For B2B businesses, a majority of the technology and process changes companies undertake are driven by the desire to attract and retain quality customers. From adding new tools like CRM or Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) applications to empower sales, to taking the business online with a digital commerce strategy, leading companies are constantly looking for opportunities to better connect with the customers that offer the highest possible value with long-term results.
There are plenty of studies validating the importance of prioritizing high-value customers. According to Gartner’s report, Grow Customer Lifetime Value with Digital Commerce:
Survey data shows retaining and growing customers is an area where senior management's expectations of marketing responsibility increased in 2016. Over time, long-lasting customer relationships can yield higher margin and lower costs, generating high customer lifetime value (LTV) and greater shareholder value.
You Know Who You Should Be Targeting, But Are You?
Chances are you already know who your ideal customer is. This customer is loyal, pays full price, and doesn’t exhaust company resources to maintain the account. You can also probably identify the customers you’d rather filter out. These buyers purchase low-margin products, often purchase once and then move on, and overuse your service channels.
But how are you going to target these high-value customers and deliver a buying experience that allows you to retain the “keepers” while efficiently and cost-effectively maintaining - or even cutting ties with - low-value customers?
The following are a few ways your business can use the resources you already have in place to identify your best and worst customers while enhancing the buying experience to retain high-value buyers.
1. You’ve got the data, now put it to good use.
This one should be pretty obvious. Your customer data should clearly inform who your best and worst customers are based on various criteria, including transaction data. But there’s more to be gleaned from this information than which customers you should be targeting. You can use this information to inform pricing, promotions, adjacent products for upsell and cross-sell opportunities, and numerous other initiatives that will allow you to get products and services in front of the customers who actually want to buy them.
2. Get customers into subscriptions and automated ordering.
We all know the convenience of setting up auto-pay and subscription-based ordering. You know you’re going to need more of that particular product, so why not set it up to arrive every month so you no longer have to worry about it? This is a common approach in the B2C space and translates well to B2B. Buyers have enough going on that if they can automate the buying processes, chances are they’re going to stick with you over the long term as you provide value and convenience.
3. Did we mention the importance of your digital commerce offering?
Omnichannel delivery is key to successfully reaching today’s buyers. They want to reach your business how, when, and where it’s convenient for them. This renders a comprehensive digital commerce platform as a must have. More than just a direct line to buyers, a digital commerce strategy allows you to connect your partner ecosystem. According to Gartner:
Your digital commerce site can also serve as the gateway to a partner ecosystem, giving customers access to an array of products and services without incurring the costs of adding a new line of business. A broader offering can boost average order value or generate affiliate revenue, as well as increase transaction frequency and improve retention - all of which contribute to higher LTV [Lifetime Value].
4. Let your best customers be your strongest advocates.
If you have loyal customers, why not let them be your most vocal supporters? Consider how modern customers are changing: As Millennials make their way into decision making roles at B2B companies, it’s important to tap into the motivators that influence their decisions. Peer reviews and testimonials are important to modern buyers, so if you can give your existing customers the tools to sing your praises via your website and social channels, then you’re already on the way to validating yourself to prospective buyers.
It Takes the Right Tools to Effectively Connect with Modern Buyers
As mentioned above, you likely have the pieces in place to start identifying and connecting with optimal customers. Now you need to connect everything and make this data actionable across your organization.
This is where tools like CPQ applications come into play. Modern CPQ gives B2B companies the ability to complement and extend the capabilities of existing tools like CRM and ERP, reduce or totally eliminate reliance on outdated resources like spreadsheets and tribal knowledge, while making it possible to take complex product and service offerings online via a digital commerce strategy.
To learn more about how CPQ is helping B2B companies attract and retain the customers that drive revenue, reach out to FPX and share your story with us. With unmatched domain expertise in the CPQ space, we’re confident we can help you identify opportunities for improvement while implementing the technologies necessary to realize tangible business value.