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How to build customer loyalty in complex sales?

1 February, 2018

As technology and the free access of information is growing, so are the challenges to create and maintain loyal customers.

Today, customers demand more from their suppliers, while at the same time adding pressure on price. This leads to complex sales processes and empowered customers.

As customers become increasingly empowered and complexity grows, the need to ensure customer loyalty is becoming more and more important. Moreover, attracting new customers is more expensive than selling to loyal existing ones.

A loyal customer buys more products, more frequently, and is also an advocate for your business.

So how can sales functions increase the loyalty from customers?

According to a survey from Corporate Executive Board, the single most important factor to drive customer loyalty in complex B2B sales, is the sales experience.

Thereby, factors such as companies’ offerings, prices or brand have less impact on customer loyalty and it is nearly all about the interpersonal connection throughout the customer buying journey. 

The sales experience entails sales representatives’ ability to:

1.    offer unique and valuable perspectives on customer’s business and market

The ability to offer new and innovative ideas or solutions that enable customers to improve their business or lower costs are strong drivers for customer intimacy and loyalty.

2.    advise customers on how to navigate alternatives

With free access to information comes more opportunities and possibilities to choose from. Customers seek advice from trusted suppliers to navigate between these options.

3.    help customer avoid potential mistakes

Fear of buying the wrong solutions is one of the major obstacles a sales representative needs to overcome. We have all mistakenly bought something we regret and don’t want to experience that again.

4.    advise and guide customers about unknown issues

Once a deal is done, the sales representative is required to provide advice to ensure that the customer achieves the benefits and outcomes that were ‘promised’ and agreed.  

Focus your investments on the right means that drive customer loyalty!

Loyal customers are generating more revenue and credibility in the marketplace. If sales functions don’t invest in developing their capabilities, profits will undoubtedly decrease. So how much do sales directors or managers invest into delivering a great sales experience, compared to investments in branding and product development?

Is your organization investing in the right drivers to secure loyal customers for your company?

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