Sales enablement and retention marketing may focus on opposite ends of the customer lifecycle, but the information and techniques they use are applicable at every stage. By tracking and analyzing data created throughout the customer journey, these strategies can work together to drive revenue with a unified approach.
What Is Retention Marketing?
Retention marketing provides offers and ads to existing customers to prevent them from leaving or to encourage additional sales. This is done by delivering content, discounts and other forms of added value to reward and increase customer loyalty. Using data analysis to provide the most relevant content and deals, and to personalize all your communication with customers, is a key component of successful retention marketing strategies.
Existing customers spend more than new leads, and using data to find the right time to make a relevant offer can further increase the returns from investing in retention marketing. The importance of customer retention cannot be ignored. An increase in retention of just 5% can lead to a profit boost between 25 and 95%.
What Is Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement gives teams the knowledge, content, and customer insights they need to provide a customer-focused sales approach. It involves sales and marketing teams working together to create content that agents can share with leads and customers. This provides sales agents with marketing content and resources tailored to specific demographics and customer personas. To deliver these resources to the right leads and customers, it also involves analyzing the performance of all your marketing content to optimize their results.
In other words, sales enablement lets agents tailor the information and solutions they offer to each buyer’s needs and preferences. In a 2018 report by CSO Insights, the percentage of salespeople achieving their quotas increased by 22.7% in teams using sales enablement techniques.
Driving Revenue by Combining Retention Marketing & Sales Enablement
Retention marketing and sales enablement can work together to provide the information and tools to drive revenue from existing customers, reduce churn, and attract more new customers.
1. Cross-selling and Upselling
Tracking data such as customer browsing or purchasing history helps you find opportunities to cross-sell more effectively throughout the customer lifecycle. Recommending products that will enhance a customer’s use of an item can result in significant extra sales.
For example, Amazon tracks which items from related categories are bought at or near the same time to create their ‘Frequently Bought Together’ and ‘Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought’ recommendations. This use of easily-tracked information accounts for 35% of their store revenue.
The response rates to cross-selling offers like these are useful data that help create both more appealing first-time buyer offers and retention deals. For example, bundling items or services that are often bought together anyway can be offered as a more complete introductory package or as a premium upgrade to a service or product a customer already has.
The simplest way to track upselling or cross-selling performance is to measure the number of successful attempts against the total. Depending on the context, an attempt could be an in-store recommendation, email conversation or other marketing message.
You can also track performance by measuring successful attempts against upselling and cross-selling opportunities. This can help sales teams spot where they are missing chances to boost sales. For example, if a customer mentions an issue that your business can help with but doesn’t attempt to cross-sell this won’t show up when tracking against sales attempts, but by tracking sales opportunities you identify an area to work on.
2. Regular Customer Satisfaction Campaigns
Customer satisfaction campaigns provide valuable data you can use to retain existing customers by resolving common gripes and highlighting the benefits of doing business with you. They also help bring in new customers by helping you increase customer recommendations and promote the business strengths that matter to your target demographic.
These 6 key performance metrics can give you a good basic overview of customer sentiment:
- CSAT asks customers to rate their experience with your business on a 5 point scale from ‘very satisfactory’ to ‘very unsatisfactory’. This can help you understand how different demographics and users of specific products and services feel about your business and identify customers to ask for further detailed feedback.
- NPS asks customers to say on a scale of 1 to 10 how likely they are to recommend you to a friend. Customer referrals are one of the most valuable sources of additional revenue, so knowing the issues that influence them is vital to focusing your marketing content and service improvements where they will have the greatest impact.
- CES asks customers to rate out of 5 the effort needed to get an issue resolved or to buy a product or service. This metric can help highlight the frustrations that limit customer retention or turn away new buyers.
- First Response Time tracks how long it takes for customers contacting you to get a reply. Nobody likes to wait, and fast response times strongly correlate with high CSAT scores.
- First Contact Resolution tracks your success rate at resolving customer queries and issues on the first contact. Your ability to provide a full response without additional contacts makes interacting with your business more convenient for customers.
- Average Resolution Time tracks the average time it takes between the first contact and resolving an issue. This is an indicator of how efficient your customer service is, but it also shows your buyers how much you care about helping them.
These ratings, along with more specific satisfaction surveys about individual experiences and processes, help create marketing content and a sales approach focused on the strengths that matter to your audience.
