Welcome back! Reflecting on Sales Tips For Every Customer Lifecycle Stage – Part I, we explored the first two stages within the B2B customer lifecycle journey: Attract and Convert. Let’s recap: we live in an age where we expect content to be relevant and personalized to us. For instance, first time buyers will need basic product information, whereas loyal customers may desire information regarding club member benefits.
It’s a matter of “imagining if” you were a first time customer or “imagining if” you’ve been a customer for five years. What relevant information would you like to hear from a company at these different buying points? In the second and final post of this two-part blog series, we are going to focus on the last three stages of the customer lifecycle: Onboard, Expand, and Appreciate.
Goal – You want them to experience your differential and feel like they are glad they chose your solution. It’s 6-7x more costly to attract a new customer than it is to retain an existing customer, and it all starts with onboarding.
- Don’t stop communicating. This stage is crucial to make a great first impression.
- Don’t ignore the unengaged. Retention starts the first day a customer comes on board. If they are unengaged in the first 30 days of doing business with you, they could be at risk in the future.
- Do make it simple. A good way to streamline the onboarding process is with automation. Provide triggered alerts for both positive and negative behaviors. For example, we have a technology client and their big KPI is for clients to log into the portal at least 4 times in the first 30 days. So, they trigger alerts to customer service reps if someone has not logged into the portal in their first 7 days. If it gets to 21 days, the alert gets escalated to a manager.
- Do provide engagement channels chock full of instruction, how to and product information. Videos and webinars are great tools for this stage.
Goal – There are certain customers that will be positioned for an upsell or a cross-sell. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%.
- Don’t keep calling the same customers. Defy the 80/20 rule by connecting with those customers that are in the bottom half of purchasing.
- Do identify complimentary products. One of our clients distributes all types of office products. They send an automated email when someone orders boxes to immediately ask if they need tape.
- Do use new products as a communication opportunity. Inform all customers in this stage of a new product then watch their engagement activity and alert sales. If a customer clicks through on an email, downloads a product brochure, and likes a post on Facebook about the new product, they are raising their hand with interest.
Goal – You want to take care of these clients in a special way. This should be high touch communication.
- Don’t assume they are done buying.
- Don’t assume they aren’t looking at your competition. Look for drops in engagement.
- Do delight and surprise. Send a box of chocolates out on your customer’s business anniversary. If you are using an automation system, this could be automated, but looks highly personal from the sales rep.
- Do consider the power of a phone call. One of our customers has the president of the company place a phone call once a year to anyone in the Appreciate Stage.
- Do setup forums on social media or events for your best customers to interact and share best practices.
- Do create a loyalty program.
- Do ask for their opinions through surveys/focus groups.
- Do ask for referrals and for them to complete online reviews.
There you have it, an in depth exploration of how to personally communicate within each stage of the customer journey. Whether you are using a marketing automation solution or managing the Customer Lifecycle journey manually, remember to find relevancy simply by asking your team to “imagine if.”