Lost the contract with your best client? No worries.
According to new research from CEB, customers that regret their buying decisions are increasing. CEB’s research says that in over 40% of all B2B buying decisions post-purchase anxiety occurs.
That’s your opportunity!
The reason for decision makers asking themselves questions like: “did we buy the right thing”, is that too many alternatives are presented to them and they’re flooded by information from too responsive sales reps, which makes customers’ buying process “awful”, customers say.
Besides that, we should look into the opportunity of customers’ post purchase anxiety and how that may turn up to be your opportunity.
Many years ago I had a sales process evaluation meeting with one of my valuable clients. We sketched their new process on the white board; Qualify to Quote to Negotiate to Close. A simple, traditional sales process which is working very well in most businesses.
“NO, NO !”, my client almost shouted; “You forget the most important phase”.
“Ehhh, what phase ?”, I said, slightly surprised.
“The WIN-BACK phase of course, that comes after you lost the deal.
“But if the deal is lost and contracts are signed, that shouldn’t be a sales process phase. It wouldn’t be possible to tear their contract?”, I opposed.
“Well, not really”, my client said, “but we are selling a lot more just after we lost a contract with a large existing client. That revenue are really important to our profitability, so we cannot ignore sales activities after we lost any deal”, my client explained.
So we just added the “Win-back” phase to the end of their sales process.
But why was my client selling a lot more after they lost their big contract?
The meeting with my client was many years ago, but adding a win-back phased to their sales process was valuable even then. My client explained their newly lost client was struggling to implement the new contract with your competitor, new contact channels were to be set up, new processes were to be implemented.
Those things are not easy to fix and takes time. During this period you can become the “good guy” and with just a little more attention you may get a star status of service. All your processes are in place, all contact channels are tuned, you are in a favorable position to make them happy.
Like in a guerrilla war, you may with a very little effort make a lot revenue, until your competitor has learned how to make service excellence at your client – but that takes a while and cost them big money. If you’re great and lucky they will not succeed until next purchase round is to take place.
According to the new research I believe the reason to add the extra win-back phase now has just become more important since customers are increasingly anxious making the right decisions in a world of information overload. There are too many options, too many alternatives, too many suggestions, too much information available, too many…of everything. And it’s expected that customers’ are doing more than 57% of the entire buying process before they even get in touch with a sales rep. So they stumble, trying to get the right information, not getting any help from intrusive sales reps.
And worse, great sales reps that earlier was promoting and pitching about their specific product and features, are – nowadays – banned to make sales pitches in social media since they are just transformed to become experts, not sales reps, anymore!
Ambivalent, yes. Confused, yes. I leave that to another blog post. But if you lose, be aware of the revenue after you lose. That revenue seems to be increasing nowadays…
Good luck losing 😉