Move from Market Grab to Market Grow—5 Ways that Work
Sales organizations used to be all about ‘market grab’ or rather, get as much market share and as many customers as you can. With Cloud sales, the game has changed. Real growth comes when you place more attention on building recurring revenue and recognizing a customer’s value that comes from the revenue it generates over its lifetime.
But Cloud customers are hard to keep. There are less barriers to switching, and continuous competitive pressure erodes your hard fought customer base. Your challenge will be to expand the revenue value of a customer and decrease customer flight. Here are five ways that work:
1. Adopt Inside Out Sales
If this year finds you relying solely on a field sales model to sell Cloud solutions, you are losing to the competition. By the time your rep arrives at the customer’s office, it’s too late. Your prospects have already clicked to try a different solution and moved on.
Implementing an Inside Out approach works for Cloud sales. It is cost effective, time efficient and produces results. Alan Chi of the Alexander Group said in a recent blog that successful Cloud companies deploy inside roles first and only when absolutely necessary do they deploy field sales roles. “Smart Cloud companies are pairing and flanking field sales with inside roles including lead gen, inside sales engineers (to run online demos), inside product specialists, and customer success and retention roles. Keeping as many of these roles inside helps drive a consistent sales process, rep accountability, and of course, helps manage costs,” says Chi.
2. Provide Technical Expertise Pre- and Post-Sale
Keep a technology expert close at hand and easily accessible to clients at every phase of the sales process. Product specialists shorten the sales cycle by answering questions and removing blocks to decision making. These technical experts need to know how to enable the sale before and after the initial close. Cross train your tech team and sales team to ensure they both know how to address issues that may prevent a customer from successfully implementing and using your solution.
If a team member cannot answer a question or solve a problem in the moment, it raises the risk of customer churn. Giving customers easy access to tech experts, it boosts the odds they will keep using your solution and maybe uncover new ways to use it. This drives utilization, consumption, and retention.
3. Foster Advocates
When a user is satisfied and tells another, it speeds adoption across an organization. Provide responsive customer support to create positive customer reactions that gets your story shared. Internal advocates are more trusted by their peers and they become your strongest sales force. Try to uncover who your advocates are and nurture them. Listen to them. Value their opinions.
4. Gather Insights
Don’t be the last to know. Make sure your sales process includes listening to what your customers are saying. Provide convenient feedback links for your users. Monitor and respond to social channel conversations, send short surveys, track feature utilization to see if your customers are getting the most from a solution, provide customer support chat capabilities, and review the documents regularly to track satisfaction and uncover new feature opportunities.
5. Learn from your Losses
Understand why you lose a customer. Train your sales teams to ask why a prospect went with another provider. Listen and learn so you can turn around the results going forward.
To ensure success in the fast pace world of Cloud solutions, make sure your sales organization is delivering ongoing value from within each individual customer base. Market Grow is the definitely the way to go for Cloud sales success.