In our previous post we discussed the evolution of traditional technology providers into solution companies and the further shift to cloud/SaaS models. This change has massively affected companies’ go-to-market and emphasized the need for continual customer engagement. Sales cycles are becoming 12-month loops versus 3-4 year renewals.
The move to an always-on selling model creates great opportunity for disruptive competitors with innovative offerings to upset embedded vendors. The buying window has shrunk and there is a constant evaluation for new solutions that solve unmet customer needs. Vendors not adapting to these changes will see shrinking revenues and customer attrition.
Assuming you’re making this transition, how can you ensure continual advantage in this new reality?
Technology and solution advances are often the focus for companies to respond to customer needs. However, sales and marketing motions needs to be aligned to new customer realities. It no longer matters if your solution is leading in the category if you are not constantly listening and reacting to customer insights and driving that message into the marketplace.
Leading companies are aligning their sales and marketing motions to an always-on dialog based on customer needs.
Lead nurturing, enabled by marketing automation, customer triggers and responsive campaigns has begun to enter its maturity phase for customer acquisition. However, customer nurturing is an area still up for competitive advantage. This is especially true for companies wanting to create a dialog with their customers to ensure relevance throughout the entire customer lifecycle while ensuring long-term customer relationships, engagement, recommendation and value realization.
Leveraging customer data and insights in an ongoing way helps to proactively address customer issues before they’re issues and ensure you have the ability to drive the right perceptions to your customers at all times.
Here are three ways to leverage customer data and insights for always-on revenue programs:
1. Product/Solution Launches – Keep your customer in-the-know about changes and value you’re adding to products and solutions they are using.
2. Cross-sell/Up-sell – Leverage customer data to provide them recommendations for enhancing their experience with your product/solutions that provide them more value and create a deeper tie with your offering.
3. Lapsed/Win-Back – Look for relationship triggers proactively that can signal customer attrition and develop distinct programs to prevent and engage customer before they attrite