For many companies, prospects are prospects and customers are customers, and never the twain shall meet. What plenty of marketers fail to recognize is that their existing customers may be their best leads. Cross-selling and upselling existing customers makes sense—after all, they’re already familiar with your company and, presumably, pleased with your products or services.
Keeping those customers happy is especially important in the age of cloud services, where it’s easy to jump ship and move to a competitor’s service without enduring a lengthy migration process or expensive software acquisition costs. Marketers must be vigilant to make sure that each customer still feels appreciated, or they risk losing that customer to another vendor.
So how do you provide the same level of attention to existing customers that you give to prospects?
Woo them all over again.
Start by mapping out customer buyer personas, identifying their questions and needs at every stage of engagement, just like you do for prospects. Develop a customer nurture scoring model— based on customer size, region, revenue, previous purchases, or whatever works best for your company—in which you make each customer touch part of a progression.
Next, take the marketing technologies and tactics that you’ve already invested in and apply them to your customer base. Use campaigns designed to further develop the customer relationship. Rely on your marketing automation and CRM systems to help manage and optimize the post-purchase experience. Be sure you’ve piped in data from separate sources, like usage data from products and contract dates from your accounting system. (And don’t forget to include analytics so you can see how effective your efforts are.)
All that sounds simple, but the stumbling block for many companies lies in figuring out who “owns” the work. After prospects transform into customers, the relationship generally belongs to the sales team or client services team, but we’re talking about ongoing marketing here. The trick in this scenario is to establish a customer outreach process without stepping on any toes.
Check out the Modern Guide to B2B Marketing for more guidance on how to keep your customers engaged beyond the sale.