Your customers are the most important drivers of growth for your business. They’re often the reason new clients seek you out, and they serve as the source for post-sale opportunities and recurring revenue. It’s the simple truth.
But what’s also true is that in today’s digital age and dynamic business environment, where trust and loyalty isn’t what they used to be, maintaining customer health can be challenging to say the least.
So, what’s the “secret sauce” to staying on top of customer expectations and growing the value of your installed base?
The answer is all in how you manage your customer data. Clean, actionable data intelligence can help you deliver greater value to the customer, create personalized experiences, accelerate revenue and profits, and serve as the primary catalyst for building customer lifetime value (CLV).
The Ultimate Goal: Expanding Customer Relationships
Growing CLV may mean different things to different people, but I think of it first and foremost as improving the end-to-end customer experience. It’s the concept of serving customers well beyond that first deal and addressing the full lifecycle across all customer touch points. Along the way, customer satisfaction is improved, and for any sales organization, there’s no denying that retention is tremendously important. Think about this:
Cost: Acquiring a new customer is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. (Source: Harvard Business Review )
Value: 82% of companies agree that retention is less costly to execute than new logo acquisition, supporting the idea that ongoing profit from a customer lifetime is higher than any one single transaction. (Source:Forbes)
Your Greatest Limiting Factor: Bad Data
There are many roadblocks to CLV growth, and poor data quality is the top limiting factor today. Disparate data along with outdated, incomplete or inaccurate records can hurt communications, resulting in customer engagement that misses the mark, or sales opportunities that slip through the cracks.
Growing CLV requires that a sales organization effectively manage the data residing in their CRM, ERP, pricing, point of sale, entitlement and other systems. Aggregating and cleansing these disparate data sources to make the information complete and actionable is critical to providing a full 360-degree picture of the customer lifecycle. Enriched, actionable data can enable your team to know precisely who to reach out to and when, with a message or offer that addresses the customer’s specific needs at that point in time.
Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco Partner Ecosystem news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:
Off the Top
Greetings everyone. Hope you all had a great week – let’s jump right into it!
Customer Success Teams Can Be Revenue Engines
I’m always excited to have new bloggers contribute to the partner blog. Scott Schell, from the Global Customer Success team, made his debut this week.
It’s no secret that we’re keen on helping you build customer success here at Cisco. Scott offered up some great advice on how you can deliver just that and drive revenue.
Check out his post to learn more and be sure to attend the accompanied webinar. Great to have you Scott!
The 2016 ASR Report is Out!
I’m not completely sure, but I think security is a pretty big topic these days, which is all the more reason to check out our Annual Security Report.
The report analyzes advances by security industry and criminals and can give you key insights into where to strengthen your customer’s defenses. You’ll also find new threat intelligence, trend analysis and much more.
Here’s our CEO and SVP of Security talking about this year’s report:
When building a customer success team and making your case for more investment in the initiative, the most striking misunderstanding you may have come across is that a customer success team is a cost center and just provides really good customer support. Let’s set the record straight – a customer success team does provide excellent customer support, but it’s also a powerful revenue engine.
According to Gainsight, companies with a dedicated customer success team – focused on identifying at-risk customers and getting them back on track – see a 24% lower churn rate than companies without one. Reducing churn is key to growing the bottom line.
In addition to reducing churn, a customer success team increases the lifetime value of an account. Over time, account revenue can grow to be many times larger than the customer’s year 1 value. As a customer success team increases customer lifetime value, they can actually produce as much or more revenue than the sales team over the lifetime of the customer.
So, you had them at revenue engine. Management wants you to build a customer success team.