Joseph Knecht, CEO of ProteusEngageserial entrepreneur, technologist, customer success and buyer advocate.
Many of us have spent our entire lives scaling our careers. We look at our conversion rate optimization strategy on a daily basis to see where we end up. From determining who our current customers are and who may be ending the business relationship to analyzing how the existing customer base can grow, it’s all connected in a cycle of three phases: Get, Keep and Grow.
Recently, I hosted a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) meeting with a unique group of professionals. We found that a CRO with a full preview of all revenue channels looks at the aggregate differently than the owners of the individual revenue streams. With a CRO managing the whole umbrella from marketing, sales and customer support, it makes sense why they choose to look at the lens from a big picture.
Now this can get tricky and time consuming, which is where the entire Get, Keep and Grow lifecycle comes into play to integrate and accelerate growth across all areas of the business. Let’s break down these sales phases and see how they can be maximized to create the most impact not only for you, but also for your customers.
Most companies, more importantly people in the CRO role, focus on new business development, the ‘Get’ stage of the life cycle. Why is this? For starters, they own the sales numbers, so it makes sense that they want to see the quarterly numbers continue to grow.
Getting long-term customers is the first step to managing numbers. Start generating interest and involving potential customers in conversations. Whether through a face-to-face coffee conversation or social media chat, focus on the channels your target audience resonates with the most. With how advanced technology is in today’s society, it should be used as an advantage to keep everyday needs moving rather than slowing down the process.
2. Where Income Is Earned
Your time is precious, and that’s where “Keep” comes into play. This part of the cycle is all about keeping your customers engaged as you deliberately spent time attracting them to the deal in the first place. You create customer success with a sustainable approach. Maybe you host a holiday event, post weekly tips on social media, or send monthly emails with bundle deals. Whatever it is, implement tactics that appeal to your existing customer base.
3. Your Biggest Opportunity
The biggest revenue opportunity is in the third phase, ‘Growth’. This can look like an upsell, a cross-sell, a new service offering or managed services. The key is to expand the customer relationship, because that’s where up to 80% of your sales are generated.
The Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) has already been realized and the margins are considerably larger. Easy said; these customers are already paying fans with more potential to be maximized. Many organizations create manual action plans because they know their customer best. In other words, learning how to sell more products at current base is key to scaling overall sales. Why? It creates more engagement, and more engagement equals greater opportunities.
Your sales environment
There are endless ways to monetize and build customer relationships, so it’s time to narrow it down a bit. Regardless of which stage(s) your organization, sales process, or sales acquisition technology focuses on, it all boils down to a team selling environment and consensus buying. Collaborate and engage with your team to maximize every opportunity. Match ideas, share feedback, and ask detailed questions, such as:
• Are we easy to work with all the time?
• Is there a frictionless experience in our buyer journey?
• How can the transition from sales, onboarding and customer success to the account growth team be seamless?
Remember to ask yourself the same questions a few weeks later to make sure your progress is still aligned with your overall team goals.
The big picture
Looking at the big picture can help you stay focused and prioritize what matters most to achieve your goals. The momentum built from Get, Keep and eventually Grow is significant and requires a concentrated philosophy and strategy around the buyer experience. The most important thing to remember on the go is to stay organized. You need to provide customers with a seamless experience at every stage of the cycle for a lasting customer relationship.
No stage should be siled, meaning it will run on a different technology system than other stages, fragmenting the entire buyer experience. This type of fragmented system can look like a baseball game where your team is the pitcher and the batter is your potential buyer. In one inning, the pitcher throws a baseball to the batter using a bat. The next, a soccer ball is thrown at a batter with a spatula and the next, a beach ball to a batter who is given a toothpick. The batter (your buyer) considers this experience inconsistent, leading him to do business elsewhere. And why wouldn’t they, if the processing is disorganized and unpredictable?
How your company is represented speaks volumes, and word travel. This is a team sport between your sales, customer success and account growth teams. When a new pitcher comes in for an inning, they should play the same game and throw the same ball – they just throw another pitch to the batter. Each team needs specific elements to perform its specific functions, while sharing the common view that getting a new customer is not always a win. The growth comes from selling more to your current customer base. It is much cheaper to sell additional products to existing customers than to acquire new ones.
It’s the first inning in the game of baseball to keep and grow those customers. Remember this: seamless communication from start to finish is needed to nurture relationships, deliver value and sustain customers on a long-term basis.