Delighting Your Customers
Part 2 of 2
Creating a More Customer-focused Sales Approach
Your customers pay your bills - without them, you wouldn’t have a job or a business - so it’s essential to give them the best experience possible; the best way to do this is to put a focus on becoming a customer-centric organisation.
In today’s article, we reveal the #1 metric you should keep in mind, and explore the crucial role that marketing and sales play in delighting your customers.
The #1 Metric Every Customer-centric Business Focuses On
A lot of companies measure their success based on how few bad reviews they get, rather than on how many good ones they receive. However, to truly delight customers, organisations should take the emphasis off of just minimising bad experiences, and instead focus on maximising outstanding customer experiences.
The #1 metric to keep in mind is LTV - the lifetime value of a customer. Delighted customers are much more likely to buy again and again which is exactly what businesses should strive for - it’s better, cheaper, and easier to retain customers than it is to acquire new customers.
Moving to this way of thinking and working requires a shift in the way different departments operate to make an overall more customer-centric company. Every department is important, and sales and marketing are where the customer experience begins, setting the tone for the rest of their journey.
Setting the Tone with Marketing
Marketing makes the first impression and sets prospects’ expectations so it’s crucial to get it right.
The aim of marketing is to pique interest, spread awareness and gain buy-in to make the sales team’s job of converting marketing leads to sales a lot easier. In a lot of cases, the best form of marketing is word-of-mouth so, whilst it is important to ‘wow’ the audience and create an enticing, exciting campaign, marketing needs to remain honest and not over-promise on the offering - it’s always better to underpromise and overdeliver to avoid disappointing the customer and damaging your brand image. However, aiming the right product to the right people should allow for total transparency in this area.
Once you have captured the interest of a prospect through exciting but genuine marketing, that’s when sales come in to close the deal.
Creating Lifelong Customers with Sales
Every customer needs to feel like they’re your only customer, meaning that you need to give them the best experience possible - starting with sales.
Talking to your sales team is the customer’s first true interaction with your business, and their experience with the sales process sets a benchmark for how they expect the rest of their journey to go.
- If the sales process is complicated and there are lots of issues right at the beginning, this will undoubtedly be off-putting for the customer and give the impression that the rest of their interactions with your business will be just as frustrating.
- On the contrary, if the sales process is smooth and the customer feels valued and supported, this creates a fantastic and lasting impression.
When looking to become more customer-centric, it’s important to be mindful of the terminology we use. For example, instead of ‘customer support team’, which suggests a focus on customers who are facing problems, using ‘customer success team’ suggests that they are there to ensure that customers have the best experience possible.
There is, however, a crucial, sometimes hard-to-swallow, discipline to delighting customers; you have to be able to say ‘no’ to customers that aren’t the right fit for your company and point them in a different direction. This not only helps you avoid negative feedback, refunds, and cancellations, it also creates a trust-worthy brand reputation and gives you a good, loyal client base that are likely to become repeat buyers. A bad apple really can spoil the cart.
Sales teams are the brand representatives for organisations, so ensuring that they are competent in their role, their values reflect those of your organisation, and the team is singing off the sale hymn sheet, is crucial.
So how do you make the switch from purely sales and revenue-focused to customer-centric?
How to Shift Your Sales Team to a More Customer-centric Way of Working
Putting a focus on delivering an outstanding customer experience is your chance to go the extra mile and outperform your competition.
One way of solidifying and improving the sales process is to implement a tried-and-tested framework which every sales rep of your organisation works to. This not only ensures a consistent message and experience is delivered to all customers, it also helps eliminate the risk of expert error.
- Expert error is where we do something so often that we perceive ourselves as experts, and can sometimes forget or overlook the basics resulting in a lower than anticipated outcome.
One example of a framework you could use is The 9 Box Sales Session (illustrated below)
Another, more long term and in-depth, way of helping your sales team become more customer-centric is through a professional training programme like our Sales Executive Apprenticeship.
This programme upholds all of the values of a customer-centric organisation and helps develop an outstanding sales team which delivers true value to customers, who are then more likely to buy again and again. Over the course of 18 months, the apprenticeship covers over 50 topics, including:
- Understanding what challenges customers face
- Handling customer objections
- Identifying customer preferences
- Managing customer concerns and enquiries
- Understanding how to build rapport
If this is something you’re interested in for yourself or your sales team, you can download our Sales Executive Apprenticeship brochure by clicking here, or request a call with one of our training experts here.
Until next time...