Chances are, it’s that time of the year for you: you’ve reviewed your performance in 2015, given yourself a kick in the shins, or a pat on the back, are now looking over the horizon into 2016… what can you do (even) better this year?
There’s always one goal at the top of everyone’s list: acquire new customers.
But here’s a non-conformist thought: Is there perhaps a better use for some of your marketing and sales horsepower?
During my time advising small and medium businesses around Australia and NZ, I’ve noticed a common mistake – and it seems to happen in nearly every industry. I call it the New Business Trap.
The New Business Trap occurs when a business continues to doggedly pursue new customers while failing to nurture and grow business with existing ones.
Why is that such a bad idea?
It’s almost universally agreed upon that the cost of acquiring a new customer is higher than the cost of retaining / growing an existing one. So why expend so many resources on such expensive marketing and sales efforts, when you could be tapping into a very warm list of leads – your own customers!
I’m not advocating you forego marketing to prospects all together, but here are a few key tips on how you can easily and efficiently use technology to help you actively create opportunities with your existing customers, rather than just waiting for them to materialise again.
- Effective customer relationship management to prevent losing your customers to competitors by staying top of mind
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is typically a software platform that allows you to efficiently manage your relationship with your customers. And just like your inventory system or distribution system helps you make decisions about stock, a CRM ensures you make informed decisions about your customers and prospects – by capturing all their information, communications, and purchasing data in one place.
HARMONiQ software from Micronet actually integrates with your existing Micronet Systems to give you an overall view of what your customers are doing – from orders, to financials, to their interactions with their marketing. So while many businesses see CRMs as a ‘nice-to-have’, in today’s world where competition is around every corner, it’s more important that ever to protect your customer based from being poached by the competition. After all, just because you’re not talking to your customers regularly, doesn’t mean that your competitors aren’t.
A CRM is a valuable tool that makes staying in touch with your customer base extremely simple. Since you have all the information you need, in one place, it’s easier than ever to send relevant and targeted messages to your customers.
- Using information you already have to grow your sales opportunities
If you’re lucky enough to have a CRM that integrates with your distribution and inventory systems, then you’ll have a whole-picture view of your customer behaviour. By using the information you already have about your customers’ purchasing habits, you can tailor your marketing material to be extremely specific, and stay on the front foot when it comes to generating opportunities. So rather than waiting for your customer to come to you – go to them!
With HARMONiQ, you can create trigger campaigns to automatically send pre-written emails to customers reminding them to re-order stock they may be running out of. Upgrades or cross-sells can also help create more opportunities for you, by helping you sell complimentary products to buyers of another product. These are just a few of the ways you can make use of HARMONiQ’s sophisticated workflow functionality to grow your revenue without acquiring new customers.
- Giving your customers the best possible experience of your brand
With so many sales reps and points of contact for your customers, it’s often difficult to ensure that they have a positive experience of your brand and company values.
By implementing an all-in-one business management system – or, at least, one that integrates all your existing systems – you’ll be simplifying many processes for your staff, and that efficiency is passed on to your customers in the form of quick responses and accurate dealings.
The right software system can also ensure you maintain a consistent and polished brand presence to your clients. For example, HARMONiQ has an inbuilt integration with Campaign Monitor, a leading Australian email marketing platform. This allows you to create beautiful, custom-branded email templates that your sales and marketing staff can easily re-use and edit whenever they need to.
With consistency in both visuals and frequency of communication, you’ll ensure your brand values are constantly reinforced with your existing customers, allowing you to stay on top mind when they need to purchase again.
If you’d like to know more about how you can better use technology to interact and sell to your existing customers, let me know. There’s a lot that HARMONiQ is capable of, and I’d love to be able to show you what you can achieve by integrating HARMONiQ with your existing Micronet systems. You can also call me on +61 2 9542 2000 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to get in touch.
Drew Arthur is the Managing Director of Micronet Systems and is focused on helping business leaders overcome inefficient sales, inventory and customer relationship management practices by leveraging cutting edge technology. If you want to gain better control of the sales processes in your business.