There are many ways to retain B to B customers using marketing automation – let us tell you 6 key ways to do so. With Marketo raising $85 million and Silverpop raising $25 million recently, the marketing world is abuzz about the awesome potential of B to B marketing automation for lead generation and management practices. More prospects are being targeted and nurtured using a marketing automation (MA) platform than ever before, but did you know that MA can be just as effective at retaining your existing customers? It’s important to remember that customers should be managed as leads at all times; B to B buyers can migrate to competitors at any time. Here are a few ways you can maximize customer retention through marketing automation:
“Typically, much of our effort is focused on filling top of the funnel, but seldom do we make time to plug any leaks we may have in the sides. If we’re serious about maximizing customer lifetime value, however, we’ve got to find room in our strategy to prioritize retention as well as acquisition.” – Andy Worobel, Eloqua
1) As a purchase follow-up tool. Customers want to feel like they are cared about after a sale. Using a marketing automation platform like our Lead Management Automation™ solution, your sales team can schedule email messages to routinely “check in” with customers to inquire about satisfaction, provide tips and tricks, uncover issues that must be addressed, or provide product updates. A follow up process is a great way to retain B to B customers using marketing automation.
2) As an up-sell/cross-sell tool. Sales agents know that it is often easier to sell add-ons to existing customers than it is to solicit new business. A marketing automation platform can be an effective mechanism at driving ancillary sales. Through a sustained campaign of sharing special offers and other purchase opportunities delivered by an MA system, your sales team can be more effective at revenue generation.
3) As a time-sensitive reminder tool. An MA platform allows your sales team to deliver reminders about deadline-driven offers without the need to personally contact each customer. Special offer reminders delivered occasionally throughout the offer period can be a great way to stimulate interest and generate revenue.
4) As a customer engagement tool. Even with a protracted sales cycle where your sales team spends months building a relationship with their prospects, there are likely still hidden needs or wants that a customer might have. A marketing automation platform provides cost-effective yet powerful way to engage in an ongoing dialogue with customers without your sales agents spending valuable time performing outreach activities. Creating dialogue and interactive discussion with customers is a great way to retain B to B customers using marketing automation.
5) As a “Happy Birthday” tool. Users can automatically deliver holiday or special occasion greetings to customers following a purchase. Once a sale is complete, your sales agent can immediately schedule brief messages to be delivered throughout the year. This tactic will drive top-of-mind-awareness (TOMA) by maintaining a consistent contact process and recognizing your customers.
6) As a customer appreciation tool. Customers often want to sense that your company appreciates their business. While a sincere expression of gratitude is important at the time a sale closes, occasional expressions of gratitude months or even years after a sale can be effective at maintaining TOMA.