All of us sales professionals know that it’s cheaper to keep a customer than to pursue a new one. But a factor that very few managers take into account is the importance that the first approaches have in customer loyalty.
Building rapport is essential to making a sale, but it’s not the only essential factor in closing a new deal. A lead can buy something out of desperation because they are in dire need. It is at this moment that the sales team usually makes decisions that negatively impact customer loyalty.
But how does this happen? On the blog, we like to talk all the time that the sale has to be based on a win-win relationship. There are countless harms that occur in the medium and long term for the company that sold a product/service and gave the customer the wrong image.
If he sees that he was cheated in some way or is paying more than the normal price, the tendency is for him to leave the customer base at some point, impacting churn. This is the time when the famous “404 error” usually happens in the head of the commercial manager since this KPI belongs to the Customer Success team. How does he charge the team knowing it’s not necessarily his fault?
Just analyzing these points, you can see how well-done prospecting impacts customer loyalty, right?
Customer loyalty: role of Outbound Marketing in strategy
Trust is something that is built in the long term, but the famous phrase, the first impression is the one that stays, counts, and a lot for sales. So there’s nothing better for the prospecting team to show the lead that they know who they’re talking to. Building rapport from the first moment helps to shorten the sales cycle and helps to obtain important information for the continuation of the sales process.
But where to get the most assertive information?
First contact – Importance of LinkedIn
Nowadays there are several social networks. We have Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Linkedin. However, when it comes to the business world, LinkedIn is the best source of information. While in others, it is more to find personal positions of the lead, it is in the professional network that he will place everything he considers relevant in his career. And at the end of the day, you don’t want to punctuate the downside of your lead‘s character, do you? So ignore the bad information and focus only on the ones relevant to your work.
So, why not use Linkedin at the time of prospecting to collect personal and professional information to insert in your email or call? As Outbound is often confused with telemarketing, the prospector will notice the difference between a personalized and a standard contact.
While the standard can be confused with spam and telemarketing, the personalized conveys the image that the company that is selling knows about the buyer’s needs and doesn’t just want to push a product. This is the first step in customer loyalty. Create value from the first conversation and not pass the image of the classic seller.
FUP (Follow Up)
Another important factor in generating lead value is customizing follow-up contacts. For him, it’s very annoying to keep receiving emails and calls just reminding him to resume a contact. Just think: do you like receiving calls and emails that just remind you of your obligations? Adding value at this time is always interesting for the Outbound team.
Instead of sending an empty FUP, without any customization, it is always interesting to add an article or information that generates value for the lead. This way he will see that the intent of the Outbound team is in fact to solve the problem he has, since, in theory, a “free consultancy” is being offered instead of a billing service.
Commission on customer loyalty
Two things that don’t usually go hand in hand are seller and company incentives. Typically, the first is only concerned with hitting your individual goals, while the second has a broader scope of goals to be achieved.
The seller tends not to worry about churn, since in the traditional model, he doesn’t suffer any sanction if the closed deal comes out in the short term. However, if the entire sales team has the departure of customers linked to its commissioning model, the incentives change. Everyone will only want to look for customers who will stay in the base for a long time.
Thus, two points that used to be separated start to coexist. The salesperson starts to walk side by side with the company’s strategy and both start to benefit from this relationship. In short: the seller is no longer a virus that just sucks the company, without generating value in the long run.
Keep in touch with deals that haven’t closed
Many sellers who do not have a long-term vision tend to let deals that did not close cool down. Since they get paid on commission, why contact someone who won’t buy the product you were offered?
First, no salesperson can achieve good results without good networking. There are always bad times and it is essential to have someone who trusts his work to the point of referring potential buyers.
Also, because the lead didn’t buy today, it won’t be able to buy tomorrow. Sometimes the Outbound team just arrived at the wrong time. He could have been focused on some other, more pressing issue, or that year he didn’t have a budget. It’s worth keeping in touch because at some point, if the team has prospected the right persona, it will buy.
Customer loyalty is not just the work of the relationship team
Many companies make the mistake of tying churn only to the relationship team (or customer success), while it should be a KPI for the entire sales team. Customer loyalty is a point where there must be full integration between prospecting and retention strategies.
If the Outbound team is not aligning with the relationship, the company will be the biggest loser, which will see revenue leave at the same speed as it is entering.
And your company, how has customer loyalty been working? If you are having trouble retaining your customers, you can count on our consulting team to help you!