26 January 2022
In the B2B world, customers are more than just the initial sale. The relationship will be long-term and rely on ongoing customer engagement and support. Strong ties with your existing customers will strengthen your sales pipeline by providing upsell and referral opportunities.
The acquisition life cycle takes a view of the customer relationship, from sales through retention. Companies’ mistake is to focus only on generating leads and closing deals. Instead, you should evaluate and understand your customers’ experience throughout the relationship.
Some of the common objections during the sales process apply to the entire customer life cycle. By identifying and addressing these challenges, you can better adapt and bolster your success both with leads and customer retention.
The acquisition life cycle: from sales to support
Your company should focus on the cohesion between marketing/sales and support when looking at the customer acquisition life cycle. A disconnect between the two can hurt your overall retention. By providing a feedback loop for the teams, you can better understand the customer’s perspective.
Throughout the acquisition life cycle, focus on the customer’s needs and pain points, and address them. By keeping profiles on the customers throughout the life cycle, you can understand and revisit these concerns. This will lead to improved customer happiness.
The acquisition life cycle can be broken down into several key areas.
Customers need to be aware of your company and what you offer. As you look at how to create brand identity, focus not only on sales but also on your ongoing support. Both leads and customers should understand how you are positioned in the industry.
You should have efforts to educate your leads and customers about your expertise. Your customers should look to your company for guidance and as an authority on solutions.
Listen to both leads and customers and ensure you understand their pain points. You can then better show them how you are the right solution to their problems.
Of course, sales’ goal is to get the prospect to buy, but conversion applies to existing customers. The continuing relationship with your customers can involve upselling opportunities. This strengthens the connection and turns your customers into advocates.
Ongoing support for your customers will do two things. First, it will improve your overall customer retention, which will protect your revenue from that customer. Second, you will be able to rely on strong referrals during your sales process.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Are their needs continuing to be met by your product? Do they have a positive experience dealing with your customer service team?
Challenges faced during the acquisition life cycle
You will always face push-back, whether from your leads during the sales process or from your customers. Your teams should be armed with ways to overcome these challenges. When you overcome objections, you will better position your company as the right partner for your lead/customer.
Your most successful customer relationships will be with those whose needs you can best address. You should know your best existing customers’ profile, whether by location, company size, financial information, or other factors.
Using what you know about your best existing customers, you can analyze the marketplace to find the leads that make the most sense for your sales funnel.
Spending time with leads that are not a good fit will result in fewer closes and time and energy wasted. Your efforts will yield better results by first analyzing available data about potential leads.
Customers will have objections throughout the customer acquisition lifecycle. Whether during the sales process or later as a customer, you will hear push back such as “too expensive” or “not the right time” to take a closer look at your solution.
By asking questions to better understand the objections, you can determine how to proceed. It may be that you need to target a different resource within the company.
By looking at company executive profiles and roles within an organization, you can make better decisions about how to proceed. If you are prepared with this information, you can approach these decision-makers with the right responses to their objections.
It can be easy for a lead to say, “just send me more information,” and then never respond. Your customers may make an initial purchase, but then you hear from them very little and wonder about their overall adoption of your solution.
In both cases, careful marketing can increase the lead/customer’s awareness. Your sales and marketing teams should be in close contact with your communications and coordination of your email campaigns and messaging. By streamlining this process, you’ll optimize activities and gain efficiency.
Always make sure that you are targeting the right resources within the organization. Lack of engagement could also result from not reaching the right decision-makers or power users.
Above all, you need to establish your value with your leads and customers. Whatever the cost, you need to show that your product offers value for the price.
You can rely on data, company info, and key insights to know that you are building on your value proposition and can bring a prospect to a close.
Focus on benefits rather than features. If you focus too much on features, the response will always be, “but you don’t have x feature.” The overall benefit of whatever you do offer should offset any features you don’t yet.
Assessing the challenges during the acquisition life cycle
Part of your ability to overcome your leads and customers’ objections will depend on your assessment of these four challenges. That includes identifying your target market and positioning your brand as the right solution.
By qualifying your leads, you can better ensure that you find the right prospects. It does not serve your sales or customer service/support departments to pursue leads that are not a good fit. They are less likely to remain satisfied throughout the acquisition life cycle.
Kompass’s EasyBusiness solution offers an advanced tool to target and generate leads. By compiling data from over 60 million companies worldwide, you can identify the right leads by company size, geographical location, and more. Decision-maker profiles will help you engage with the right people within the company.
Talk to our team today and learn more about how EasyBusiness can fuel your sales and marketing process.