Every business is out there looking for new customers. If you cannot keep your customers, your marketing efforts will not mean much. Companies should take their time to build customer relations to build chances of referrals. More referrals mean you will spend less money on marketing and get better profit margins. To retain customers, you need to connect with them effectively. Here are some of the tips to help you connect with your customers more effectively to keep them.
Get to know them
Take your time and find out more about your customers on a personal level. Build your relationships with them. Tell them about yourself to encourage them to disclose their hobbies, interests, online habits, shopping patterns, or any other information you could need to improve their experience. Conduct market research or just send them a survey to fill. Listen to their feedback and read their reviews. Act on this information to improve their experience. Profile your typical customer demographics and use this knowledge to improve your product or services and also tailor your marketing content.
Keep them informed
Keeping your customers in the loop can help you create a special connection with them. Let them be the first to know about that upcoming promotion, a new product/service, or just the latest blog the moment you publish them. Have them sign up for a newsletter and introduce push notifications for their devices. Use tools like Hootsuite and MailChimp to update them on digital media. Keep them posted on anything that adds value to them.
Offer excellent customer service
Many customers fail to complete a transaction if they encounter poor service. Some will even abandon your business if they repeatedly face poor service. Social media has created a channel for customers to vent their frustrations on brands with poor service. If all that customers see online are complaints about the quality of your service, they will not want to do business with you. Respond to your customer’s queries promptly and act on their feedback.
Personalize your business
To build a connection with the customers, look less robotic. Interact and engage with them in a friendly manner. Encourage your staff to interact with the customers with warmth and treat the employees well so that they can wear genuine smiles. Give your business a warm, friendly, and fun persona and let it guide your brand’s engagement online and offline. Build a brand manifesto with values and purpose and genuinely engage in charitable activities aligning with these values.
Today, it is very easy to get lost online even for businesses. Go out and meet potential customers offline too. Set up face-to-face meetings and attend networking events to create more meaningful connections and relationships.
Customer retention is critical for any business growth. There is no point in looking for customers if you keep losing them. Looking for ways to build better relations with them will see you increase sales as happy customers are likely to be your brand ambassadors and recommend you to potential customers.
Culture is one of the most critical issues in a business for long term growth and sustainability. Business that have a strong company culture perform better than those don’t have. Many organizations often look at higher turnover rates and are convinced that the issue with low revenue is as a result of the quality of their workforce. However, that is not the real cause of turnover rates. High turnover rates as well as operational issues may be a reflection of bad company culture. To fix an organizational culture, you must start from the top. There are several ways corporate leaders unwillingly erode trust and create a toxic company culture.
Encouraging Hasty Hiring
A bad hire is not good for any company. Some veteran staff will be force d to work a little bit harder to carry bad hire dead weight, and few established teams want to adopt new member who doesn’t add any value to company culture. While it might be a little bit tempting to cut corners as far as recruiting for positions is concerned, it is never a good idea to fill in some positions that quickly. There will be far too much at stake, so never take chances with new hires. There should be a comprehensive company-wide background screening policy so as to mitigate the risks and verify information that candidates provide before making a hire. While screening for future employees, always do so in a way that correlates to their prospective duties and responsibilities.
Showing blatant favoritism
Awarding a favorite employee with promotions and bonuses and leaving others out may be a huge recipe for chaos. You should never ignore when a certain high performing employee breaks the dress code. You should never look the other way when a certain important team member keeps irregular hours. All these kinds of behavior will lead to a lot of frustrations to other employees and will leave some feeling neglected and unmotivated. Humans are innately biased so it is important to show leadership when it comes to making decisions. One of the best ways to avoid inherent biases is by practicing decision making across multiple and diverse platforms.
Bucking the spirit of teamwork
A company’s leadership might often mistake cooperation with collaboration. Cooperation involves individuals working independently alongside each other while collaboration involves collective work. Cooperation leads to individual achievement and this can breed unnecessary competition and contempt. On the other hand, collaboration create a culture of sharing where individual success is reliant on group success. Building a collaborative spirit starts by creating optimized communications. Having a central place for teams to collaborate, brainstorm and exchange ideas and keep track of progress is a very important thing.
Another key issue is encouraging gossip. Gossip is simply an element of human experience but it’s one that most managers frequently ignore. Depending on the gossip, and whether it is about personal or company matters, some managers may even engage in it. A certain amount of gossip will always exist. Managers need to work at preventing unnecessary rumors from spreading and ensure there are clear lines of communication to ensure matters are not taken out of context.