3. Follow Up Every Interaction
Finding out how your clients feel about each purchase and service interaction provides valuable information you can use to enable sales and retain more consumers. Poll your customers using text messages, which are widely used to get valuable feedback from any audience and can significantly improve your client experience. Positive feedback can highlight areas where your business exceeds expectations that can be used in marketing content and generate social proof, such as customer success stories.
Negative feedback is equally, if not more valuable, however. Comments and complaints made during returns or cancellations let you know where you could make improvements to retain more customers and create the opportunity to save the individual customer making a complaint. Resolving a customer complaint effectively can lead to greater customer loyalty than if they had not experienced a problem at all, a phenomenon referred to as the service recovery paradox:
Detailed feedback from email conversations and phone call transcripts need to be reviewed and categorized to become clear data you can act on. However, this can be time-consuming to do manually. Natural language processing powered by machine learning to analyze customer messages and feedback is a growing role of AI in the future of business. These tools can automatically sort this feedback according to the topics and sentiments they express, ensuring retention marketing and sales enablement strategies are based on data rather than anecdotes.
4. Filter Customer Success Stories
Customer success stories are much more effective at gaining trust when they are relevant to a potential customer’s needs or offering insight into a specific issue. Finding the right social proof to convince a buyer starts with categorizing your testimonials, case studies, and reviews. This can be as simple as grouping reviews according to purchase history and customer demographic, but text analysis tools are useful here too.
Sorting your reviews by the behaviors and needs that lead a buyer to your business doesn’t just help find the most convincing social proof for different audience segments, it also helps you create marketing content that focuses on the reasons real customers choose your business.
Convincing potential new buyers with content focused on existing customers’ experiences like them is an obvious use for this kind of social proof and an effective one. Customers spend 31% more with businesses that have great reviews.
It can also be applied to retention marketing. For example, sharing success stories that highlight perks customers won’t get elsewhere can make a strong case to continue being a user of your business instead of a competitor.
5. Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs are one of the most effective customer retention tactics, and rewarding loyal customers can help attract new buyers as well as retain existing ones. For example, providing immediate progress towards a loyalty milestone can convince a first-time buyer to return for related follow-up purchases such as extras, upgrades, or refills.
Repeat customer rate is the most obvious metric to track to measure a loyalty program, but there are others:
- How many loyalty rewards and exclusive discounts do users actually take advantage of? If someone signs up for your loyalty scheme but rarely redeems any rewards from it, the scheme could be failing to offer something that appeals to people in their demographic.
- Purchase frequency and the average time between purchases. A loyalty program’s goal isn’t simply to keep customers around for longer but to encourage them to buy more often. If a customer uses your loyalty offers and discounts without actually buying more than they would otherwise, only half of that goal is being achieved.
- Average order value and lifetime value. Besides encouraging customers to buy from you more often, an effective loyalty program results in users increasing the average size of their orders.
The prospect of earning progress towards a loyalty discount makes people more open to the idea of getting extras after their initial sale. This doesn’t just increase your revenue from those additional sales, selling a wider range of products or services at the beginning of a customer relationship means more opportunity for those products to speak for themselves and convert users into long-term buyers.
6. Unite Marketing and Sales with Business Intelligence Tools
For retention marketing and sales enablement to work together you need everyone working towards the same goals and optimizing their approach based on a single source of truth. Business intelligence tools like ClicData let you connect data from both teams to create a unified analysis of their performance and enables more collaborative strategies for improving it.
Reports and dashboards with clear visual indicators of current performance and targets keep everyone aware of what they need to focus on and make it easier to spot emerging patterns and trends to address or capitalize on. Automating these reports not only reduces human error in your data and prevents skilled employees wasting time on data-entry, it also allows for live updates to your performance metrics, giving teams easy access to feedback on the marketing and sales strategies they implement.
Retention marketing and sales enablement share the same goal of driving revenue. As such, it makes sense to use them together to achieve that goal. These steps will help you make full use of your customer knowledge throughout the customer lifecycle. This creates a marketing and sales approach that is based not just on the past performance of your campaigns but an analysis of real customer behavior.
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About the author
Alexa Lemzy is the content manager at TextMagic blog. She enjoys writing about mobile marketing and business development. Alexa also covers topics like small business growth, customer loyalty, and customer service.