We love to retain your sales team’s customers. You work hard to land those complex deals.
We want you to know that we really look forward to:
- Ensuring new customers have the proper care and feeding for superlative customer experience;
- Educating existing customers about under-utilized possibilities in hardware and software products, platforms and interfaces; and
- Empowering internal client teams to make better decisions on behalf of their own customers.
We are your super hero, powerful, internal customer retention experts. Here’s some news.
We can do a lot better by you and your customers. All we ask is that you do a lot better by us, too.
Can we talk?
Do you know who we are? By name? In person?
Perhaps it is time for us to get acquainted. You see, we usually work behind the scenes, fixing what is broken.
We are on the post-sale, front lines of customer experience. We get actively involved after you close the deal. That’s about the time you run off to hunt for the next deal.
Customers call us for Help because they feel you abandoned them. We do a lot of apologizing for you.
We apologize for contract oversights and loose sales ends. For equipment that doesn’t arrive “as promised.”
We continuously tell customers: “Well, that wasn’t part of your original service agreement.” Or “That feature is not part of the equipment you purchased.”
Here’s our suggestion.
What if we work with you on the front sales lines, from the start? We really do know what we are talking about. You wouldn’t have to rush the sale. Your contracts could be more anticipatory and inclusive, for what’s happening down the road.
Right now, our workdays are consumed with fixing negative customer experiences. If we innovate instead of fix what’s broken, customers’ successes would be more rewarding for both of us.
In the fresh scenario, we have continuous input about design specifications. We build-in room for add-ons, improvements, innovation and scalability. Sounds like a win-win, right?
Yeah. We are hard to understand. Then again, so are you. Let’s work on this together?
Wait. There’s more.
From our side of the business table, your team misses out on so many opportunities. Why? You do not like to work with us on the initial sale.
Yeah, we acknowledge it. We are difficult to understand. We are logical and precise. We tend to ask too many questions, because we are detail-oriented and explore all failure-mode scenarios.
Traditionally, “we” have mixed with “you” like oil and water. In your mind, we are difficult to get along with. Oh, and opinionated, too.
Probably because we use a lot of technical and engineering terms which sound like a foreign language to business and sales types. Did we mention that we lead with logic rather than emotion?
That’s why you purposefully marginalize us from the initial sale. We are your IT, engineering, customer service, finance, operations and R&D folks. “Those” folks in your Us versus Them, business versus scientific scenario.
Let’s both get over it, shall we? There’s something way bigger than we are which our organization is dealing with. And it requires both of us to work with each other, productively and profitably.
The industrial Internet of Things flattens the sales-engineering interface®.
There’s this huge phenomenon going on called the industrial Internet of Things. Everything is rapidly becoming connected to everything else. And not just via software platforms and application interfaces or the equipment we sell and the devices we use.
You see, selling in the industrial Internet of Things ecosystem connects you with us, as well. Undeniably, continuously, inextricably.
We are your Human Sales Apps. We know where the solutions are, before they are required. We understand how technology advances and the veritable tsunami of data being generated by connected devices impacts current and future industry trends.
We “see” implications way before the marketing department does. We see the world differently than you do, and that diversity of perspective is good news for our company.
We anticipate “What’s next?” for our company and our customers.
Our professional fields are dynamic and hardly ever linear. We can’t understand why sales processes remain so step-wise and linear. Unrealistic from our side of the business table.
Perhaps that’s why we remain busy fixing what has been oversold and under delivered, in a linear manner. This break-fix model doesn’t make our company particularly visionary does it?
We reviewed your customer retention rates before we blogged today. As your internal customer retention experts, we have some suggestions moving forward.
When you traverse the sales-engineering interface®, we collaborate together. Instead of applying us as-needed – when your sales organization gets itself in trouble – we continuously deliver solid customer experience before, during and after the sale.
Think about what happens after the sale, anyway. We continuously access everyone in customers’ organizations your sales team doesn’t get to talk to. End user conversations allow us to discover really interesting trigger events, impacting future business.
Powerful Internal Customer Retention Experts are Translational Forces for Customer Retention.
Your team of internal customer retention experts helps your sales team win a solid place at your customers’ business tables. We have input into how the solution is structured, pre-sale. We address overlooked details which become critical to execution of strategy, post sale.
Your sales teams benefit from our subject-matter expertise. The way we are taught to think helps you anticipate and address the types of scenarios which erode post-sale profitability, customer experience, customer success and, yup, you guessed it, customer retention.
As your powerful internal customer retention experts, our mission is to keep your customers nimble, responsive and competitive. Next sale, let’s collaborate and get to the finish line together?
Babette Ten Haken is a writes, speaks and coaches about customer success for customer retention. She traverses the interface between human capital strategy for hiring and developing collaborative technical and non-technical teams. She serves manufacturing, IT and engineering intensive companies. Babette’s playbook of technical / non-technical collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. Visit the Free Resources section of her website for more tools.
Image author: Ion Chiosea. Image source: Fotolia