Many salespersons fail to create or win new opportunities because they lack enough knowledge concerning their business. They make the mistake of believing it’s enough to know their products or services to have just a tiny bit of sales acumen. Most of them even have a rehearsed script for overcoming objections. In the past, product knowledge enough would have been enough, but today, your dream clients have no interest in hiring just a salesperson. They want someone who can help them solve their business challenges. They are looking for a partner who can help them visualize a better future and guide them towards it. A salesperson who tends to recite product features and benefits is of no benefit.
Business acumen takes time and effort to acquire but does not necessarily require money or an Ivy League MBA degree. Here are some ways to improve your business acumen.
Read Business Books
The first step in acquiring business acumen is through mastering the fundamental concepts and vocabulary of business. Both topics have undergone extensive research and there are a lot of resources available, with extensive information being provided almost free. Business books are written by professionals and take many days of research. They contain valuable information you can use to improve on various aspects of the business. You need to read widely and from different fields such as Harvard Business Review, Bloomberg Business Week, Forbes, Fortune among others.
Find Company Tutors
They are many companies that offer free training and have a lot of resources aimed at employee development. Most people would love to help you understand the areas of expertise by showing off what they know. Company tutors may not be formally offered, but by the end of the process, you will have learned a lot of valuable information. If you need to develop a better understanding of financial reports, a good starting point is to go to the finance and accounting departments and ask staffers to walk you through the process. If you need help in understanding how people in operations think about certain business challenges, be sure to ask from the right departments.
You will probably have family members, neighbors, or acquaintances who have some expertise in different areas of a business. In most cases, these people will be happy to share their knowledge in areas of business you want insights on. Ask these people to mentor you and educate you on the areas you need guidance. They will most likely be flattered and excited to help you. Find a couple of these people who know about certain areas of a business, take notes and learn from their experiences. Never be shy to reach out for help and guidance.
Get formal education
If you are willing to devote some time, money, and mental resources, getting some formal education from universities and colleges can be a good starting point. The experience you get from universities can be full of fun, excitement, and externally rewarding on your efforts to build a business.
As a sales leader, your ability to develop and retain your sales rep is more important for the future of your company. The average sales professional turnover rate is 35 percent, and this is a dramatic number compared to the average turnover rate of all industries which is just 13 percent. When your sales reps are building the skills they need to feel prepared and successful in their roles, they are more likely to report job satisfaction and a feeling of being values by their employer. These are factors that make it less likely for them to jump ship.
Sales performance management
Sales performance management refers to the process of ensuring each member of your sales team is working to achieve organizational goals and objectives. A robust sales performance management process entails training, monitoring progress, and developing new skills for sales professionals. You need to establish sales performance management for the overall success of your team. Here are some of the reasons that show why it is such important.
Predicting future sales trends
Sales performance management tracking can help in providing valuable data that enables your organization to forecast future sales trends and employee compensation rates. This is more so the case for commission-based compensation structures. If a sales rep earns 15 percent commission for each deal they close and are projected to close about $100,000 in sales for the quarter, then the finance team can anticipate an allocation of $15,000 to pay out as commissions.
Allows sales reps to build their skills
High-performing sales teams are twice as likely to provide ongoing training to reps as compared to low-performing teams. A sales performance management plan helps in adding structure and accountability to your training process. In your sales rep development plan, you need to include tools such as; required training for sales enablement tools, informational interviews for sales reps within your company, supplemental reading from sales thought leaders, and any other relevant material.
Build stronger sales rep pipelines
If you have a structured performance management plan in place, your organization will have the framework to build a pipeline for sales reps with valuable skills, who can be very effective and efficient in driving sales for your company. You need to have clear and visible goals and incentives that are needed to build well-rounded sales professionals.
There are key steps and guides you can take to implement an effective sales performance management process. You will need to decide on the performance metrics you need to assess. Performance metrics should measure each task and activity concerning how well they serve overall business objectives. You also need to communicate objectives to your team and get them fully involved.
You also need to coach and develop your reps so that they can build performance improving skills. Many reps have identified skills they want to build and improve on. Have training in place to ensure they can build and advance on all those skills they need. Challenge your sales teams to always be current when it comes to seeking knowledge.