Building Customer Relationships with Customer Data

Effective communication with recurring customers presents several opportunities for evolving a business model thanks to the current advancements in technology. From Social Media platforms to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, data accessibility has become incredibly easy for organizations reviewing past performance to improve interactions and reduce churn within current customer lists. As technology improves market accessibility, organizations continue to adapt their model to stay ahead of competitors while considering how they can further improve the lives of customers through product and/or service offerings. Customer data creates synergy between a brand and the target user when a company can interpret the data and develop algorithmic models for testing and improving relationships.

When a potential buyer contacts an organization by subscribing to a newsletter, filling out a contact form or through other various actions, the interest generated in the product or service has already been established.  Understanding each activity as raw data will allow for the organization in question to create a meaningful experience for a new buyer. As processes are refined, stakeholders can present solutions based on similar actions, personas, and other information customers presented before making a purchasing decision.  Collecting data from pre-established customers allows for marketers and sales professionals to optimize their funnels as new users intercept a brand’s messaging.  Segmenting the data from lost-closed deals and won-closed deals will ensure the most effective content, communication channels and strategies are continuously adapted and implemented.

Surveying new users against recurring customers

Further analyzing previous strategies creates a basic guideline for content refinement and development. As new users become engaged, more data is collected. Collect all customer data in order to identify new trends, areas of improvement or growth.  If your organization has multiple revenue streams, it is important to assess what is most profitable and what is producing waste to eliminate or improve upon areas of the existing infrastructure.  Go beyond the data that is automatically collected and create variables in the way you survey customers – understand what they want, need, and how to expand the relationship.  Creating associative data and translating this into a conversation will ultimately improve customer engagement and streamline internal operations.

Building personalization into your business model

Personalization is the new black in today’s marketing and business development processes.  If users feel that an organization took the time out to differentiate them from a number within a CRM system, they are more than likely to continue engagement.  Personalization does not have to be a manual process, advanced tagging, field customization, artificial intelligence tools like Chatbots and other machine learning make it possible to have advanced computer-generated interactions with users while building the system for the buyer – no matter how much technology is integrated into the process.  A buyer is not just building rapport with a singular individual, they are building rapport with an entire culture.  The right tools and technologies will prepare any executive, marketer or sales personnel for interactions with quick access to historical data on a specific customer.

Don’t Walk Your Buyer’s Journey Alone

If you only focus on closing, you are not adding value. Focusing on a niche has produced the most value over the last few years due to market thorough buyer segmentation practices. When businesses focus on what they genuinely care about, it becomes easier to reach your audience. Take the buyer’s journey beginning with drafting buyer personas and refocus to add value. Always.

As humans, we all don’t like the same things, so try to find those who like what your product or service offers, have a need for it, even if they don’t know it. Create useful buyer personas and don’t walk the buyer’s journey alone Take the walk with the buyer, engage in a meaningful relationship and discover what they need in order to deliver value.

If you can’t give them what they need, it’s okay to send them on their way. At the end of the day, you want to focus on building a long-term business relationship. Not on closing a one time deal that will leave you and the other person feeling no different or possibly even worse.

You know how people say there isn’t a handbook to parenting? Well, actually, there are thousands of parenting handbooks. With marketing and sales, the same is true and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Gather the information most relevant to your organization and find the best way to engage your audience in a meaningful manner. 

Targeting the right market requires meticulous planning and an in-depth understanding of your business model.  Begin looking into how you differentiate from your potential and current competitors and conduct a survey on the market.  You want to narrow down the audience you can provide the most value to, instead of attracting waste within your lead management pipeline.  Quality over quantity is an easy concept to discuss, however, it may prove difficult to implement when you don’t have a basic understanding of your targeted buyer personas.

Stop Using the Wide-Net Approach

Many sales professionals and marketers inundate themselves learning persuasive techniques for closing sales, without realizing the fundamental pre-sales activities for identifying and qualifying a target audience. Operating in a high-performance environment presents the misconception of casting a wide net for sales leads. The wide net approach, if not executed properly, will restrain performance, produce waste and complicate sales data. Unless a product accommodates the needs of the general consumer populace, like toilet paper or soap it is more useful to target before prospecting. Facilitating a high-quality sales process begins with creating an ideal target profile and performing within a collaborative discovery process.

Research

Quality research reduces waste, builds contexts, and enforces pre-discovery knowledge which may include a prospect’s organizational pain points. For organizations just starting out, the investigation begins with defining individual brand attributes and then developing buyer personas. Success criteria for a successful research campaign include:

  • Three to Five Target Buyer Personas
  • Customized prospecting campaigns
  • Clear & concise messaging across all marketing channels
  • Develop market-wide engagement beyond the user
  • Identification of Renewing Sales Opportunities

Research is ongoing and contributes to the continuous improvement and efficacy of sales processes and campaigns. It is a necessary step to establishing a quality database of suspects to convert to prospects and then customers. If you have a SWOT or PEST analysis, use that as a starting point. If not, create one or both to understand where you can begin to develop relevant targets.  Once you find the ideal buyers, take them through your process with a focus on education and discovery. Educate them on your offering while displaying genuine curiosity into their problems and how you can prescribe a solution to help them.

Education & Discovery

So you’ve succeeded at scheduling a meeting with a potential buyer – so what is next? It’s important to continue the conversation while building rapport and understanding who they are to you and your organization’s bottom line. Discovery is integral to providing an enjoyable experience for both you and your buyer. If you are selling an individual on consultative design, instead only hearing the client’s needs once, it’s essential to listen with a purpose at all touch points and revise the approach throughout this phase.  As discovery takes place, the sales professional will benefit most while listening with the aim to qualify additional needs and educate the client as the relationship develops on the importance of the service provided as it pertains to the challenges faced before and during the engagement. Ask plenty of questions and don’t be afraid to not have all the answers, as this will help build an honest and transparent relationship to last and reduce overall churn within your sales and marketing pipeline.

Standing Behind a Valuable Offer

At the close of discovery, the sales analyst will gather information regarding the budget, timeline and project constraints. A structured presales process concentrated around co-creation and education communicates user’s uniqueness and reaffirms there aren’t one-size fits all approaches various user problems. In fact, it reinforces the value of the relationship, without having to directly sell the value.

Avoid demising the value of the offering by engaging in client projects that cannot achieve or surpass selected KPIs. If a salesperson cannot thoroughly communicate the value, it may be time to consider closing off the engagement instead of diminishing the value YOU create.

Effective sales focused on targeted buyer personas and a detailed discovery process, allows organizations to refine their approach in real time for quick testing, iteration, and improvement. Through this, an organization will reaffirm its position in the marketplace while becoming an advocate for its customers looking for solutions to increase their bottom line without diminishing the value of an offer.