Churn has never been more of a threat than it is now for B2B companies. Consumers are flooded not just with information, but also with many options for leaving one very niche service provider for another. The balance of power has shifted drastically into the hands of buyers, which is why there has been a push from companies to ensure their customers are successful.
With the rising cost of acquiring new customers, many growing organizations have begun seeking out the best ways to ensure their customers’ success with the hope of turning them into delighted brand advocates.
Cross-Team Collaboration for Internal Success
The process of turning once-prospects into now-delighted-brand-advocates is not one that comes quickly or easily, but it needs to start with an alignment of your sales and marketing teams with your customer success department. Customer success should not just be an afterthought for your B2B organization in which a “support” arm of your organization communicates with customers only once they’ve purchased your service or products.
The customer success departments should inform marketing on specific elements surrounding the customer experience like their knowledge about pain points, the types of customers that end up churning quickly, and the types of customers that make the best advocate candidates. Incorporating these insights when developing buyer personas can heighten the accuracy for expectations of the buyers that marketing should target.
Once marketing starts targeting buyers with this heightened accuracy, they can begin moving them through the funnel toward the sales team. Sales can then really speak with prospects from a position of authority that truly knows the buyer’s specific needs and pain points.
Recognizing the importance of customer success is often a contributing factor in separating companies that are growing from ones that remain stagnant. The HubSpot research team recently found that growing companies are 21% more likely than their stagnant counterparts to say that making the company’s customers success is “very important.”
These growing companies recognize how important customer success is in identifying customer needs, preventing customer churn, and creating a foundation of delighted brand advocates.
Implementing a Buyer-First Strategy
Redefining your strategy as one that is “buyer-first” empowers your organization to address the needs of the actual best potential customer. Envision your product as a square peg and your ideal customer being one that has a similarly matching square hole. The buyer-first strategy will eliminate trying to match your square peg with the round and triangular-shaped holes that represent not-best-fit buyers that could quickly cancel their business and churn.
With the wealth of information out there, customers are smarter and less susceptible to advertising more now than ever—but they still have needs. Understanding those needs and positioning your business a useful resource will bring in customers faster than pursuing them with aggressive outbound sales methods.
This all harkens back to the ultimate goal of finding those “square hole” perfect fit customers who purchase, use your product offering effectively, and advocate—resulting in a reduction in churn when your customer base fills up with ideal customers rather than not-best-fit buyers.
Harnessing Reduced Churn and Turning it Into Revenue
As a B2B company grows, reducing churn is even more essential in driving revenue for the entire business. Incorporating a buyer-first strategy allows for a generation of new revenue streams from cross-selling, up-selling, or account expansion.
When your customer base consists of delighted brand advocates, they’re more likely to provide referrals which count as second-order revenue. This is revenue that comes from existing customer referrals as well as customers changing jobs and bringing the product to their new company.
Reduced churn is typically a metric only customer success teams are held accountable for, but in a buyer-first model, churn should be recognized company-wide. For instance, if marketing and sales target the actual ideal customer from the outset, churn will go down on its own. Benefits for everyone include:
- Customers staying longer and knowing how to use the product—Sales won’t need as many new MQLs because return revenue remains high.
- Company receiving less bad press via networking and word of mouth—more direct referrals and second order revenue.
- Marketing team can focus on attracting actual new customers rather than the problems involved with winning jaded previous customers back.
Business that will reap the most success in the coming years will be those that invest in keeping their customers successful. Start being more mindful of how customer success can impact creating delighted brand advocates that champion your products and services. For more related posts, subscribe to the Digital Download.