Four Criteria for a Customer-Focused Sales Strategy
"Customer service shouldn't just be a department, it should be the entire company" (-Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos). We couldn’t agree more. But how do you infuse customer service into everything you do? One place to start is to create a customer-focused sales and market strategy that incorporates the four criteria below. Implementing these sales best practices will help you enhance your customer experience and increase revenue.
1. Create a customer-focused value proposition
A customer-focused value proposition is a carefully crafted statement that explains how your business solves customers’ problems. It describes how you deliver specific benefits and services to them and how your offer differentiates you from the competition. It can be more complicated than you may think to align your product or service with your customers’ needs. So here are three tips to get you started.
Address your customers’ toughest pain points. Write these down and keep them in mind as you draft your value proposition. Draw a clear line between their pain points, and how your product or service addresses them.
Incorporate the customer’s language to craft your value proposition. One of the best ways to resonate with your customers is to speak their language. Steer clear of jargon and don’t use complicated vocabulary.
Lead with the customer. As revolutionary as your business may be, it’s best to lead by addressing your customers. Starting sentences with “you” or directly addressing the audience is a great tactic to place them at the center of your message.
Finally, many businesses create elevator pitches and extended versions of their value propositions. These forms help employees of all kinds, from content marketers who need to include longer excerpts to sellers who need a quick, concise version. Read up on how to build a comprehensive value proposition.
2. Improve your customer Intelligence
You can never know your customers well enough. That’s why customer intelligence, which helps you understand them better—especially their behavior—is so crucial. This improved knowledge will help you make smarter decisions about your customers. But, with so much data—we produced 90 percent of all the data in history in the last two years—figuring out how best to harness it can be challenging. Here are several techniques for gathering and using customer data.
- Celebrate the customer's voice. Make it easy for them to give you feedback, both positive and constructive, through multiple channels (e.g., your website, surveys, sellers, etc.). And make sure they know you’re taking action on that feedback.
- Monitor your customer data as often as possible. Capture data at every touchpoint your customers have with your business. Then, continually keep track of it and look for trends.
- Leverage the power of artificial intelligence (AI). AI is vital to uncovering trends and insights because it can sift through and analyze the immense amounts of data that your business collects.
- Respond to customer issues as quickly as possible. Enough said.
3. Incorporate customer testimonials
The adage, “show not tell” still reigns. And when it comes to convincing new customers, one of your best tools is to show them how satisfied your current and previous customers are. Testimonials, which are often customer quotes or case studies, can help you:
- Build trust and credibility with your products and services
- Humanize your brand, making it easier for customers to relate to what you sell
- Help your leads picture themselves enjoying the benefits of your solution
There are many ways you can create great customer testimonials. We don’t have room to cover them all, but below are some proven tactics that have been successful for others.
Ask your most faithful clients for a testimonial. They are most likely to agree, work with you, and give you the kind of information (data and relevant quotes) you want.
Create buy-in from sellers and customer-facing employees. Sellers especially have the relationships to give you the content you’ll need to write your testimonial. Make it easy for them to provide you with info and make sure they understand how these stories can help them.
Keep your testimonials short and direct. Potential customers are most interested in the value other customers realized. They don’t want to spend tons of time reading fluff.
4. Consider the entire customer experience
The customer experience (CX) describes all of the interactions between a customer and a business from the first point of contact to the end of the business relationship. Focusing on CX will help raise your brand awareness, attract new leads, and maximize the value of the relationships you’ve already created. To institute a successful customer experience program, we’ve found the following to be especially helpful.
Optimize every potential point of contact between you and your customers. From website to purchases, to product or service use, your touchpoints with your customers need to move them through the funnel seamlessly.
Envision a comprehensive and compelling CX. From value propositions to your mission statement, placing your customers at the center helps keep them top of mind in all that you do.
Be consistent in your messaging across channels. Your message and imagery need to be the same, no matter where your customers interact with you. This tactic helps solidify your brand image and shows your customers that you have thought deeply about their experiences with you.
We’ve just scratched the surface for CX. See other tips that businesses are incorporating to improve their CX.
Today, buyer behaviors are much more self-guided, and selling is highly consultative and coaching oriented. A customer-focused sales strategy can help you navigate this new landscape of buyer behaviors. We understand that businesses are at different points in their evolution of such a strategy. That’s why we meet you where you are on this journey. But don’t just take our word for it. Read how customers have successfully used our services to help them develop a more robust sales strategy.