By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling® – The Sales Training Company
Revenue is the lifeblood of organizations. Sellers and vendors fight hard to expand their customer bases. During “honeymoon stages” while working with prospects, sellers and other client-facing staff have frequent and intense interactions with buyers.
After sales and implementations, things quiet down. Sellers pursue other opportunities. Customers can start to feel they’re being taken for granted. Any small problems that aren’t addressed chip away at customer satisfaction. SaaS vendors are especially vulnerable because customers can switch providers without the need to take book losses and experience major disruption.
There are compelling reasons to contact customers on a regular basis in more meaningful ways than merely “touching base.” CustomerCentric Selling® strongly recommends that buyers and sellers agree to Success Metrics that will be monitored on a quarterly basis.
One caution : Sellers should be careful to focus on areas their offerings can directly impact. For example, if working with a manufacturer, reduced downtime is a safer choice than increased revenue. Additional goods can be made if downtime is reduced, but this won’t result in higher revenue unless there is demand for the additional units. Baselines for metrics (where clients are without the seller’s offering) should be agreed to prior to implementation.
Significant advantages accrue to vendors that take this approach:
- Prior to making decisions, buyers will be more confident they won’t be “hit and run” victims.
- If results aren’t being achieved, problems are no more than 90 days old so that corrective action by both parties can be taken to get things back on track.
- By measuring results, sellers can use Success Stories to take prospects from latent to active need.
- When trying to facilitate cost vs. benefits for prospects, client results can help prospects estimate potential savings/improvement they can realize.
- When results are met or exceeded, there’s no better time to see if there are upsell or cross-sell opportunities.
Having raving fans saying wonderful things about companies, support and offerings are an asset. Beyond that, having Key Player titles articulate quantified improvements and value they’ve realized takes reference selling to another level. Identifying and monitoring Success Metrics should make a seller’s job easier.