A good business is a ‘Repeat-Sales’ Business for many reasons. It is more secure, direct sales cost is marginal compared to acquiring a new customer, it’s a sign of customer confidence, it helps with better forecasting of your business and so on. Cutting across all of the above-said benefits, the biggest benefit of Repeat sales is that an organization has to transform itself to become great in the eyes of the customer. In other words, repeat-sales is the end result, but the excellence it demands can move your company from ‘Good to Great’.
Every organization has to have Repeat-Sales and Renewals at the heart of its business model. This is one lever which gives sustainability to the organization and set grounds for its future scalability. Here are 10 Must-Haves you need to have for Repeat Sales:
Must-Have #1: Continued Customer Engagement
What?– A customer does not want to be a transaction. He wants to be an asset. An asset needs maintenance to be productive. If the customer is a car, you need to understand its user manual. Regular engagement with a customer is a must. Every engagement does not have to be a sales transaction, and that is where the core mindset change needs to be done. A salesperson who wants to sell in every meeting is not a good choice for customer engagement. A customer does not want to be sold, he wants to be helped.
There is a need to set-up minimum benchmarks for contacts and relationship visits to existing customers. Over and above that, you need to train your staff on how to manage these relationship visits. Visits are not the only way to engage your customers. You can set-up Email and SMS communications on sharing the latest updates on your products and offerings. You can also send the latest developments in the sector your customer is operating in so that he understands that you understand his-her business.
Must-Have #2: Post-Sales Customer Experience
What?- Nothing can match our brand & trust-building with the customer than the experience a customer has post-sales. Here are some of the elements, which can turn a customer experience from ‘Good’ to ‘World-Class’.
- A salesperson should stay in touch with the customer and be a single point of contact (if possible) until the order is fulfilled.
- Customer Satisfaction feedback on post-sales delivery.
- Post Fulfilment follow-up on customer satisfaction on the product.
An enterprise needs to be as focused on building the post-sales processes as they do in Pre-Sales. So upgrade CRM systems to track till order fulfillment and customer feedback.
Make post fulfillment feedback by the customer as part of the sales and delivery team’s performance.
Must-Have #3: Perfecting your timing
What?– Getting repeat-sales needs you to understand customer buying patterns. In the case of Annual/Periodic renewals of policies, contracts, subscriptions- it is relatively easy. Therefore, you have to understand the seasonal patterns, customer’s current inventories, customer’s sector, his past purchase history, and his future growth plans. If you are ready to push for sales, when your customer is going to be having a need is the least effort sale.
Action– This comes of continued engagement with the customer. Ideally, if a salesperson has (say) 100 customers assigned to him. He should be able to have a tracking sheet, where he can mark the timing of sales, based on all the information he has.
Must-Have #4: Using Customer touchPoints for Sales
What?– You reach out to the customer and customer reaches out to you multiple times, because of various reasons. It could be a post-sales follow-up, a customer service call, a periodic maintenance visit, and a relationship call. Each of these touchpoints can be used to influence or direct pitch for sales. It is not becoming increasingly clear that a customer does not want to be sold when he is calling for lodging a complaint. So each touchpoint has to be handled differently.
Action– Salespeople are expected to sell when they meet the customer. An enterprise should train and equip other employees from functions like customer-service, product maintenance engineers and product delivery teams. For example, a service engineer can handover the latest product offering brochure to a customer, along with a service visit completion form. A maintenance engineer could put an additional sticker related to a campaign on the installation, and talk about the latest technical upgrades released by the company.
Must-Have #5: World-Class Customer Service
What?– All customer relationships and engagement activities are of no use if a customer does not get help when he needs it. The bottom line is that a great service leads to happy customers leads to happy repeat sales. Just give excellent customer service, listen to customer complaints, make customer feels cared and listened to. An organization should invest in customer service the same as it is investing in Sales.
- Implement Customer Service Automation including capturing customer issues via Web, Chat, Email, SMS, and others.
- Establish performance management metrics on response to and resolution of a customer complaint.
- Communicate with the customer to share the status of his complaint.
- Ensure end to end capabilities in terms of manpower, spare parts, service engineer training, periodic maintenance, and warranty management.
Must-Have #6: Excellent Customer Analytics and Targeting
What? – With existing customers, you have a tremendous benefit vis-à-vis new potential customers. That is that depth of information. On existing customers, you have details on their buying and payment patterns, their service history and their professional & personal profile. So you can do smart and micro-level targeting. After you have segmented the customers, you can target them in terms of products that they can buy, how much they can buy and when they can buy.
- Please keep in mind that the cost of selling to an existing customer is far lower. So it is worth an investment into the ‘Customer Relationship & Marketing’ unit, which will create time-bound campaigns on customer segments, targeted products & value-proposition and work with sales to generate repeat purchases.
- Each such campaign to have defined and quantified objectives (Sales Value, Number of Customers sold, sales margin..) depending on the type of campaign
Must-Have #7: Special Repeat-Sales Packages
What– All humans want to be given special treatment. Customers are no less. With right segmenting & targeting, you can hit bull’s eye with special sales packages which give additional benefit to the customer. In a way, you are part sharing the benefit of lower business acquisition cost with the customer, and also gaining his long-term loyalty. These packages could include:
- Value-Adds (like Free Installation, Coupons)
- Special Edition/Designs
- Free One year Service and Maintenance
- Special Customer Batch/Club
Action– As a company, you should set-up ‘Repeat Sales Campaign’ machinery, which should be part of the ‘Customer Relationship & Marketing Unit’ (as mentioned in the previous point). Every period (say monthly), you should create focused and targeted campaigns on ‘Special Deals’ for existing customers. Deals should be ‘genuinely’ attractive.
Campaign management should be process-driven machinery which should be using all possible components like customer communication (Face to Face, Email, SMS, FB messenger, BTL and ATL promotion), campaign design & approval (products, marketing, finance, production, and sales), and follow-up (Customer Enquiries to fulfillment)