution. These results are then processed on the iPad.

At the end of the session, a push of the button projects the results of the session onto the side wall of the inspiration room. All custom content is printed on an A3 poster, which is stuck on a foam board and each participant receives a copy to present to his/her team. The poster can be hung in a nice place in the participant’s office. This turns all the participants into sellers.

The day concludes with an evaluation round, during which the pros and cons of the inspiration afternoon are discussed. As the organizer of the event, you also ask the following question: Which organization would you recommend this experience to?

Each participant receives, by mail, a picture of his/her group in a frame. An appointment is immediately made with the client to plan the ultimate dream customer solution path and to sign the contract.

After visiting the SalesART Experience Center
The customer is offered the SalesArt Experience Center experience twice a year – each time with a different theme – with the aim of increasing the organization’s sales and margin by least 10 to 15 percent. This is a new form of account management for top relations, in addition to the new and challenging content they receive weekly, specifically aimed at their latent needs.

This new way of commerce requires a new business blueprint for many organizations, including a new commercial process, with social selling as a starting point, an optimally adapted SalesART Experience Center, a new way of team coaching and sales professionals with a completely different mindset, one that fits modern commercial dynamics.

The results of working with this commercial blueprint: a 20 percent lower sales effort through social selling, smart preparation with the SalesART Experience Center and four times the conversion rate with smart succession. Customers will remain loyal longer, buy more and bring new clients with them. Who wouldn’t want that?
Want to learn more about building a modern sales machine and what a modern commercial blueprint including a SalesART Experience Center should look like? Read the book ‘The Commercial Revolution’; embark on an inspiration session with your team and challenge yourself and your team to make the difference with your organization.

Go to: http://www.decommercielerevolutie.nl

Do you want to learn more about what a modern sales machine and commercial blueprint should look like? Take the test, book an inspiration session and challenge your team to find ways to make a difference with your organization.

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