Many companies have come to realize that focusing solely on acquiring new customers is not enough to grow their business. Making that first sale but failing to follow up and build a relationship with existing customers can lead to their loss over time. And later you have to spend again to acquire new ones.
It's exciting to see a shift in thinking from this short-term approach to a more long-term one that prioritizes building relationships with existing customers to generate more business. However, it's important to note that this approach is not without its challenges.
Today's customers are getting fewer but larger, and interactions with them have become more complex.
And they do not appreciate salespeople. According to Gartner, customers are spending merely 17% of their time in direct interaction with their suppliers (both virtual and in-person). Nevertheless, there is value to be gained from these interactions, but those need to be tailored to a specific customer, their unique environment, and their specific situation/stage in the buying process. It's about understanding the customer and demonstrating interest in the customer.
The value that you can add to your customers isn’t just in your products, it’s in the way you work with them, it’s in the consultancy you give them, it’s in the way that you service them, and the way you support them.
Successful companies are now focusing on customers instead of leads. They have stopped doing marketing to fill the funnel and target the broad market segment. They are shifting their focus from quantity to quality, it’s about shifting the attention to
who on the customer side is participating in the buying process and understanding how, when, and where they are making their decisions.
implementation of a much more targeted approach, answering a variety of questions and interests and helping customers to the next stage in their buying journey.
building relationships, being present, and trying to develop a deeper understanding of the customer environment while providing value.
This approach may sound simple, but it can be challenging to execute effectively. Don't miss the target by thinking of only short-term sales - it’s about
the effort of different teams working together across the organization (sales, marketing customer success, product teams), all a part of the customer team.
partnering and aligning the marketing organization to sales and business go-to-market.
doing the homework – listening to customers and, insights are key - marketing needs to know as much about the customer as sales, to be recognized as a valued partner in play.
Ensuring that there is value in those interactions and that those are tailored to the person “on the other side of the table”.
Ultimately, it's about ensuring that the interactions you have with customers are valuable and tailored to the person you are talking to. Building customer relationships has the potential to double your growth, so don't underestimate its importance.