Did you know that a 5% increase in customer retention can more than double your revenue? When embarking on a B2B sales strategy, it’s easy to forget the unsung hero of profitability – your existing customer pool. While your current customers have already endorsed your product or service, they have a choice of competitors at their fingertips. With job titles such as Customer Success Manager and Account Manager taking centre stage, Doqaru Co-Founder Sarah Downs explores how your customer-facing team is the key to a successful retention strategy.
Why does customer retention matter?
Say it after me, ‘my customers have a choice’. Often the last to be nurtured but the first to flee when undervalued, your existing customers hold the key to unlocking sustained success. We all have a choice: which supermarket we use, the phone contract provider we select or the bank that looks after our finances. But why do we go to Tesco every time we run out of milk or renew our data package with Vodaphone when our contract is out of date? It’s likely because you’ve had a positive customer experience driven by a successful customer retention strategy.
Simply put, customer retention is your business’s ability to keep and engage existing customers while generating additional revenue. Those who have already signed on the dotted line can quickly become an afterthought in the excitement of attracting new business. Of course, aligning your B2B sales strategy to obtaining new custom is essential for overall growth. But it’s easy to forget that cross-selling to your existing customer base is not only more straightforward but presents an opportunity to add real value and build lifelong relationships. After all, no business owner wants to face an influx of rejections when contract renewal dates come around.
So, how can you nurture customer retention? Two key business functions can set you up for success:
Often mistaken for the same role under a different guise, Account Management and Customer Success Management offer distinct value in unique ways.
Account Management is about managing and growing existing accounts. Responsible for cross-selling, upselling and renewals, an Account Manager works closely with the sales team to maximise success and revenue. They play a key role in account renewal and take a hands-on, practical approach to customer retention.
Customer Success Management could be described as the intangible (but extremely impactful) way that a business ensures its product or service enables a customer’s desires. Working across key departments such as marketing and sales, a Customer Success Manager could be deemed the ‘secret weapon’ to customer retention. They make sure customer challenges turn into actionable outcomes and are present throughout the entire customer lifecycle. Their overall goal is to build long-lasting relationships that translate into loyalty and ensure the customer’s voice is heard (and listened to) cross-departmentally.
Importantly, the departments and job roles responsible for retention will shift depending on the size of your company and industry. In smaller businesses, your Sales Manager will likely don many hats, including that of Account Manager and Customer Success Manager. In contrast, large-scale organisations often have entire departments dedicated to these functions. Small business owners can find themselves under pressure to hire into these roles, but that’s not necessarily what you need – it’s all about ensuring your team is dedicated to understanding your customers inside out. An enabling CRM can help you to achieve this.
Why are these roles important for customer retention?
Customers want to be heard and valued. Businesses want to increase turnover and maximise their impact. Account Management plays a key role in ensuring cross-selling to enhance revenue, whereas Customer Success Management builds genuine connections with those customers, so they keep coming back for more.
What steps can you take to ensure your customers continue to sign on the dotted line in the years ahead?
- Really get to know your customers. Understand what makes them tick and their perception of value and embed this into your customer journey.
- Add continuous value. Don’t disappear if a project is closed out – whether utilising email marketing tactics, offering thought-provoking content or picking up the phone, ensure you’re front and centre of their mind.
- Make the time. Customer Success Management and Account Management can often be an afterthought in the bustle of getting the job done. Build processes into your B2B sales strategy implementation to ensure this never falls by the wayside.
Inevitably, it all comes down to good customer service, and by ensuring a customer-centric experience at each business touch point, you’ll be well on your way to retention success.
Click the button below to get in touch with us to find out how Doqaru can help integrate customer retention into your B2B sales strategy. We’d be delighted to have a chat!