Thinking About People Before Revenue Could Actually Drive Revenue
Once upon a time, the success of your sales department was determined by internal metrics like how many emails they sent out, and customer service success was gauged on how quickly they got clients off the phone. But early pioneers in the account based approach are showing quality truly does trump quality — and that holds true across all channels throughout the entirety of the journey from buyer to customer and, ideally, on to "repeat buyer" status.
That means your sales department should now, more than ever, be fully invested in guaranteeing each prospect a positive customer experience. Here's why:
Prospects Expect It
With today's high-tech tools and the constant, intense flow of data, personalized communication is the new normal. In a world where Amazon tells you when it's time to reorder shampoo and Netflix can predict which shows you'll enjoy watching, your buyers and customers now expect every interaction to be customized to suit not just their current needs, but also your past communications. And that, in turn, means that every department must be tuned in to the account for the entirety of its journey. Sales teams have access to plenty of data about companies — and they should supplement that information in their early conversations with their prospects. This allows them to tailor future communication to fit each company’s and buyer’s unique needs — providing the high-touch experience today’s customers expect.
It Helps You Stand Out From the Noise
We all want to stand out from the crowd, but remember that the shotgun approach rarely works. "It's tougher than ever before for reps to stand out from all the noise," writes Groove CEO Chris Rothstein. "Sales folks need to continually find ways to up their game. That doesn't mean blasting out more emails and making more calls (no one wins with that approach)."
But when you take a strategic approach — prioritizing sustained, meaningful attention to the client's needs throughout the life of the relationship, even after the sale — it instantly sets you apart from the noise of an increasingly crowded, competitive field, and allows you to go deeper with the relationship.
Deep Relationships Power Your Sales
Ultimately, that willingness for deep, insightful attention to your client's needs is what drives account based sales — an approach that Rothstein has likened to fishing with a spear instead of a net. And when you show your prospects that you understand the root of their needs, even after they've bought, you create lifetime customers that buy over and over again, and are more than happy to give you personal referrals to their own clients and associates.
Customer Experience Increases Lifetime Value
Are you still on the fence about whether the customer experience really matters to your sales team? Consider this: Accenture Strategy's 2016 report, "Digital Disconnect in Customer Engagement," which was based on responses from almost 25,000 customers across 11 industries around the world, revealed that poor customer service drove 52 percent of customers to change service providers within the last year — and 68 percent of them won't go back.
The estimated cost of this "switching economy" is $1.6 trillion in the United States alone — or, to put it another way, that's $1.6 trillion in easy sales opportunities for companies that offer quality customer service. So being tied into the heart of that service — and then delivering what you promise — is one of your biggest selling points for converting prospects from other companies.
On the other hand, if you make promises that your customer success department can't handle, you're liable to lose out on sales — and credibility. According to a 2013 report from Accenture, one of the chief frustrations cited by customers was that companies promised one thing but delivered another. If you don't have consistent communication — and mutual investment — between the sales and customer success channels in your company, you're practically inviting customers to spend their money elsewhere.
And finally, good customer service is a powerful tool for upselling your existing customers. In a Temkin Group survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers, they found that customers who had a very good service experience were 54 percent more likely to be repeat consumers — and they're also five times as likely to recommend the company to others.
Have you found interesting ways to delight your customers throughout their journey? We’d love to hear your ideas!