B2B Customer Retention – An Overlooked Opportunity
Over two-thirds of B2B customers are actively disengaged with the companies they purchase from – B2B Marketing
Life for sales and marketing teams is all about new business. It’s about generating leads and converting them to sales. Ultimately, getting the buyer’s signature on the dotted line is the objective. But what happens after this? What happens when a lead actually becomes a customer and you have to start fulfilling all the things you said you would? Based on the statistic above, it would seem that most businesses lose the enthusiasm towards leads as soon as they become customers. And as expected, the buyers become jaded and disconnected from the brand. If you’re wondering if this is really a big deal, just consider this…
A variety of industry sources say that it costs between 4 and 10 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. Additionally, it’s believed that a 5% increase in retention yields profits of at least 25%.
So yes, it is a big deal. And these aren’t the only benefits your organisation will be missing out on if you misjudge the ratio of acquisition to retention in your business. The fact is, in addition to bottom-line profits, increasing your focus on existing customers can present a variety of great opportunities…
Upsell and cross-sell
If you’ve done enough to convert a lead to a customer, then it’s safe to say that the buyer is impressed with your company and your brand – otherwise they wouldn’t have bought, right? So, given that they’ve purchased from you already, there’s a great opportunity to sell to them again. And this is where cross-sell and up-sell are worth their weight in gold. Use your catch-up opportunities with customers to not only build your relationship, but also suggest other products/service, or further investment in the ones they have. Not only will this help increase the ‘touch’ points with your buyers, it will also give you an opportunity to grow your revenue.
82% of users say they consider buying a product if someone in their social network has posted an endorsement [i]
In today’s modern world, peer-to-peer referrals are some of the most valuable marketing messages a business can have. Buyers are jaded and desensitised to traditional sales and marketing activity, but a recommendation from a friend can cut through all of this ‘noise’. But who are the people that are most likely to recommend your organisation to their colleagues? It is unlikely to be your recently converted buyers. Instead, it’s more likely to be your established customers that know first-hand how good your product/service and customer experience is – so it’s vitally important that you keep these people happy. Not only are they prime opportunities for upsell and cross-sell, but if you treat them right, they’ll do more to generate new business for your organisation than traditional marketing ever could.
Retaining your customers…
So, it’s clear that customer retention should be high on every company’s agenda, but what can you be doing to ensure your customers stay fully engaged with your brand? Well…
- Don’t rely on the initial targets and objectives you set with the customer in the first place. Once you have met their original requirements, move on and set new goals and KPIs. Doing this will show that you are able to support them as they continue to grow.
- During the lead nurturing process, you likely provided a wealth of guidance, advice, and support – and this shouldn’t change when they become a customer. So, continue to take a consultative approach and provide customers with relevant information and assistance throughout the lifetime of their relationship with your brand.
- As the expert in your field, you will likely have regular access to new industry learnings and insights. So, pass these on to your customers to show that you still care. Not only will this position you as a thought leader, it will also help educate your customers and make them more open to innovative ideas you may have further down the line.
To find out more about retaining your customers and the communication channels that can be used to continually strengthen your commercial relationships, speak to us today …