Customer loyalty has always been the holy grail of organic growth – yet, as sales models shift toward subscription-based services, longer-term relationships have become more critical than ever before. In their classic study, W. Earl Sasser Jr. and Frederick F. Reichheld found that reducing customer churn by just 5 percent could increase profitability between 25 and 85 percent, depending on the industry.
Why do customers leave? Often, it’s because they feel the company has not delivered on its promises. And who is making these promises? Ultimately, it’s your own salespeople. Marketing may craft your brand promise, but your sales team makes the commitments that count for specific customers — what your company will deliver, when, and with what level of quality.
In the past, your salespeople might have been tempted to promise whatever they thought it would take to close a deal, then move on to the next customer. But sales strategy expert Steve Thompson, who coaches both buying and selling organizations, suggests that “in a world of relationships, a different kind of salesperson succeeds.” To win in this new world, sales teams need to focus on whether customers are receiving the value promised — and whether your firm is getting credit for the value delivered.
In this post on strategy + business, Three Promises Every Sales Team Needs to Make – and Keep, I take a detailed look at three specific promises Thompson propose can help any direct-sales business build longer-term relationships.
See what you think!
All the best,