Start with trust with existing customers to boost sales. Reach out consciously.
“It costs less to retain a customer than to acquire a new one.” No doubt you’ve heard this advice time and time again. Therefore, the cost of adding to an existing account is less than the cost of signing a new account.
Whether it’s upselling, cross-selling, or extending a client’s current solution, building a deeper, broader relationship with a client can increase profitability at the client level without the overhead of new client acquisition and onboarding.
Plus, you’re already starting where your current customers trust. They have chosen to work with you and are counting on you to provide solutions to their problems. You have inside information in identifying services that can deliver desired business outcomes.
5 simple pieces
Grow together. Strengthen your client’s business with strategic advice while growing and strengthening your MSP. It’s a win-win. Here are five easy ways to get started:
1. Communicate consistently. When you’re trying to win customers over, you’ll be giving them a lot of attention over phone calls, emails, and even dinners. Do you continue those interactions once they sell the customer? If not, you should. Managing customer communications with the same enthusiasm and consistency that you do in the sales process can spark discussions about business needs. Ongoing dialogue leads to more sales and service opportunities.
Email, text, social media, web meetings and virtual events can be part of your proactive communications plan to share information with customers about technology trends, innovative solutions, additional features, special offers and more. Consider automating communication via email and text so that it happens on a regular basis.
Proactive communication is even more important if you provide managed services that keep client systems running smoothly, because they can’t “see” what you’re doing for them. Automatically report and schedule routine inspections. Hold a quarterly business review (QBR) to remind your clients of your value and uncover new pain points or goals.
2. Motivate your sales team. If you want your sales force to focus on growing the business with your customer base, you must not only communicate this, but also motivate them to do so through incentives. To encourage sales reps to increase share of wallet with existing customers, consider bonuses for SPIFF (a sales performance incentive fund) or revenue milestones for individual sales.
In addition to performance incentives, consider rewarding communication behaviors. For example, instruct your account managers to ask clients:
- their challenges in serving customers;
- Feedback on services provided; and
- Where will they see their company in three to five years.
In each case, these questions open up conversations with customers that lead to upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
3. Train your technicians to spot opportunities. Your ability to up-sell and cross-sell new services to existing customers is directly impacted by the quality of after-sales support. Train technicians to play their part in building these relationships and grow revenue over time.
Train your technicians to spot opportunities when they’re helping customers onsite or remotely. For example, they might discover possibilities for platform integration, compliance assistance, or improved data security.
4. Turn customers into advocates. An overlooked way to increase average revenue per account (ARPA) is to ask existing customers to refer new customers and Then Attribute referral revenue to their lifetime value. Remember, referrals measure a customer’s value to your business.
Turning your best customers into advocates will not only help you keep your brand new pipeline full, it will strengthen those relationships as well. By bringing customers into your inner circle and sharing updates on your industry and product roadmap, they are more likely to engage in discussions about how you can help them meet their own business needs.
5. Make add-ons easy. Let your customers easily upgrade service plans or add related services online. Self-service is increasingly popular with many customers, especially millennial and Gen Z buyers, who are more likely to research products and try them out on their own before buying without even talking to your sales team. Don’t put up a roadblock by forcing them to talk to a sales rep if you can easily upgrade online.
the bottom line
Growing revenue from existing customers may require less investment than attracting new ones, but it won’t happen on a large scale, mindlessly. Invest as much time and effort into cultivating your base as you do finding new clients. Otherwise, you’re just leaving money on the table while the door is wide open to aggressive competitors.
Shannon Murphy is Zomentum, an intelligent revenue platform designed to help partners discover, sell and manage services. With over 15 years of technology marketing experience, Murphy focuses on the end-user perspective to develop campaigns, strategies and sales methods that convert opportunities and increase revenue.you can follow her LinkedIn or @zomentum on twitter.