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By Kamilla Heap


Why marketing should automate the customer journey 

What happens when a prospect becomes a customer? 

The reality for many marketing, and to some degree sales, departments is that there is a common tendency for the focus to diminish once a prospect has converted into a customer, which means the goal is achieved and there is no need to devote further consideration to it. The responsibility of managing the customer is handed over to client services,  and our attention shifts towards pursuing the next potential lead.   

Occasionally, there’s a handover between sales and client services, but it’s usually never anywhere near as detailed as the handover between marketing and sales. OR as efficient. In many cases, client services work in completely different systems to marketing and sales, resulting in a lack of background information about the customer. In such scenarios, client services must check multiple systems and piece together fragments of information to gather background on why the client has come their way in the first place. Sure, client services in some organisations work in the CRM system, and therefore have access to information about the customer, but as there’s no proper handover, they may not know where to find the relevant information.  

As a result, they’re not able to address issues in a timely manner, they struggle to keep track of contract renewals and expiry… and ultimately find it difficult to provide effective customer service. You, like many, may wonder why this matters. Ultimately, we’re in the business of lead generation, right? Get those leads in, nurture them, or ideally skip the nurture phase, and pass them straight to sales, before moving on to the next lead. Let me give you three reasons why this matters: 

  1. Existing customers have a close rate of up to 70%. In comparison, new business, or new leads, have a close rate of between 5 and 20%.  
  1. It costs up to 7 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. 
  1. Existing customers are 50% more likely to explore new products and spend 31% more than new customers. 

For these, and other reasons, Meta Karagianni at Forrester has listed customer health as her number one prediction for B2B marketing in 2023. She urges CMOs to enhance their understanding of customers, align targeting efforts and adapt programs to support post-sale objectives. 

Where does MOps fit in?

Now, the question arises, What can marketing operations (MOps) do to assist the business in providing better customer care? Just like we empower sales, we need to also empower client services. There are two key ways we can accomplish this – the first one is alignment. 

I often say MOps are the inbetweeners – we bridge the gap between web and marketing, as well as between marketing and sales. We often also get involved in wider business projects or areas like, for example, data – platforms, management, integrations – as these are closely linked to marketing and contribute to our overall effectiveness. 

Similarly, we need to serve as intermediaries for sales and client services. Let’s be honest, sales are unlikely to naturally bridge that gap, and other support functions like IT may not be equipped to do so either. By embracing our role as the ‘inbetweeners’ marketing and sales communicate, or we’re at least getting better at it. We talk about what a good lead looks like, we talk about what a bad lead looks like, we argue over whose fault it is that leads are bad – it’s obviously always sales’ fault…  

We also ensure sales has as much information as possible available to them so they can be insightful with their conversations, approach prospects at the right moment e and spend more time working the most valuable and pressing leads   However, when is comes to client services, this aspect is often neglected, leaving the client success manager to figure out on their own. Of course, some information may be available – contract start and end date, contract value, point of contact… But sometimes that’s it. 

To address this, we need to facilitate alignment between sales and client services, and sometimes also IT, so that client services have access to the necessary systems and training to be able to find the information they need to engage in informed conversations, join the discussion at the appropriate time, and dedicate more attention to the most urgent clients.  

Furthermore, it is vital to maintain ongoing communication. It’s difficult for departments to stay aligned if they stop communicating. To address and resolve issues effectively, everyone needs to know about them.  

The second thing we can do to empower client services is automate. In my upcoming article, I will delve into this topic further, discussing some concrete examples of client journey programs and how MOps and automation together can enhance client services’ effectiveness. 


By focusing on both alignment and automation, we can enable client services to provide exceptional support and enhance their ability to deliver outstanding experiences to clients.