Proto Partners
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Sales service experience - woo before wed

14th Sep 2020
Proto Partners
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How much do customers want from a sales service experience?

It’s easy for businesses to get out of sync with their customers. You’ve got sales targets and conversion funnels; customers have their own lives…

And as much as you want to call it a “relationship”, how much can you realistically invest in keeping close all the time? How much do customers want from the post-sale service experience? Isn’t it overkill if they’ve already signed up and they’re happy?

In particular, when they’ve only just signed-up, is there any return from engaging customers further?

At Proto, we think there is.

We’re finding a key point in the sales journey is when you can build in a series of cost-effective actions that deliver a foundation for many happy years together.

It’s like a honeymoon before the wedding.

How to create customer and business relationship alignment

Proto’s worked with several clients whose salespeople are highly-skilled at driving a prospect around objections, over queries and straight to the dotted line. However, post-signed cancellations are high.

The challenge is to clearly understand how your customers define the specific stages of their journey and to pinpoint when in time their stages start to differ from your definitions of each stage.

specific-stages-of-their-journey

One of our clients experienced a 50% increase in retained customers once they were able to identify the unsync in their process. Specifically:

  • their “customers” saw the true start of their purchasing journey as occurring after they’d signed up to our client’s contract
  • they saw the client’s sales journey as an information-gathering exercise, with a contract they could get out of when they found the right competitor deal
  • they signed up to our client in order to trial the full experience, but had no emotional investment in their choice; by contrast, the company they eventually chose was one they felt ‘fitted them’ better and ‘made them happier with their decision’

How to increase customers commitment to the sale

We found the cooling-off period was interpreted by the customer as a Hall Pass, a time when they were permitted to use their freedom from our client’s attention to look for a partner that might suit them better.

With some adjustments to the sales journey, we were able to re-sync the customer and business perceptions and encourage mutual commitment. Specifically:

Understanding this, our client’s goal shifted to increasing commitment before the mandated cooling-off period.

With some adjustments to the sales journey, we were able to re-sync the customer and business perceptions and encourage mutual commitment. Specifically:

  • customers were asked more questions to surface objections early
  • a simplified picture of the sales stages was shared early so that customers could ‘share the purchase intent’ with their salesperson
  • customers were qualified out earlier if they were genuinely not a good fit
  • the formal start of the relationship was moved, before the sign-up point, to include an emotional-embedding stage
  • to aid emotional embedding, honeymoon initiatives were introduced, to give a pre-taste of how good wedded bliss would be

It all seems really obvious: if you want a successful relationship, you need wooing before the wedding.

And whilst a purchase journey requires a stage for contractual obligations, misunderstanding the ‘human-centric’ is costly.

Moonlight and music make commercial sense.

 

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By Dkenny
21st Sep 2020 12:40

This is great. I find a huge gap in a lot of organizations between what they think the customer wants to achieve, and what the customer actually needs to make happen. The less experienced and more ‘hard driving’ the sales organization is, the bigger the gap. Sometimes a PDG mindset can make it worse. The customers are seen as an homogenous block, and obvious factors of individualization which could drive higher retention are completely overlooked, until churn explodes and growth stalls. At this point, recovery can be really difficult.

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