For sales and marketing professionals, filling the sales funnel is always a top priority. Focusing on the customer life cycle can help aid in our quest of ensuring the funnel is always filled with the best, most convertible opportunities. Oftentimes, we look to generating new leads and focusing on new business development as the best means to keeping the funnel full. But we've all heard how it is far more costly to attain new business than it is to retain existing customers. So why don't we shift our focus from new business development to extending the customer life cycle? Shifting our focus in this way will have far-reaching effects in our overall sales process and on our sales team. Here are three categories that will be affected for the better:
Your sales team will need to focus on their customers' needs above their own. This will require specific communication, exploratory and diagnostic skills that will help them to build long-term relationships and extend the customer life cycle.
Sales professionals will begin to develop relationships throughout their client organization, not with just their initial contact at the account. Effective networking via deepening and broadening the relationships they have at their client account will help to extend the customer life cycle.
Sales Team Motivation
Focusing on extending the customer life cycle will elevate your sales team's motivation as the success rate of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% compared to a success rate of 5-20% for selling to a prospect. The benefits of focusing on the customer life cycle approach will spill over into new business development as your existing customers send new business to you via referrals!
To read more about how the customer life cycle approach can fill your sales funnel with more convertible leads, read my guest blog on Selling Power.