Overheard at INBOUND18

Kirstyn Macartney on September 14, 2018

Last week, the SPLICE Marketing team headed to INBOUND 2018 in Boston, MA. It was four days of inspiration, with a world-class line-up of speakers and educational breakout sessions led by innovative, industry-leading marketing and sales professionals. Hosted by HubSpot, INBOUND celebrates the human, helpful side of business. And celebrate we did, along with 22,000 attendees and speakers including Deepak Chopra, Beth Comstock, Shonda Rhimes, Esther Perel, Lena Waithe, Scott Harrison, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie—even A-Rod!

On day 2, we were treated to perhaps the most impactful keynote of the conference, led by HubSpot’s own Co-Founders: CEO, Brian Halligan, and CTO, Dharmesh Shah. The focus was simple. It’s 2018—where do we go from here?

The biggest shift—not only in jargon, but in mindset—is from the traditional sales funnel we all know and love, to… the Flywheel. Yes, a Flywheel. Picture a mechanical device, a spinning wheel, that rotates on an axis. It stores energy, which can be increased or decreased depending on how fast it spins. Flywheels are remarkable at storing and releasing energy, and their rotation can be stopped entirely by friction. My first thought was, what’s wrong with the funnel? Not wanting to fix what isn’t broken, I met the idea with resistance, at first.

I soon learned the problem is innate in the design of the funnel. The momentum of the funnel leads prospects downward, landing at the bottom as a customer. But once deemed a customer, the momentum stops. As HubSpot says, “funnels produce customers, but don’t consider how customers can help you grow”. Enter the Flywheel!


How the Flywheel Killed HubSpot's Funnel, HubSpot, 2018 How the Flywheel Killed HubSpot's Funnel, HubSpot, 2018


This model allows you to preserve the momentum built while nurturing a new customer and use it to continue your growth trajectory even after the deal has closed. The three spokes of the Flywheel are simple: attract, engage, and delight. Attract is all about providing—and proving—your value before you extract it. Engage is ensuring ease for your prospects. This could mean making it easy to buy from you, or learning what causes friction in their own operations. Flywheels are halted by friction and fuelled by delight. Delight happens when you make a customer’s success your success. In a world where self-conducted research is prevalent, and with the internet being the greatest source of company information (for better or for worse), word-of-mouth inspired by delight has never been more important. As HubSpot says, “potential buyers care less about what you have to say about yourself, and more than ever about what your customers have to say about you”.

Delight is energy for the Flywheel! Creating delight calls for a renewed focus on customer onboarding, marketing, education and advocacy; simply put, creating real value for your customers and their business. This means understanding and reducing their friction-causing pain points. This also means looking at your own business model to find the friction points you may be inflicting on them. Friction is typically a symptom of a lack of clear, actionable communication. Timeliness is of the essence—you must help people connect now (when they need you), instead of later. Also, providing readily available, easily digestible education on not just what you offer but peripheral topics as well, shows you’re aligned with what matters to them.

Once I grasped what the Flywheel can do for customer attraction, retention, and loyalty, I was sold. It also aligns with an analogy we use at SPLICE. We refer to friction points as “clogs” in a communication pipeline. (This is different from a funnel, just stay with me...) Think of a water pipe in your home. A clog forms and unless remedied, it builds and builds, blocking the flow of water and creating problems at both the input and output points. Our mission is to eliminate the clogs in our clients’ communication pipelines and allow vital information to flow—creating delight for their customers as a result.

Want to create a Flywheel for your organization? Click here to get started! To learn more about how SPLICE can help you remove friction in your pipeline and improve your customer experience, contact us today at 1-855-777-5423 or splicesoftware.com/contact.