Leveraging Data and Customer Loyalty to Drive Sales
With customer-centric organisations leading the charge in many industries, Mike Lillis, Storm Technology’s CCO, shares some insight into the value of leveraging data and customer loyalty to drive sales.
In today’s competitive business environment, being able to harness your customer data to drive loyalty is a key contributor to successful business growth. With customer expectations continually rising, it is more important than ever to be able to deliver personalised experiences, driving loyalty by harnessing the data available to your company.
The importance of customer loyalty and retention is not to be underestimated. Driving sales through new leads should not be the sole focus of any business; one of the main objectives for many companies should be to improve customer retention. The Harvard Business Review cited that it can be 25 times more expensive to bring on any new customer than to keep an existing customer. Further, research by Bain & Company suggested that B2B organisations can see between a 25 – 95% profit increase when boosting their customer retention rate by just 5% meaning customer retention is just as important as acquiring new customers. Focusing on customer retention increases your customer lifetime value and helps build better relationships with your customers, building on their trust and loyalty in your business and business values. Retaining customers can also lead to referrals which 78% of B2B marketers suggest generates good or excellent leads (Forbes). Referrals are some of the more valuable leads a business can receive. Regardless of their sources, referred prospects are often already highly qualified and likely to have the same pain points as the referring contact, meaning your services are likely to be a good fit for them.
To focus on boosting customer loyalty and retention, start by analysing the data you have available. The data needed to support initiatives can often be in a customer relationship management (CRM) system. The second focus for boosting customer retention should be around delivering the best customer experience possible. Having dedicated and good account managers for your customers is what can help set you apart from your competition, ensuring customers can have a smooth and personalised buying journey. In turn, this allows customers to build a good relationship with your company which means that because your account manager knows their client and their business, and they will be more likely to take more opportunities with your company and even give referrals.
A well-maintained CRM system can give valuable insights into customer data to support account-based selling. Often used to support sales planning and forecasting, data on the CRM enables account managers to predict pre-sales effort required by pinpointing seasonal trends, upcoming renewals, and frameworks. However, CRM data allows for more insight beyond regular sales planning. Your data can also identify key clients and most-valuable customers for any loyalty initiatives, identify cross-sell and upsell opportunities for existing clients and assess how best to target your customer with market initiatives. However, many of the benefits and functions of a CRM system depends heavily on keeping the system up-to-date and having a structured approach to inputting data. Having a dedicated person such as a Sales Operations Lead who is responsible for the management of the CRM system ensures it is well maintained and that the data it contains supports sales where needed.
Overall, there is great value to harnessing your customer data and loyalty to drive sales, and you can often start with the data your organisation already has and managing it correctly to get valuable insights for the organisation. This, along with focusing on customer experience, can continue to set you apart from your competition.