Why customer retention matters for B2B firms
Many B2B firms may have discovered their best customers are ones who are already familiar with the business. Encouraging repeat purchases from existing clients is one of the best ways to grow revenue, but some firms may be too focused on acquiring new customers. This can be detrimental because it costs five times as much to attract a new client than it does to retain an existing one, according to data from HubSpot. In addition, 20 percent of sales may come from returning clients and satisfied customers are more likely to recommend your business to others. Because of this, it’s crucial that your sales representatives nurture the relationship with clients even after the sale.
The process of turning a lead into a paying client is a long and arduous one. You don’t want to discard all this effort immediately after your sales team wins the deal. B2B firms have their hands full with Internet lead generation, nurturing prospects through the revenue funnel, pitching to potential customers and closing deals. Depending on the solution you offer, your company may need to provide support during the implementation process. This can build up certain customer expectations for the communication they will receive from your brand. They may be disappointed if they can’t access the same assistance as they did during the sales negotiations.
Customer satisfaction serves more than one purpose
For B2B firms that offer software as a service platforms, customer churn can be particularly harmful because clients often have an ongoing subscription and this subtracts revenue from the bottom line, Derek Skaletsky wrote for Business 2 Community. Clients may be more likely to cancel when their expectations aren’t met. In addition, these cancellations can impact your ability to attract new business because unhappy customers may be inclined to share their experience with other colleagues, making these individuals less likely to consider your brand in the future.
Negative publicity can really harm small B2B firms that cater to a niche market because they have a very limited target audience to begin with. The sales cycle is also longer, meaning your reps may spend years working toward the sale. Consumer brands have a larger target audience, but many place greater focus on customer retention.
Why is customer loyalty more difficult in the B2B sector?
Retention is easier said than done. There are several obstacles to building long-term loyalty, HubSpot stated. There is a much longer sales cycle, which makes it crucial not to lose out on opportunities. One of the reasons customers take longer to buy is because of the higher price points of B2B solutions.
There is another unforeseen complication of a longer sales cycle. Sales reps often form the foundation of a client’s relationship with a company. Because this process can take years, organizations may experience some natural turnover from their sales staff. If customers are used to working with one salesperson, it can be difficult for a new rep to take over. This especially true when the employees who leave used to serve as brand advocates.
While this is already challenging for B2B marketers, you need to speak to the organization as a whole. A B2B solution is probably used by multiple stakeholders within a company, so it’s important to present a cohesive approach to encourage loyalty and retention.
Don’t ignore previous clients
Communication shouldn’t stop at the end of the implementation process. If you want to nurture relationships and encourage clients to repeat their business in the future, you need to initiate conversations with them. After the sale, reps can send customers relevant industry news. This can keep your brand top of mind, which is particularly important when the time comes to purchase an upgrade. Personalization based on interests clients have expressed is essential to create engaging messages.
An integrated marketing platform can help sales reps nurture existing clients after the sale. These solutions make it easier to gather and analyze customer data, allowing you to create relevant emails for individuals. This approach builds loyalty because clients will appreciate receiving content that is based on their interests. In addition, these platforms improve visibility into the buying cycle and customer behavior, which can make it easier to hand off an account to a new rep if an employee leaves the company.
With small, niche target audiences, existing customers are one of the most lucrative markets in the B2B sector. You don’t want to alienate these valuable prospects, especially because satisfied customers are one of the best sources of referrals for new business. Client recommendations can help you grow your customer base over time. Previous buyers should not be neglected in your B2B marketing strategy.