How To Implement A Customer-Centric Strategy
Learn about customer centricity and how a customer-centric approach can increase your sales
It’s easy to pay lip service to customer centricity, but what does a customer-centric sales strategy really look like?
This post will break down the definition of customer-centric selling and specific strategies you can implement in your business to increase win rates, improve customer retention, and build long-term brand loyalty.
What is customer-centricity?
According to HubSpot, the customer-centric definition is a business strategy that puts customers first at every stage of the buyer’s journey. Anytime a business decision needs to be made, the organization considers how they can better serve their customers and what the impact will be on their existing customer base.
The customer-centric meaning may differ between organizations. Although there are different methods of employing a customer-centric culture, the goal remains the same: to build loyalty, advocacy, and increase retention rates.
What is the benefit of customer-centric selling?
When it comes to sales, it pays to put the customer first. Prospects can feel the difference between a salesperson who is intent on pushing their solution at all costs and one who genuinely wants to help, and they much prefer the latter.
Customer-centric selling is similar to consultative sales in that the buyer’s needs come first. A customer-centric salesperson takes the time to understand their prospects, listen to their concerns, and advise on the best solution.
Not only does a positive buying experience turn happy customers into brand advocates, but it also impacts your bottom line. According to a study from the Harvard Business Review, customers with a positive buying experience spend 140% more than those with a poor experience.
Over time, a customer-centric strategy results in brand loyalty, referrals, and a higher lifetime value.
What are some examples of customer-focused strategies?
Train your reps to listen
Active listening is one of the most underrated sales skills, and it’s especially important for a customer-centric strategy. Coaching and role-playing exercises can help your sales team learn to pause, process what the prospect is telling them, and adjust their approach accordingly.
Share helpful content
Instead of following up with the intention of booking a meeting or closing the sale, focus on providing value to the prospect. Ask yourself what information they would find helpful at this point in their customer journey.
This doesn’t necessarily mean sales or marketing material from your organization; you could also send the link to an article they might enjoy, invite them to an upcoming event, or share a helpful resource you came across.
Instead of waiting for customers to come to you with a problem, be proactive about sending them the solution. For example, include a troubleshooting kit with your onboarding information or a welcome guide that walks them through how to get started.
During the sales process, you can proactively send prospects the information they need to make a buying decision. Don’t make it difficult for them to obtain pricing information or view past case studies.
Send them exactly what they need at that point in time before they even think to ask for it.
Customer success is full of information on what your customers want and need. Using surveys and chatbots can help you understand what’s working well, what’s not, and where you need to improve.
Past and current customers are a great source of information, but so are lost opportunities because they can help you understand what went wrong in the sales process.
Don’t make your sales or customer service team difficult to contact. Include clear contact information on your website, provide answers to FAQs, and give your customers the option to talk to a live human being if they choose to. In a digital world, that human connection goes a long way.
The sales process doesn’t end after the deal is signed, especially in a customer centric business. Onboarding is the next step, and you want to make this transition as smooth as possible. Make sure sales and customer success are aligned in this process so that customers feel fully supported every step of the way.
How to implement a customer-centric strategy
Know your customers
Before you can put customers first, you need to understand who they are. What are their pain points, goals, and objections?
Customer-centric strategies rely on research. Everyone at the organization should know your ideal customer profile (ICP) inside out, and sales reps should conduct additional research into specific prospects in order to personalize their outreach.
Invest in consultative sales training
Most traditional sales tactics aren’t customer-centric. If you want your sales team to take a different approach, you need to provide them with the necessary tools and training–and that includes training for your leadership team as well, so they can model the approach for newer reps.
Create a customer-centric culture
A truly customer-centric strategy goes beyond just sales; it also impacts marketing, customer success, and the overall company culture. Make sure everyone working at your organization understands the value of putting customers first.
Customer-centric businesses aren’t shy about showing their customers appreciation. Consider offering a loyalty program, referral bonuses, or another type of incentive to encourage brand advocacy. Sales, marketing, and customer success must work together to nurture long-term customer relationships.
Work with Predictable Revenue to become more customer-centric
Not only does a customer-centric strategy provide a better buying experience for prospects, but it also increases revenue for your organization.
If you need help understanding your customers or training your team on consultative sales methods, reach out here to learn more about our sales coaching and consulting services. Our expert sales coaches can help you implement a customer-centric strategy that works for you and your buyers.
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