At the end of the day, sales are not just about generating revenue but also about growing your company. If you lose as many customers as you make sales in each cycle, you will stay stuck running in place.
Not only does retaining a customer equal growth, but loyal, long-term customers present plenty of opportunities to push additional sales. It also turns out that customer retention may even be more critical than new sales regarding your marketing and sales ROI.
Research suggests that increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits by 25%-95%. The success rate of selling to a customer you already have is also 60-70%, compared with 5-20% for a new customer.
If you’re reading this, you probably already know how vital sales intelligence is for pre-sales. However, did you also know it can help you with post-sales, especially customer retention?
This article will show you how to use sales intelligence to improve your post-sales.
Sales Intelligence 101.
First, some background.
Simply put, sales intelligence uses data, research, and analytics to improve sales. By collecting, consolidating, and analyzing data from a variety of sources, you can find new prospects and use the actionable insights to qualify them, nurture them, and close more deals.
Today, sales intelligence is most commonly talked about in the form of sales intelligence tools. These are software platforms that help salespeople gather, organize, store, and use data at scales that are impossible for humans alone to manage.
Typically, sales intelligence involves a massive database of individual leads or contacts. The most basic data stored are the client’s name and contact details. However, depending on the sophistication of the software, you may also collect other data points, such as buying preferences, behaviors, demographics, etc.
Account-based marketing (ABM) is an offshoot of sales intelligence focused on selling to B2B clients. In this case, you will have a profile per company that may have multiple contacts for the individual buying decision makers.
So, sales intelligence typically involves all of the following activities:
● Prospecting and lead generation
● Lead nurturing
● Data reporting and forecasting tools
● Contacting prospects using data
Sales intelligence is tightly interwoven with the rest of the pre-sales sales process. Sales intelligence data is used during all steps of the pipeline, including:
● Preparation for conducting a sale
● Approaching a customer
● Presenting products or demos
● Handling objections
● Following up
Typically, we don’t think much of sales intelligence past the point of closing a deal. However, that might be holding you back from achieving greater success in future sales.
What to Do Next
It’s a mistake to think the job is done once you close a sale. We all know that sales are hard work with unpredictable prospects of success. So, if you’ve done the hard part by closing your first deal with a new client, why not leverage your strong position to its full potential?
Not only is it easier to sell to an existing customer, but they offer more value throughout the relationship’s lifetime than a once-off sale.
Think about it, if you can resell a subscription purchase to a customer year-on-year, how much more value does that present than trying to push new sales and letting your existing customers fall through the cracks? And, think of the business impact if you factor in that selling to an existing customer costs 5 to 25 times less than to a new one.
Take a Relationship-led Approach
You can lay the groundwork for successful post-sales from the beginning of your sales pipeline. You should bake a relationship-led approach into your sales culture as well as the way in which you use sales intelligence.
This approach teaches sales reps to prioritize building a good relationship with a customer over anything else. Not only are you more likely to convert a prospect you have a good relationship with, but you’re also more likely to keep them.
Thank Your Client
A simple thank you goes a long way. It can be as simple as sending a “thank you for your order” email using a personalizable template. Or, it can be as committed as offering a free gift or service. The point is that it’s a poignant sign that you did not forget your customer as soon as they signed the dotted line and appreciate their business. It’s also a great way to break the ice and transition to continuing the dialogue post-sales.
Keep in Touch
You need to keep reaching out to your customer at critical moments. Constant communication ensures that you stay fresh in their minds and that you don’t miss out on key selling opportunities. For example, you can integrate sales intelligence with CRM or email marketing tools. You can then use this to schedule outreach emails at regular intervals as well as alert your customer of new products, services, features, or when they’re due for renewal.
But, good communication also goes both ways. Your customer should know that there is a two-way line and that they can also always reach out to you. This will allow you to preempt any doubts, issues, or concerns your customer might have at any early stage. This type of continuous communication is one of the benefits of offering post-sales support.
Conduct a Win/Loss Sales Success Analysis
It can be so easy to get wrapped up in the success of a sale that you can forget about the ones you’ve missed. Typically, you miss more sales than you make, which means this is a rare opportunity to reflect on what you did right and use that in your future sales. It can also help highlight exactly what went wrong in the lost sales.
BONUS TIP: Leverage Referrals
Regardless of what industry you’re in, word-of-mouth is one of your most potent sales tools. For example, in SaaS sales, referral sales typically have a 3-5x higher success rate than other customer acquisition channels. So, if you’re not leveraging your successful customer retention by trying to instigate referrals, you’re missing out on a lot of action.
Yes, sales intelligence is an essential part of running successful sales. However, a sale doesn’t end when a new customer makes their first purchase. With the correct perspective, this is only the start of your lucrative journey together. And, you can leverage the powers of sales intelligence to improve your chances of success during post-sales as well.