In B2B enterprise sales, repeat business is absolutely essential. When you need to convince a business to make a significant investment in equipment or change suppliers, you will typically need to influence several stakeholders, and overcome multiple objections. Throw in some complex procurement and tender processes, and it can all add up to significant time and money.
The cost of finding new opportunities can be very significant. Cash cows should be the core of any B2B business.
While loyalty marketing is commonly used in consumer and small business marketing to milk cash cows, it is not widely used in the enterprise space in Australia. The reasons are often related to scale. Many organisations selling complex enterprise solutions have very small client bases.
Fortunately, there are several useful tactics that have been proven in consumer marketing studies that can also work for B2B enterprise marketing situations.
1) Listen, don’t sell
Over a long client engagement, staff come and go, and people tend to take situations and relationships for granted. It is very important to regularly ask clients about their broader business challenges.
A client may think your company can only provide the products and services they already use. By regularly going to the effort of listening to your clients broader needs, you can find new opportunities, and better understand the issues they face.
2) Seek referrals
Frederick Reichheld has done a number of research studies covering loyalty marketing and customer satisfaction. Reichheld’s research studies have shown a direct positive link between overall business growth, and the willingness of your customers to provide a referral or recommendation.
If you want to grow your revenue, ask your customers “Would you recommend us to a friend?”.
If the answer is no, then you obviously need to lift your game.
3) Analyse your revenue streams
In sales, the person who shouts the loudest often gets the most attention and resources, and big client deals can make a lot of noise.
It is however very easy to overlook margin and cost of sale, particularly when your team is trying to hit quarterly sales targets.
Carrying out a regular deeper analysis of your customer spend and point of sales data is very important. Big spending regular clients might be unprofitable, and your true cash cows being ignored.