Businesses of all types and sizes, should look at adding value to their existing customers for growth opportunities. The statistical evidence shows acquiring new customers takes 6-10 times more effort and cost than to grow revenues from existing customers. For some traditional marketers this is counter-intuitive because classical training is all about winning new customers. We beg to differ.
Surprisingly (or perhaps not so), many businesses perform below par in “minding & mining” their existing customers. As we enter the post COVID-19 era many businesses will have growth challenges. By directing their resources to existing customers may be a better strategy as opposed to going after new customer acquisitions.
What are the different opportunities available for adding value to your customers?
1. Cross-sell and Up-sell
2. Promote and solicit business from new business units
3. Introduce new products/solutions
I believe, business owners can and must do a far better job to discover new opportunities to grow revenues within their existing customer base. Here are a few practical steps to assist you on that journey adding value to existing customers.
Not all accounts are equal
Your sales team can identify the customers based on the current ‘run-rate’, opportunities pipeline (or potential), depth of relationship (vendor status), growth projections of accounts and more. Data required for such an exercise is largely available with vendors already, they just have to analyse this data to assign “weightage” to each account and allocate resources to grow accordingly.
Align to Long-term strategy of your accounts
The business will have a working relationship and operational view of the customer, however, most sales people do NOT invest in understanding their customer’s long-term business strategy and initiatives aligned to the strategy in the short to mid-term.
A vendor may already have some form of this information in their internal systems gathered through interactions and communication with different customer stakeholders. Additionally, they can look at other sources to gather this information. A boutique consulting firm can help you with “account intelligence.”
Elevate your relationship status with existing accounts
Armed with the “account intelligence”, the business can align to long-term strategy while proposing specific solutions/services addressing the immediate revenue initiatives. This is very different to reactive/opportunistic approach where the vendor already has presence.
In my view, this is a great opportunity to reach out and engage with your customers senior leadership and the different business line heads to proactively initiate a conversation in a consultative mode and ultimately seek opportunities to elevate your current vendor status to the next level. For more details on vendor relationship levels, please click here.
Know “thy” customer’s key decision-makers
As is the case with any buying decision, no single person makes these decisions. Typically, there are 4-6 decision makers for major buying decisions. How well does vendor know such key stake-holders? Does the vendor know the titles/roles, the influence they have and their own motivations? Does the vendor has existing relationships with any of them, if no, how can they build these relationships?
Clearly, the vendor needs to do their home-work, one of the key things to do is to align yourself to each stake-holders KPIs/KRAs as much as possible.
Analyze, measure and improve your account specific strategy
Cross-collaboration between the account team with internal sales and marketing is essential since these teams may have been part of winning the account in the first place. The continuity ensures the cross proliferation of knowledge and insights for effective strategy. Review your progress periodically so you identify the key learnings, accommodate new data points and course-correct as may be required. This will also ensure a coherent approach internally to align with the buying process and stake-holders expectations.
Because your proposals for new opportunities must capture the journey made so far you need to understand the impact created. Focus, preferably in numbers, re-usable assets deployed to save time, effort & cost, C-SAT score if available, what steps you have taken to commit to the long-term relationship with the customer.
So doing all of the above and more is not easy, takes significant effort, time and resources. This process is critical to your revenue goals and will increase the odds of success generating greater life-time value customers. After all, driving growth from existing accounts is significantly lower in terms of time and cost than to acquire new customers. For more great ideas for adding value to your existing customers check us out at WINSights. Our collaboration team at Lindfield Partners has also developed a customer methodology that drives great customer experiences for their clients. Together we offer a one stop shop to drive your revenue growth and customer experiences.