No one likes to be forgotten.
While landing a new customer is cause for a bunch of “boo yaa’s!” and chest bumps all around the sales team, it’s the steady, repeat customers that build your bottom line and thereby give you the opportunity to land that new business in the first place. Forget about the customers maintaining your bottom line, and you can forget about being in the black.
@@How do you keep existing customers engaged while keeping your best reps focused on new wins?@@
There are more than a few marketing programs and technological tricks you should have up your sleeve: marketing automation systems to monitor and respond to customer behavior, regular communications, rewards and incentives programs for repeat business and referrals, and quote management software to automate renewals.
Automating the relationship, in general
While our focus at IQX is on automating the sales proposal process as part of your customer acquisition strategy, we like to stay looped on other ways in which our customers and communities are driving new business.
For example, if you’re not already using marketing automation tools to nurture new business, it’s time to start. (Seriously: right now. Bookmark this post and go check out Marketo, HubSpot, Pardot, or any of the other players in the space. We’ll be here when you get back.)
You can automatically send communications based on a customer’s website behavior, ping a rep to make a call when a customer reads your newsletter, and so much more.
So what does this have to do with quote management software? Everything. Think of CPQ software as marketing automation for the most critical step of the customer relationship — when both parties are determining if there will even BE a relationship.
Properly configured CPQ software enables the same kind of engagement tactics: automated replies, pings to reps based on specific quote stages, and other features to ensure a quote continues to move smoothly through the system, and that a prospect feels engaged. And it gets even better after they become a customer.
Automating renewals, specifically
Very few people are in a one-time sale business. Most everyone is about recurring revenue. In the B2C world, this means subscriptions, and try and think of any service you use regularly that is NOT a subscription or membership model: our gyms, our streaming services, even our grocery and clothing needs can be set-up as recurring sales.
In the B2B space, recurring sales or renewals typically means new contracts, and new contracts means new sales quotes. Granted, you don’t need to pull out all the stops when creating a quote for an existing customer (unless you’re upselling them — and you should always be upselling), but you will often need to update pricing, extend services, etc.
Your quote management software can help by automatically generating and sending a proposal when the time comes. And even if your CPQ solution of choice doesn’t have this exact capacity, it should have the previous quote stored, which means all your rep basically has to do is click “Send.”
Always keep in mind that the key to both winning new business and retaining existing business is engagement. And while your prospects will often need a deep dive into the value of doing business with you (which, ideally, is reflected in your sales proposal), your existing customers typically only need a reminder, so don’t forget.
If you'd like to learn more about this topic or see IQX for yourself with a free demo, contact us.