The conversations we’re having around converting prospects into customers has to change.
If businesses are buying differently, then selling to them has to reflect that.
Behind every sales decision there’s an individual – or group of individuals – so even though it’s b2b you’re still selling to a person with a need.
Secondly, every prospect can become a customer and setting a finishing line creates a natural motivation to kettle them towards it. You risk what’s arguably the most important money maker for companies.
The customer’s ongoing experience and lifetime value.
Particularly when it comes to software-as-a-service or anything that’s built on a rolling subscription model.
Their expectations and the relationships you build during the sales process sets the stage for how they’ll engage with you as a customer.
You have to not only deliver the reality that you promised but remember that they are only ever a click away from your competition.
In a subscription economy your customer’s commitment to your service is only as secure as the superior experience they’re receiving.
Take Netflix, earlier this year they got the Twitterati going when they urged all their customers to watch Killing Eve and pointed them in the direction of their competitor, Hulu.
Was it a mistake, a pissed-off worker or a really smart move?
They’re putting the consumer’s interest above their own product and it’s working. Generosity, helpfulness and customer experience translates into increased market share.
Every prospect wants their own service
When you look at the likes of Amazon, Netflix and Spotify – it’s the consumer’s behaviour and engagements that shape what the product becomes for them.
These platforms are malleable to what the individual customer wants.
To know what they want, you need better tools and methods of collecting, storing and understanding the interests of those engaging with your service.
SaaS companies need to keep constant interest and satisfaction with the service, or they may go elsewhere.
It means you never really stop selling and that you’re always personalising your offering for the customer. Your customer’s needs will change and your service has to change with it.
Incentivise the sales experience
Sales is a performance-driven culture and I know the need for KPIs in it. I also know the importance of the phone and that good sales has always been about people.
Nothing has changed there, but how we generate leads, use marketing automation and work with our CRM has.
Our business relationships are managed in a strategic, technically-driven way from our CRMs. Or, they should be.
People have a bigger online footprint than ever before. There is more data on their buying habits, behaviour and selling criteria than ever before, you just need to find the tools to leverage that.
Marketing automation allows you to collate these expansive amounts of useful information and place it at the fingertips of your salesmen on the front line.
Your prospects are your customers and your customers will always be your prospects.