Written by Rob Malec
The other day, I asked a business owner, “How many existing customers are in your database?”
Their answer was 2500.
“Other than your top 25 customers, how often do you touch base with the rest?”
Their answer? “We haven’t touched base with them in years”.
When it comes to easy money from sales, there is no mythical pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It is an actual pot of gold and it is sitting inside of your existing customer base in the form of uncovered and unaddressed pain points and needs.
Mining Your Existing Customer Database is the Key to Easy Money
Some business owners get so focused on bringing on new customers (which is expensive and slow) that they forget to mine their current customer database for new revenue (much cheaper and faster).
The Customer Success function of today is the Account Management function of yesteryear. Where the two differ is that the Customer Success function exists not only to maintain current customers and keep them happy but also to serve a purposeful revenue generation function.
Account Management used to involve a few dedicated staff focused on handling inbound customer service requests. Every now and then a customer would call with a burning need and something additional would get sold to them, but otherwise it was a reactive job role.
True Customer Success involves several core proactive process components that, when followed, transform your department from a headcount expense into a profit centre. Here are 5 important strategies to make easy sales…
Get the Right People in the Right Seats on the Bus
The best candidate for a Customer Success Representative is a person who both loves to serve clients and is comfortable with making outbound calls to current customers. The purpose of these calls is to ensure that customers are happy and probe for new sales opportunities.
A person who is only comfortable fielding inbound calls and loses sleep at the thought of having to make outbound calls will not be successful as a Customer Success Representative. Assess the competencies of your team and ensure that your Customer Success Representatives are fit for their roles. If you find gaps, reshuffle your team or bring on staff as necessary to ensure this function is filled.
Make it Clear to the Customer Success Team Where the Bus is Going, and Where it’s Not
The job role of the Customer Success Representative is to a) handle inbound customer requests and resolve any service concerns and, b) systematically reach out to existing customers to determine their satisfaction level and whether they have unmet pain points or needs that the company can address.
When unmet pain points and/or needs are identified, this opportunity is then handed back to the sales team to lead the customer through the sales process and close the business. The role of the Customer Success Representative is only to identify sales opportunities and then hand them off to sales, not to conduct a sales process and close the deal themselves.
Provide Your People With a Roadmap to Get to Where You Need Them to Go
The process flow for your Customer Success function is not complex. The best systems are simple, making them easy to follow and get the results you want. The process flow can be as simple as this:
- Segment your current customer base by size or strategic importance into the categories of A, B, C, and D. Decide on the frequency with which each category of customer will be contacted.
- Prepare a list of questions aimed at understanding the customers’ current level of satisfaction with your company and then uncover any unmet pain points and needs they are interested to have addressed by your company.
- Use your CRM to schedule and track the outcomes of these conversations. Set up a simple process by which any sales opportunities identified can be seamlessly handed over to the sales department.
Track the Journey and Measure Progress
Set up KPIs to track all Customer Success meetings conducted and the outcomes. The no-brainers to begin with are Net Promoter Scores (NPS), new sales opportunities uncovered, and revenue closed. Depending on your specific goals, you may want to track additional KPIs to see how your team is doing.
Provide Your Team With the Tools They Need for Success
Your Customer Success team will need a CRM to remind them when to reach out to existing customers and capture notes on those interactions. They may need a project management application to help them track any problem-resolution projects that arise out of these calls. You will also need a mechanism to capture NPS scores and a dashboard to share the results among stakeholders.
With these steps in mind, there is some nuance to setting up a productive Customer Success function so you can ensure you don’t miss out on easy money. If you’d like to learn more about how to do this in your business, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected].